Golden Gate Fields - $200,000 El Camino Real Derby
Conquest Typhoon (Stormy Atlantic) displayed excellent class on turf last season, winning the Summer (G2) and Cecil DeMille (G3) and recording a troubled fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). And the bay colt also showed good synthetic form, finishing second in the Grey (G3) at Woodbine to International Star (Fusaichi Pegasus), who opened 2015 with a victory in the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds.
Those performances suggest Conquest Typhoon, a finalist for the Sovereign Award as Canada's top two-year-old, should make a seamless transition to Golden Gate Fields' all-weather Tapeta track in Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3). The 1 1/8-mile race is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, offering the first four respective finishers points on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
Trained by Mark Casse, Conquest Typhoon will bring along top jockey Mike Smith to Northern California and is listed as the 7-2 morning line choice among 10 rivals.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is often well-represented in graded stakes at Golden Gate Fields and will send out three runners Saturday. Cross the Line (Line of David) is listed at 5-1, the shortest price among the trio following his local success in the January 17 California Derby and will put his two-race win skein on the line with a returning Juan Hernandez.
Russell Baze will guide Stand and Salute (Saint Anddan), winner of the December 6 Gold Rush two starts back and third in the California Derby. The dark bay colt is 6-1 on the morning line. Last-out maiden winner Harmonic (Congrats), a 20-1 outsider with Ricardo Gonzalez rounds out the Hollendorfer contingent.
Other contenders include Mischief Clem (Papa Clem), winner of the January 24 California Cup Derby at Santa Anita and a maiden scorer on Del Mar's Polytrack. He's been installed at 9-2 odds with Kent Desormeaux.
Indianaughty (Indian Charlie), a maiden winner in England who captured his U.S. bow at Gulfstream Park on January 14 over allowance/optional claiming opponents, has shipped cross-country for trainer Dale Romans and is listed at 4-1 with Corey Lanerie.