Daddy Nose Best, under the guidance of jockey Julien Leparoux, won Saturday’s Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, California. In a driving stretch duel, the son of Scat Daddy held on to win by a nose over Graham Motion and Team Valor’s Lucky Chappy. The win gave trainer Steve Asmussen back-to-back wins in the El Camino Real Derby which he won last year with Silver Medallion.
Sitting mid-pack throughout much of the 1 1/8 mile race, Daddy Nose Best began to make his move on the leaders, Handsome Mike and All Squared Away, just as they rounded the final turn. Lucky Chappy, who trailed the field throughout the first half of the race, emerged along with Daddy Nose Best and the two fought through the stretch and straight down to the wire.
It looked as if the race would be called a dead heat, but the stewards quickly reviewed the photo and posted Daddy Nose Best the winner by a scant nostril over Lucky Chappy. Handsome Mike, the post-time favorite at odds of 2-1, finished 3 ½ lengths back in third.
Five-time El Camino Real Derby winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's duo of Russian Greek and Lady of Fifty were four wide going into the stretch and were unable to provide the needed drive when asked. They finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
The most impressive aspect of this race was how Daddy Nose Best and Lucky Chappy matched eyes and fought to the finish. The pair last met in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November at Churchill Downs where Lucky Chappy finished fourth to Daddy Nose Best’s sixth. Both showed Saturday that they have greatly matured since that race.
Daddy Nose Best paid $10.20, $5.40, and $3.60. Lucky Chappy returned $4.60 and $2.80 and completed the $1 exacta for $19.40. Third place finisher Handsome Mike paid $2.80 and completed the $1 trifecta for $73.70. Unveiled Heat completed the $1 superfecta for $854.40. The final time was 1:50:46.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby