The $100,000 El Camino Real Derby will be run Saturday as race 7 at Golden Gate Fields. The 1 1/8-mile race on the Tapeta is part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series, with a 10-4-2-1 point structure going to the top four finishers. If nominated to the Triple Crown, the winner will have an automatic entry to the Preakness (G1).

Top Picks for the El Camino Real Derby

  • #8 Ajourneytofreedomd
  • #9 Azul Coast
  • #1 Indian Peak
  • #7 Sacred Rider

Betting the El Camino Real Derby

  • $40 Exacta: 8 with 9
  • $10 Exacta: 9 with 8

El Camino Real Derby Contenders

#1 Indian Peak broke his maiden here on the turf when going two turns then came back two starts later on the Tapeta and beat allowance foes. Last out, he shipped down to Santa Anita for the Cal Cup Derby, but had a rough trip at the top of the stretch. Has trained bullets since then and draws the rail today. 

#2 Praise Loudly moves way up in class off two even efforts. Not much to recommend and he will probably drop back down in class afterwards. 

#3 American Farmer broke his maiden going this distance here last out in his fifth career start so at least he has that going for him. Kent Desormeaux picks up the mount for the first time, and the colt has some pedigree to go long.

#4 Wine and Whisky won second time out going six furlongs in fast time. He has tried two turns in the last two starts and just missed most recently in a blanket finish. Appears to have improved with distance and gets more today.

#5 Mysterious Stones added blinkers and promptly won three straight races. Last out, he was stuck behind a slow pace and outkicked at the wire. William Antongeorgi wins 27% when riding for Steve Sherman.  

#6 Final Final was outrun here at long odds in his Tapeta debut then came back with a decent second against allowance foes. Last out, he raced wide from post 8, and the gelding draws a bit better today. I like how his trainer puts long, slow workouts into him.

#7 Sacred Rider is the most experienced runner in the field making his 10th career start. He just missed at long odds last out in the at Santa Anita and was third two starts back here against many of these. Kind of a grinder, he might hang around a long time going the longer distance.  

#8 Ajourneytofreedom was a good second when blinkers were added second time out then broke his maiden going gate to wire in his two-turn debut. The stoutly-bred son of Hard Spun just missed last out and he has trained almost as well as much more heralded stablemate Anneau d’Or, recording a sharp six-furlong work here on February 8. Blaine Wright won this race with the colt’s half-brother last year.

#9 Azul Coast romped by four lengths in his career debut going a two-turn mile at Los Alamitos for Bob Baffert. He came back with a distant second in the Sham (G3) going a two-turn mile at Santa Anita behind stablemate Authentic, who might be Baffert’s best classic colt. Baffert rarely races on synthetic tracks, but he ships this one north because he has so many good sophomores. Rafael Bejarao is along for the ride.

#10 Czechmight was well beaten in his career debut at Ellis Park then came back to break his maiden at Keeneland. Now with Richie Baltas, the son of Street Sense ships up from Santa Anita and tries Tapeta. From post 10, Jose Valdivia Jr. will probably send him for the lead.

#11 The Stiff is a versatile colt that won on the dirt at Del Mar then came back two starts later here with a good win. I can’t see how he can overcome the wide draw, but Mike McCarthy wins 36% with his synthetic-track starters.