Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
Frank Conversation Looks for Breakthrough Win in $200,000 El Camino Real Derby
On Saturday at Golden Gate, the featured race is the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby. A Grade 3 event for three-year-olds and an early prep race for the Kentucky Derby, the race will be contested at a mile and an eighth on the All Weather main track and has drawn a field of fourteen.
Frank Conversation tops the wide open field as the morning line favorite at odds of 2-1 for trainer Doug O’Neill. A bay son of Quality Road, he was purchased for $120,000 by Reddam Racing and has two wins from five starts. His two poor performances both came over conventional dirt and he has won on turf and synthetics. Last time out, he won the California Derby at Golden Gate. Mario Gutierrez will be aboard and they will break from post position twelve.
Kasseopia (GB) makin three-year-old debut
Second choice at morning line odds of 7-2 is Kasseopia (GB), one of two horses in the race for trainer Graham Motion. A chestnut son of Showcasing (GB), he has one win from four starts and will be trying to earn his first stakes victory. As a juvenile, he broke his maiden in his third career start and then finished second in the Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine. Drayden Van Dyke will be aboard from post position two.
Class test for maiden winner Mr. Coker
Also in the field at morning line odds of 9-2 is Mr. Coker for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. A chestnut son of Candy Ride (ARG), he will be trying to earn his first black type win and will be stepping up to stakes competition for the first time. After a runner-up effort in his debut, he broke his maiden last time out in his second career start. Santiago Gonzalez will be aboard and they are scheduled to break from post position four.
For all the negative buzz about Nyquist's average speed figures and vulnerability, the newly crowned and much-deserving 2016 Kentucky Derby winner might just have the most impeccable credentials of any Derby winner in the illustrious history of the race - and certainly in the modern era.
On Friday at Churchill Downs, the field has been set for the 142nd running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks. The Grade 1 event, carded at a mile and an eighth, has drawn a full field of fourteen three-year-old fillies with one listed as an also-eligible.
With the final round of Kentucky Derby preps in the books, it seems improbable, but arguable that the March 12 Tampa Derby was the most useful and review-worthy of the 24 official point-bearing races in 2016.