Brent Sedo | Sat 17/02/2018 - 11:30 EST

El Camino Real Derby Picks 2018

El Camino Real Derby Picks 2018
One of two qualifying races for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, the El Camino Real Derby is unique in that the horses run the 1 1/8 miles race on the all-weather track at northern California's Golden Gate Fields. The race has drawn a field of nine, and the winner will grab 10 Derby qualifying points.

El Camino Real Derby Preview and Odds

Due in part to the fact almost all other Kentucky Derby qualifying races – and the Derby itself – are run on dirt tracks, the El Camino Real isn’t generally considered one of the more significant Derby preps. The last winner of the race to contend for the Derby was Cause To Believe, who actually won the race in 2006 when it was held on the dirt track at Bay Meadows, which has since closed down. 

Despite this fact, there are Derby qualifying points up for grabs, and the race has drawn a competitive field. While it’s often difficult to know how a horse will fare on the all-weather surface, the top contender in the race has already made the switch with ease. 

Listed as the favorite at 9-5 in the morning line odds, Choo Choo started his career racing on the turf in southern California, getting his maiden win at Del Mar before stepping up to stakes racing, where he was just on the edges in a pair of events, including fourth in the (G3) Cecil B. DeMille Stakes. He then shipped up to northern California, where he captured the California Derby at Golden Gate by 1 3/4 lengths, despite being fanned four-wide on the turn.

He’s the kind of horse that often just grinds his way to the lead after sitting just behind the pace setters, and you could expect him to adopt the same style here.

Paved Should Handle The Distance

Second in the early odds, Paved (2-1) is a filly going up against the boys, and another that comes off the turf, having gained her maiden win in her third lifetime start last race at Santa Anita. It’s significant that race came at the El Camino distance of 1 1/8 miles, and if she takes to the track, staying the distance for the El Camino should not be an issue. She’s another that likes to race from mid-pack and try to make one big run on the leaders at the end.

Rounding out the top three on the odds board is Blended Citizen at 4-1. Another that has done all of his running on the southern California turf, he took five starts to get his first win, and then tried stakes company, where he finished fourth last out in the Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita, 1 3/4 lengths behind third-place finisher Choo Choo. 

Outside of those, the other six runners in the field are all at double-digits in the ML odds, but in a race where the surface is going to be a question mark for most, it might be well worth throwing a long shot into the exacta mix with one of the favorites, or even trying for the upset win. While Could Be The One (12-1) has yet to race at the stakes level, Golden Gate is his home track, where he has won four of his last five starts.

In a race that on paper lacks horses with lots of early speed, Epical (10-1) could be the one exception. He only has one previous race to his name, but he won that by pushing along the early pace, and his connections might be very tempted just to send him immediately out of the gate and hope he can take the field wire-to-wire. 

The El Camino Real Derby is scheduled for Saturday, February 17 from Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco, California. It’s race #7 of nine on the day at Golden Gate, with an expected post time of 3:57 PM Pacific.

Entries w/ ML Odds

  1. Paved (2-1)
  2. Blended Citizen (4-1)
  3. Could Be The One (12-1)
  4. Choo Choo (9-5)
  5. City Plan (15-1) 
  6. Calexman (12-1) 
  7. Epical (10-1)
  8. Unlawful Act (30-1) 
  9. Mugaritz (10-1) 

El Camino Real Derby Picks

  • 1) #4 – Choo Choo
  • 2) #7 – Epical
  • 3) #1 – Paved
  • 4) #3 – Could Be The One

You can bet the El Camino Real and Saturday’s other Derby qualifier, the Risen Star Stakes, through an account at most top-rated online racebooks, and reap the benefit of win-or-lose cash back and other bonuses and promotions. 

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Category : Betting Picks

Tag : BetOnline , Horse Racing

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