$200,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3)

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THE RACE $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3) Golden Gate Fields Race 7 (Saturday, February 18, 2017: 6:45 p.m./ET; 3:45 p.m./PT) Mile and an eighth on Tapeta (three-year-olds) The El Camino Real Derby (G3) is not only one of the top races at Golden Gate Fields, but the winner of this historical Northern California race receives 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby (G1). This year, seven three-year-olds line up in the starting gate. Let’s take a look at the field: #1 ZAKAROFF got his first career win sprinting five-and-a-half furlongs in November and has come back to finish third and fifth in two route races since that maiden score. In both starts against winners, he finished behind #2 MORE POWER TO HIM. Looks like he’s a couple notches below the best here. #2 MORE POWER TO HIM has run well ever since trainer Faith Taylor decided to route this guy in career start number three. After making his first trip to the winner’s circle in November, he finished third behind #6 COLONEL SAMSON in the Gold Rush Stakes and most recently suffered a ¾ length defeat in the California Derby behind Risen Star Stakes contender SO CONFLATED. Fits well in this spot. #3 ANN ARBOR EDDIE has only lost once in his four-race career, with that defeat coming against top three-year-old MASTERY. Both route tries for ‘Eddie have resulted in wins, including his victory in last month’s California Cup Derby. Mario Gutierrez rides for trainer Doug O’Neill and owner Reddam Racing, who won last year’s El Camino Real Derby (G3) with FRANK CONVERSATION. #4 TRIBAL STORM won his career debut, sprinting on turf at Golden Gate, and came right back to win an allowance race by a neck at Del Mar. His last race, the first route race and stakes try of his career, resulted in a four-and-three-quarters length loss to #3 ANN ARBOR EDDIE. Second time going a route of ground, maybe he’ll be a little more fit, but he’ll need to make up several lengths on the aforementioned rival and faces some other tough runners too. #5 SHEER FLATTERY went off favored in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) just two weeks ago. That afternoon, he raced wide on both turns and was in the photo for second. His only career win came two starts ago over a sloppy track and now he stretches out to a mile-and-an-eighth while racing over a synthetic surface for the first time. But his running style looks to be like a grinder type, giving every indication he may enjoy this mile-and-an-eighth journey. #6 COLONEL SAMSON has run two solid races at Golden Gate Fields, winning the Gold Rush Stakes in December and most recently finishing third behind SO CONFLATED and #2 MORE POWER TO HIM in the California Derby. Certainly worth a second look. #7 KONA DREAMS is another shipper from Southern California, but is still a maiden after four starts. SELECTIONS 1. #5 SHEER FLATTERY – The farther the better for him. 2. #2 MORE POWER TO HIM - Every route race of his has been solid. 3. #3 ANN ARBOR EDDIE - Two nice victories against Cal-breds. LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY: #6 COLONEL SAMSON - Two solid races over this track. WAGERING STRATEGY: I’ll mix & match my top four selections in exactas and trifectas plus make a token win bet on my longshot value play. BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget) $4 Exacta Box: #2 MORE POWER TO HIM and #3 ANN ARBOR EDDIE and #5 SHEER FLATTERY ($24). $1 Trifecta Box: #2 MORE POWER TO HIM and #3 ANN ARBOR EDDIE and #5 SHEER FLATTERY and #6 COLONEL SAMSON ($24). $2 Win: #6 COLONEL SAMSON (Bankroll at +$963.80 after 2017 Week #3 Based on $50 Wagers; -$158.00 last newsletter).

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