2023 El Camino Real Derby Odds, Field & Betting Picks

It’s Derby time on the all-weather circuit at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, with the ungraded 2023 El Camino Real Derby – with ten RTKD points on offer to the winner – featuring a fascinating clash between the progressive dirt-tracker Gilmore and the synthetic specialists Passarando, Chase The Chaos and Harcyn.

El Camino Real Derby

Ungraded, $100,000, 1m 1f all-weather, 3yo, 4.54pm PT

Not all Derby preps are created equal; the El Camino Real Derby, the highlight at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, offers Road to the Kentucky Derby points on a 10-4-3-2-1 basis but is unlikely to have much impact on the big race itself as it’s run on a synthetic surface and not dirt.

It’s nevertheless a very competitive contest and, as usual, the place to start on the west coast is with Bob Baffert, who puts two in the gate with the main chance belonging to Gilmore (4-1). He was long odds-on to break his maiden at Los Alamitos over a mile and did so with the minimum of fuss, easing away to win by four lengths. It wasn’t much of a race but improvement is certain.

His barnmate Nullarbor (6-1) took three tries to break his maiden, getting the job done over six furlongs at Santa Anita when using Lasix. He had previously tried a mile and looked short on stamina, so stretching out even further may not be what he wants, especially as he goes well on the lead.

Local knowledge can be vital and Passarando (2-1) has never finished out of the first two here in five starts, winning a stakes here over a mile in December when doing all his best work late, getting up to nail boxcar longshot Chase The Chaos (3-1) by a length and a quarter, with Happy Does (10-1) fourth, beaten four and a quarter lengths, and Sea Dog (20-1) out with the washing in eighth.

Passarando didn’t quite match that level at Santa Anita last time over a mile-sixteenth on dirt, and should appreciate the return to synthetics. Chase The Chaos franked the form nicely next time out when clearing right away to win an allowance optional claimer here over a mile, favoured this time and scoring by seven and a half lengths from Happy Does, who was himself an AOC winner on his most recent start here over a mile with Sea Dog beaten a length and a quarter into third.

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Another local boy is Harcyn (5-1), unbeaten in two here when making all on debut over six furlongs, and then front-running his way to victory in an AOC over the same course and distance. Stretching out could be an issue and he may have company on the lead, but there’s no knowing how good he is yet. In Honor Of Autism (12-1) will need to improve considerably on what he showed when getting up late to win a starter allowance here last time; he too is stretching out beyond six furlongs for the first time.

2023 El Camino Real Derby Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
GilmoreJose Valdivia, Jr.+400
Chase the ChaosArmando Ayuso+300
Happy DoesSantos Rivera+1000
PassarandoFrank T. Alvarado+200
HarcynWilliam Antongeorgi III+500
In Honor of AutismEvin A. Roman+1200
Sea DogFrancisco Monroy+2000
NullarborAssael Espinoza+600

Others have greater experience of a synthetic surface but GILMORE appeals as a colt with scope for further improvement and he can overcome the surface switch.

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