The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to Golden Gate Fields racetrack Saturday where Enterprising has been selected as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3). Only seven horses have been entered in the Derby which appears to be a wide open horse race.
Since finishing seventh in his maiden debut last October, Enterprising has never finished worse than second and he comes into the Derby with a 2-1-0 record in 4 starts. In his debut as a three year old, Enterprising finished just a half-length shy of winning the California Derby. Here’s the chart call:
ENTERPRISING stalked the leaders to the second turn, bid inside to the stretch, eased off the rail in upper stretch, rallied when set down but could not catch the winner.
Enterprising picks up the services of Hall of Fame Jockey Gary Stevens and any improvement from his last race will make him competitive in the Derby.
A long shot I like in this race is Puppy Manners (8-1) who is owned and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Puppy Manners finished fourth in the California Derby but he was only 2½ lengths shy of victory. Here’s the chart call:
PUPPY MANNERS had no speed, was outrun to the second turn, came three wide to the stretch then closed ground steadily through the lane.
While Puppy Manners had no early speed, that was his first race at 8½ furlongs and I like the way he came from dead last to make up ground in the stretch. Puppy Manners finished with good energy in that race and he should be able to handle the stretch out to 9 furlongs.
Another move forward could make Puppy Manners competitive in the Derby at a nice price.
Infosec (10-1) finished third in the California Derby just 1½-lengths behind Enterprising and he could be a factor in the exotics as well as Dance With Fate (7-2) and I’ll Wrap It Up (10-1).
Under the points system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine which horses will qualify to enter the Kentucky Derby starting gate, the winner of the El Camino Real Derby (G3) will receive 10 points, the second-place finisher will receive four points, the third-place finisher will receive two points and the four-place finisher will receive one point. Here’s a look at the current top 20 Derby qualifiers:
2014 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Havana, 14, Todd Pletcher, $660,000
2. Cairo Prince, 14, Kiaran McGlaughlin, $470,000
3. Honor Code, 14, Shug McGaughey, $340,000
4. Tapiture, 12, Steve Asmussen, $120,738
5. Midnight Hawk, 12, Bob Baffert, $84,000
6. Bond Holder, 11, Doug O’Neill, $333,000
7. Rise Up, 10, Tom Amoss, $782,633
8. We Miss Artie, 10, Todd Pletcher, $242,000
9. Candy Boy, 10, John Sadler, $260,000
10. Samraat, 10, Rick Violette, Jr., $150,000
11. Noble Moon, 10, Leah Gyarmati, $145,000
12. Ami’s Holiday, 10, Josie Carrroll, $136,145
13. Vicar’s in Trouble, 10, Mike Maker, $120,000
14. Cleburne, 10, Dale Romans, $102,044
15. Tanzanite Cat, 10, Code Autrey, $90,000
16. Casigaupo, 5, Mario Morales, $271,050
17. Classic Giacnroll, 5, Lisa Guerrero, $62,500
18. Conquest Titan, 4, Mark Casse, $163,445
19. Smarty’s Echo, 4, Anne Smith, $82,000
20. Albano, 4, Larry Jones, $70,000