2012 Kentucky Derby prep races – El Camino Real Derby & San Vicente Stakes
In Northern California at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, the El Camino Real Derby was won by Daddy Knows Best. Julien Leparoux came in to ride the winner and won an all-out duel with Lucky Chappy to win. This win gave trainer Steve Asmussen back-to-back victories in Golden Gate’s most prestigious race, the El Camino Real Derby.
This was the first stakes win for Daddy Nose Best, owned by Bob and Cathy Zollars of Dallas, Texas. Leparoux, the French native currently based in Florida, had never before competed at Golden Gate Fields.
“We came here because of the added distance and his experience on turf which carries over to synthetic,” said Darren Fleming, assistant to Asmussen. “Winning the race last year with Silver Medallion helped our decision.” Fleming said he was not sure what race is next for the winner. Wonder if he is looking for Kentucky Derby Tours or 2012 Kentucky Derby tickets at Churchill Downs?
Order of finish for the El Camino Real Derby is: Daddy Knows Best, Lucky Chappy, Handsome Mike, Unveiled Heat, Russian Greek, Lady of Fifty, All Squared Away, Rockinarz Recruit, Senor Rain, and Cahill Chrome.
In Southern California at Santa Anita Park on Sunday, the San Vicente Stakes was won by Drill. The race went off with just four horses looking for their Kentucky Derby tickets. American Act was still coming on at the finish line, favorite Creative Cause came in third and Let’s Get Crackin.
It is unclear just how Drill’s trainer Bob Baffert expects Drill to progress on the Kentucky Derby Trail trail. He said afterward that he questions whether the colt wants to run the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles. “I wouldn’t run out and buy a future book (bet) on him,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, who is loaded with other Kentucky Derby horses. “He’d have to prove something to me going long. He’s one-turn right now. In time he might be able to do it because he’s learned to relax.”
“He actually had been training so well, I couldn’t figure it out,” Baffert said of Drill’s losing streak. “So I backed off of him and he started doing so well.”
In the stretch, Drill gradually overtook American Act by a half-length nearing mid-stretch but could not draw away. Instead, American Act battled back gamely along the inside in the final furlong and nearly caught Drill, who was under strong urging in deep stretch, at the wire.
American Act, trained by Jack Carava, was second by one length over Creative Cause, who showed some rust in his return for trainer Mike Harrington but finished willingly and galloped out well after crossing the finish line.
“We got what we wanted out of the race. He’s a route horse, not a seven-furlong horse,” Harrington said. “We hope he moves forward off this. Did you see him gallop out? He’ll definitely move forward.”
There were only four entries after Smoking G and Captain Obvious stratched. There was no show wagering