Rating the 2019 Kentucky Derby Prep Races

Omaha Beach winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography As we head into the final round of Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, now seems like a good time to look back at the 17 North American prep races already run this year and assign a rating to each one. My ratings—based on a scale of 1 to 5—attempt to blend the apparent strength of each race on paper with its potential [...]

Why I’m Betting Eagle Song in the El Camino Real Derby

King of Speed winning the Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes - © Benoit Photo The last few years have certainly been tough sledding for local runners in the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. Not even their proven experience over a synthetic Tapeta track unique to California has been enough to give the Northern California locals an edge over their Southern California counterparts. Seemingly every year, an experienced turf horse from Santa Anita and/or Del [...]

Paved Beats the Colts in El Camino Real Derby

Paved winning the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields - © Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography Question: When was the last time a filly won a Kentucky Derby prep race? Prior to yesterday, and subject to correction, the most recent example I could think of was Evita Argentina beating colts in the 2009 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) sprinting seven furlongs at Santa Anita. Nine years and one day later, we finally saw another filly prevail in a [...]

Keying Paved in the El Camino Real Derby

Paved breaking her maiden at Santa Anita - © Benoit Photo Every now and then, I’ll see a young horse win for the first time and think to myself “I want to play that horse next time it runs, because I think it could be a star in the making.” Such a horse is set to compete in the February 17th $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, that being #1 Paved. And while the circumstances aren’t quite [...]