The El Camino Real Derby is the most important three-year-old horse race in Northern California! Scheduled for Saturday, February 12 at Golden Gate Fields, 11 runners will compete for a $100,000 purse as well as Triple Crown spoils. The race covers a mile and an eighth over the Tapeta main track.
The race offers Road to the Kentucky Derby points, 10-4-2-1 for the top four finishers. It also offers a berth in the Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, for its winner. In 2021, winner Rombauer took full advantage, parlaying his victory in the El Camino Real into Preakness glory.
He was not the first El Camino Real winner to win the Preakness. Tank’s Prospect (1985), California hero Snow Chief (1986), and Tabasco Cat (1994) all won both races, and Tabasco Cat also won the Belmont Stakes as well
Who will join this illustrious list? Read on to find out!
This is the official field for the 2022 El Camino Real Derby including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:
These morning lines are Golden Gate’s best estimate of the odds at post time. However, you are not guaranteed to get these odds if you bet at the track. To assure that you get the best Vegas odds at the moment you place your bet, make an account at a trusted online sportsbook. There, you can be confident that you have locked in true Vegas odds.
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Now that you have made your account to bet horse races online, it’s time to get to know the horses.. Let’s get to know the best horses in the 2022 El Camino Real Derby.
#2 Mackinnon, for trainer Doug O’Neill, will likely be the wagering favorite. He has three wins already, all of which came on the lawn, and turf form often transfers well to the Tapeta course. His pedigree is strong for the step up to the mile and an eighth. He is typically just a couple lengths off the lead, but rallied to finish a strong third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) after early trouble, making him look the class of the field.
#6 Boise is the most interesting horse in the race. He is already a two-time winner at Golden Gate, including a win in a one-mile allowance the only time he tried the Tapeta course. Though he disappointed last out at Santa Anita, his race on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Del Mar showed enough class to make him a serious threat to come late here if he can run back to it.
#4 Blackadder deserves a brief mention because he will certainly take some money, just on the fact that Bob Baffert trains him. But, there are good reasons to look elsewhere. He has never tried either Tapeta or grass, making his affinity for the footing a question. And, not only does he come out of just a maiden race, but that race was on dirt against horses originally entered for lawn.
Fortunately, this field of eleven includes some interesting longshots to use in exotic tickets alongside Boise and Mackinnon.
#11 Del Mo, Mackinnon’s longer-priced stablemate, has proven his ability to run well over the Tapeta. Though he faces winners for the first time, he is an improving horse and his pedigree suggests he will run well over the nine-furlong trip. His running style also allows him to drop back wherever there is room and find a late run.
#1 Stormy Samurai is mired on the rail, but has won from the fence before. He is another with a pedigree that appeals for the stretch out to a mile and an eighth. It is a big step forward from the sprints to this being his first route, but he should take to it well. He also has two wins on the Golden Gate Tapeta already, including a victory against first-level allowance foes last month.
For deeper exotics plays, consider #10 Il Bellator. He will be one of the longest shots on the field, but has several positive points. He woke up nicely last time out when trying a route for the first time, suggesting two turns is what he wants. He has not run since November, but his barn does well with similar layoffs, and also with horses making their first start since a maiden score.
Here are your best bets for the 2022 El Camino Real Derby!
For 10 years, Rowan Ward has been handicapping and betting horses in Chicago. For almost as long, they has also been writing about horse racing. They are aware that the best handicapping approaches for a given race rely on a variety of variables, but they frequently discover that the proverb "the pace makes the race" can yield profitable betting opportunities. Local Chicago races, national stakes races, and two-year-old maiden races with intriguing pedigrees are some of their favorite events to handicap.