Berkeley, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The first two 3-year-olds across the wire last Saturday in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields will both be making their next starts in major Kentucky Derby prep races in the Blue Grass State.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer indicated that El Camino Real winner Tamarando is a probable starter in Turfway Park's Spiral Stakes on March 22. The 1 1/8-mile Spiral has a purse of $550,000 and offers 50 points to the winner, virtually guaranteeing the horse a spot in the Kentucky Derby on May 3.
Runner-up Dance With Fate, trained by Peter Eurton, is likely to start in the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes on April 12 at Keeneland. The 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass offers 100 points to the winning 3-year-old as part of the Kentucky Derby points system.
"It will definitely be the Blue Grass Stakes," said Eurton. "It's 60 days, which is pretty long (between starts), but I think he'll like that surface."
Tamarando earned 10 points by winning the El Camino Real Derby by a half- length over Dance With Fate. Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze guided the colt from last in the eight-horse field for owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams.
"It didn't look like there was going to be much pace in it, there wasn't much of a pace," Baze noted. "This horse has shown in the past that he's got very good tactical (speed) where he doesn't have to be last by a 100 miles. He laid very close to a slow pace, just wheeled him out in the clear and just let him do his thing and he got there for me."
Second in last month's California Cup Derby at Santa Anita, Tamarando has earned $625,120 in 10 career starts.