Dice Flavor sweeps to victory in El Camino Real Derby
Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - Dice Flavor, ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., came from well off the pace to capture Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. The 3-year-old chestnut colt was making his first start in a stakes race.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Dice Flavor was 9-1 in the nine horse field and broke from the far outside post. Bob Baffert's Manando was the 2-1 favorite for the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep. California Derby winner Zeewat along with another Baffert horse Carving were the 5-2 second picks.
Manando, ridden by Aaron Gryder, set an easy pace with Wildcat Moon a couple of lengths back in second and Counting Days racing third. Dice Flavor was 10-lengths off the pace early in eighth and was seventh as the field entered the far turn.
On the final turn Counting Days took the lead from the outside with Wildcat Moon moving past Manando into second. Coming into the stretch Counting Days had the lead with Wildcat Moon second as the rest of field drew into contention from the outside.
Inside the furlong pole, Dice Flavor advanced to the lead over Counting Days as Nina's Dragon, 13-1 on the board, rallied from the outside. Dice Flavor had a clear lead with a 100 yards to run and was able to post a 3 3/4-length win over Nina's Dragon.
Counting Days held on for third followed by Carving, Zeewat, Wildcat Moon, North Pacific, Rush In and Manando.
The time for the El Camino Real was 1:51.45 on Golden Gate's synthetic main track.
"It was the first time shipping out of Santa Anita," said the winning jockey, "and running over the synthetic surface. When I called on him he surprised me how quickly he got to the leaders."
Dice Flavor, owned by Oda Racing Stable and US Equine, got $120,000 with the win, the most in his five race career. The colt notched his second win and has earned $160,500.
The El Camino Real is part of the "Racing to the Kentucky Derby" point system giving Dice Flavor 10 points toward entering the Run for the Roses.
Dice Flavor returned $21.00, $10.80 and $9.20. Nina's Dragon paid $12.00 and $7.80, and Counting Days paid $15.20 to show.
In 1999 Charismatic won the El Camino Real Derby and went on to claim that year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and win two Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year.
02/16 20:31:14 ET