Racing News

Daddy noses out Chappy in El Camino Real

  • Daddy Nose Best (inside) and Lucky Chappy matched strides down the stretch (Vassar Photo)

  • Daddy Nose Best got his nose down on the wire (Vassar Photo)

Bob and Cathy Zollars' Daddy Nose Best outdueled Lucky Chappy after a stretch-long drive in Saturday's Grade 3, $201,300 El Camino Real Derby, prevailing in the tightest-ever finish to Golden Gate Fields' signature prep for the Kentucky Derby.

Daddy Nose Best was handing trainer Steve Asmussen his second straight El Camino Real trophy. Interestingly, he was following the same path taken by 2011 winner Silver Medallion. Both were coming off the Eddie Logan Stakes over the Santa Anita turf, but with one significant difference: Silver Medallion was exiting a win, while Daddy Nose Best was rebounding from a disappointing fifth as the 4-5 favorite on New Year's Eve.

Regular rider Julien Leparoux wasn't dissuaded, however, and made the trek to stick with Daddy Nose Best, who was dispatched as the 4-1 third choice. Breaking from the rail, the Scat Daddy colt was reserved just off the contested pace.

Up front, 2-1 favorite Handsome Mike was arguing with 94-1 longshot All Squared Away through fractions of :23 1/5, :47 2/5 and 1:12 1/5. Daddy Nose Best was clearly full of run rounding the far turn, but had to bide his time. He was momentarily pocketed by the leaders and by the filly Lady of Fifty on his outside.

Meanwhile, Lucky Chappy was making eye-catching progress from well back. Off a beat slow as usual, Lucky Chappy was content to settle at the rear until the far turn, when he circled the field in a bold move.

As Lucky Chappy rolled up widest of all, Daddy Nose Best angled off the fence and muscled his way through between horses. Handsome Mike had put away his longtime rival, but had no resistance left to offer the closers.

Daddy Nose Best and Lucky Chappy separated themselves from the rest of the field and engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball battle. Neither gave an inch, but Daddy Nose Best appeared to be marginally ahead. Although Lucky Chappy's high head carriage didn't help him as they reached for the wire, he too stretched as best he could and just missed by a nose.

The winning margin was the closest in the race's history. The next-closest had come in 1999 at the El Camino's former home of Bay Meadows, where Cliquot bested Charismatic by a head.

Daddy Nose Best covered 1 1/8 miles on Tapeta in 1:50 2/5 and paid $10.20, $5.40 and $3.60. His first career stakes victory increased his bankroll to $233,623 from his 9-3-2-1 record.

Lucky Chappy, the 5-2 second choice, was expected to use the El Camino Real Derby as a stepping stone to the Group 2 U.A.E. Derby at Meydan on March 31. Should he keep those travel plans, the Graham Motion trainee would accompany his Kentucky Derby-winning stablemate Animal Kingdom, who is headed for the Group 1 Dubai World Cup on the same day.

The top two pulled 3 1/2 lengths clear of third-placer Handsome Mike. Next came Unveiled Heat, Russian Greek, Lady of Fifty, All Squared Away, Rockinarz Recruit, Senor Rain and Cahill Chrome.

Daddy Nose Best was runner-up to subsequent Grade 3 victor Exfactor in his debut sprinting on the dirt at Churchill Downs. After flopping in his next try, the bay switched to turf and soon prospered. Daddy Nose Best broke his maiden in his second turf attempt at Saratoga, and got up for third in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes at Woodbine. A better-than-appears sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, he romped in a Churchill Downs allowance before showing little in the Eddie Logan.

Bred by Patricia Ann Elia Trust in Kentucky, Daddy Nose Best didn't sell when bringing a bid of $34,000 as a weanling at Keeneland November. At the same venue the following September, he went to his current owners for $35,000. He is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Follow Your Bliss, and his second dam is Grade 2 winner Follow the Money.

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos


California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.