Kentucky Derby 2019 Daily: El Camino Real Derby's local hope

February 11, 2019 04:05pm
Kentucky Derby 2019 Daily: El Camino Real Derby's local hope
Photo: Vassar Photography

Welcome to Horse Racing Nation’s Kentucky Derby Daily, which will each day leading up to the May 4 race at Churchill Downs detail all the news and notes related to contenders in one convenient space.

Trainer Blaine Wright has always considered Anothertwistafate “a SoCal horse” in quality. This weekend, the emerging colt won’t have to travel to prove it when he headlines Golden Gate Fields’ Kentucky Derby 2019 prep.

The son of Scat Daddy campaigned by Peter Redekop stands out among the locals on a list of probable runners for the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby.

“I think he’ll love the distance, but you’ve got to go up against the big boys,” Wright said. “They aren’t shipping in to lose. This is an important step for us to take to consider continuing to move on with him.”

The El Camino Real Derby, run at 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic, offers Derby qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 basis. For the first time this year, the winner will also receive a fees-paid berth in the Preakness Stakes assuming he’s Triple Crown-nominated.

Anothertwistafate has won back-to-back Golden Gate Fields starts by a combined nine lengths since defeated on debut at Santa Anita Park, that day ninth in a field of 12.

“His sprint race down there is a lot better than it looks on paper,” Wright said. “He was in contention pretty well with those horses approaching the 3/8, and when they kicked on and the dirt started hitting him in the face, he got really green because we don’t have any kickback on the synthetic.”

Anothertwistafate broke his maiden Dec. 9, then wheeled back for an easy allowance win on Jan. 4. He very well could go favored next in Saturday’s El Camino Derby, for which the Golden Gate Fields racing office entered the week considering 11 likely to run.

Among Anothertwistafate’s anticipated rivals are multiple stakes winner King of Speed and a trio from bigger West Coast barns: Jerry Hollendorfer’s More Ice, Doug O’Neill’s The Creep and Keith Desormeaux’s Knight’s Cross.

“Myself and (jockey) Juan Hernandez, we don’t feel like we’ve really asked him to run a whole lot just yet,” Wright said of his charge. “He hasn’t really gotten after him to see what’s left in the tank there.”

Anothertwistafate led at every call of his wins going 1 1/16 miles and a mile, respectively. The El Camino Real Derby has been the target, and connections haven’t thought much past it should he progress Saturday.

In the weeks since the colt defeated winners, he tuned up with a seven-furlong breeze Feb. 3 “in the driving rain,” Wright said. Then more rain passed through Saturday night, but that didn’t prevent Anothertwistafate from getting a five-furlong drill in 1:02.80 over a track rated fast.

That’s the benefit of training on an all weather track, and a big reason why Wright believes he was given the chance to train the $360,000 auction purchase, saying, “I think Peter’s a big fan of the racing surface and wants to have some of his better horses there.”

“I’ve never had a horse that’s been on the Triple Crown trail, so I don’t know exactly what it takes,” Wright added. “I can tell you this: He’s impressed since the time we’ve had him. He’s grown up. He’s starting to fill out. He’s held his weight. He does pretty much anything you ask him to do, and it’s time to test the waters deeper.”

Derby links

• The Daily Racing Form's Marcus Hersh reports Kingly, the Bob Baffert-trained brother of Mohaymen, will not ship for Saturday's Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds. That means the $2.6 million yearling Gun It draws in to what remains a field of 14.

 Trainer Todd Pletcher hasn't struck yet on the Derby trail, but he was a bit late to the game in winning four major preps last year, too. His latest runner to know, Outshine, won Sunday's featured allowance at Gulfstream Park to hit our Derby Radar.

 HRN columnist Laura Pugh looked back at Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) and Sunday's San Vicente Stakes (G2) in her latest round of grading the Kentucky Derby preps -- seeing some positives in both outcomes in regards to the trail.

In case you missed it...

Sunday's Derby Daily report featured reaction from Mark Casse on War of Will's outside post position draw in the Risen Star.


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Horse Racing Nation's Kentucky Derby daily blog counts down to the May 4, 2019, race at Churchill Downs with a once-a-day update on all things Derby. Get the latest news and chatter, workout reports and a look at fields for upcoming preps all in once place.

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