The Road to the Kentucky Derby makes a stop at Golden Gate Fields for Saturday's $100,000 El Camino Real Derby. Held over 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic Tapeta course, the El Camino Real Derby awards qualification points to the top four finishers a 10-4-2-1 basis. The winner also receives an invitation to compete in the Preakness (G1), the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Positivity
Total 5 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(91) when finishing second in the Golden State Juvenile S.
Total Earnings:
$122,000
Owner:
Charles N. Winner, Annie Winner, and Justyn Winner
Breeder:
Allen Farm
Trainer:
Patrick Gallagher
Jockey:
Julien Couton
Sire:
Paynter
Dam:
Sam's Sunny City
Color:
Bay

Winner of the Graduation S. against fellow California-breds last summer, Positivity cracked the exacta in his first three starts sprinting, but failed to hit the board when stretching out over 1 1/16 miles for the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and California Cup Derby. Tackling an even longer distance in the El Camino Real Derby could be a challenging task.

Waspirant
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(81) when breaking his maiden at Del Mar.
Total Earnings:
$60,300
Owner:
Martin and Pam Wygod
Breeder:
Wygod Equine
Trainer:
John Shirreffs
Jockey:
Assael Espinoza
Sire:
Union Rags
Dam:
Life Is Sweet
Color:
Chestnut

Waspirant has already made a couple of forays on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, finishing fourth in the American Pharoah (G1) and Sham (G3) against tougher company than he'll encounter at Golden Gate Fields. Waspirant has never run on a synthetic track, but dam Life Is Sweet won the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) over artificial going, suggesting the surface switch won't be an issue for Waspirant. A top-four finish is within reach.

Tesoro
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
0
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(65) in a Golden Gate Fields maiden race.
Total Earnings:
$600
Owner:
Glen Road Racing, Highland Yard, Ben Raygoza, and Arthur Spencer
Breeder:
Gainesway Thoroughbreds
Trainer:
O. J. Jauregui
Jockey:
Catalino Martinez
Sire:
Anchor Down
Dam:
Tizn'tshebeautiful
Color:
Bay

Tesoro has already shown promise at Golden Gate Fields, employing pace-tracking tactics to cross the wire first in a one-mile maiden race last month. But Tesoro benefited from stalking a pedestrian pace and was ultimately disqualified to fifth for causing interference in the homestretch, so there's no guarantee he can keep his momentum going against tougher competition in the El Camino Real Derby.

It's My House
Total 2 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(75) when breaking his maiden at Golden Gate Fields.
Total Earnings:
$24,000
Owner:
Doug Gans, Gary Jacobs, Larry M. Katz, and Kevin Riggs
Breeder:
Bryan Keith OSteen and Caryl Carlisle OSteen
Trainer:
Jamey Thomas
Jockey:
William Antongeorgi
Sire:
Anthony's Cross
Dam:
Gerry's Reward
Color:
Bay

Conditioned by high-percentage trainer Jamey Thomas, It's My House displayed tenacity in a six-furlong maiden race at Golden Gate two weeks ago, battling to victory by three-quarters of a length. But stretching out over 1 1/8 miles is a big question mark for It's My House, and his career-best 75 Brisnet Speed rating suggests he'll need improvement to factor in the El Camino Real Derby.

Petruchio
Total 5 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
1
Show:
3
Top Speed Rating:
(96) when finishing third in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2).
Total Earnings:
$82,400
Owner:
Perry R. Bass II and Ramona S. Bass
Breeder:
Bass Stables
Trainer:
Richard Mandella
Jockey:
Irving Orozco
Sire:
Into Mischief
Dam:
Satirical
Color:
Bay

A son of two-time leading sire Into Mischief, Petruchio broke his maiden racing a mile on turf at Del Mar before switching to dirt for the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), where he rallied late to finish third. A versatile gelding conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, Petruchio is capable of running well from almost anywhere in the pack and has improved significantly since stretching out in distance and adding blinkers. He's a logical contender to vie for victory in the El Camino Real Derby.

Play Chicken
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(82) when winning the King Glorious S.
Total Earnings:
$98,000
Owner:
Reddam Racing
Breeder:
Reddam Racing
Trainer:
Doug O'Neill
Jockey:
Evin Roman
Sire:
Square Eddie
Dam:
Smoove
Color:
Bay

Play Chicken brings an interesting profile to the mix. The son of Square Eddie has struggled with consistency, sandwiching sound defeats in the Golden State Juvenile S. and California Cup Derby around a gritty victory in the King Glorious S. A winner on both dirt and turf, Play Chicken will give synthetic a try for trainer Doug O'Neill, who won the 2016 El Camino Real Derby with Frank Conversation. But Play Chicken has been running exclusively against fellow California-breds and will face tougher competition at Golden Gate Fields, leaving us to wonder whether he can produce his A-game under more challenging circumstances.

Javanica
Total 5 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
3
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(88) when finishing second in the Blue Norther S.
Total Earnings:
$79,573
Owner:
Godolphin
Breeder:
Godolphin
Trainer:
Eoin Harty
Jockey:
Frank Alvarado
Sire:
Medaglia d'Oro
Dam:
Shuruq
Color:
Bay

Can a filly take top honors in the El Camino Real Derby? It happened in 2018 with Paved, and it can happen again in 2021 with Javanica. A half-sister to the versatile Saratoga Oaks winner Antoinette, this Godolphin homebred has already displayed elite form on both turf and Tapeta, finishing second in the Glorious Song S., Jimmy Durante (G3), and Blue Norther S. during a productive two-year-old season. Javanica's stretch-running style is well suited to success at Golden Gate fields, and her finishing speed is strong, suggesting 1 1/8 miles won't be an issue. Don't be surprised if Javanica springs a surprise under hot jockey Frank Alvarado.

Govenor's Party
Total 6 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(74) when finishing fourth in a Golden Gate Fields maiden race.
Total Earnings:
$33,670
Owner:
Daniel Franko
Breeder:
Terry C. Lovingier
Trainer:
Daniel Franko
Jockey:
Cristobal Herrera
Sire:
Govenor Charlie
Dam:
Spring Moon
Color:
Dark bay/brown

A former claimer, Govenor's Party won a $50,000 starter allowance race over the Golden Gate Tapeta last month, rallying from a pace-tracking position to score by half a length. But the son of Govenor Charlie previously finished 10th behind Play Chicken in the King Glorious S. and has yet to post a Brisnet Speed rating higher than 74, suggesting the El Camino Real Derby is a tough spot for the dark bay colt.

Rombauer
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(93) when finishing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1).
Total Earnings:
$150,500
Owner:
John and Diane Fradkin
Breeder:
John Fradkin and Diane Fradkin
Trainer:
Michael McCarthy
Jockey:
Kyle Frey
Sire:
Twirling Candy
Dam:
Cashmere
Color:
Bay

The expected favorite compiled a solid juvenile campaign, finishing second in the American Pharoah (G1) and fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) on dirt. But Rombauer also showed potential on turf, rallying to win his debut racing a mile at Del Mar. The son of Twirling Candy is training forwardly for his sophomore debut, and trainer Michael McCarthy has already enjoyed success in the El Camino Real Derby, saddling Paved to prevail in 2018. With Golden Gate's top jockey Kyle Frey in the saddle, Rombauer will be tough to beat if he handles the switch to Tapeta.