02/15/2015 1:47PM

Road to the Derby analysis: El Camino Real Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Metaboss wins the El Camino Real Derby on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Grade 3, $200,525 El Camino Real Derby, 1 1/8 miles (on Tapeta), Golden Gate Fields, Feb. 14, 2015
(10 Derby qualifying points for a win, 4 for second, 2 for third, 1 for fourth)

Winner: Metaboss
Trainer: Jeff Bonde
Jockey: Alex Solis
Owners: Michael Arndt, Chuck Azcarate, Milan McFetridge, Mersad Metanovic, and Dan Preiss
Beyer Speed Figure: 85

METABOSS, whose best races had been on turf, won a race on synthetic that unfolded like a grass race, with a crawling pace and then a mad dash for home.

Metaboss, starting from post 3 in a field of 10, saved ground around the first turn and then was steered to the middle of the track by jockey Alex Solis during the run down the backstretch while racing in eighth. He initially had trouble keeping pace with his rivals when the pace quickened noticeably on the far turn, but he finally gathered himself and then closed stoutly, despite getting fanned about six paths wide into the lane, and won going away with a final furlong that went in 11.86 seconds.

The final time of 1:49.92, following a six-furlong split in 1:13.98, meant the final three furlongs were run in less than 36 seconds. Metaboss trailed by about five lengths with three furlongs to go, so his final three-eighths were run in about 35 seconds.

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

Because the El Camino Real Derby is run on synthetic, it’s hard to imagine the race will prove to be a factor in terms of the Kentucky Derby. But Metaboss definitely is headed in the right direction, with two wins in a row now. His worst performance came in his lone start on dirt, in a sprint, and while it wasn’t an abject failure, and he’s clearly thrived since going two turns, his connections are wisely pointing to the Spiral Stakes, also on synthetic, next month at Turfway.

Metaboss was born May 17, 2012, so his actual third birthday is the day after this year’s Preakness Stakes. Given time to mature and properly spotted in races on synthetic and turf, he can do a whole lot of good.

CROSS THE LINE, in traffic behind horses entering the first turn, remained just behind the leaders for much of the race, had to check briefly when initially trying to split horses in upper stretch, finally got clear and came with a nice run to garner the place while no match for the winner.

CONQUEST TYPHOON, making his first start at age 3, found himself attending the dawdling pace while three paths wide on both turns. He got the best of pace rivals INDIANAUGHTY and ERNEST SHACKLETON but could not hold off the top two and in a few more strides would have surrendered third place to HARMONIC.

Harmonic, who finished fourth, trailed early, was forced to rally widest of all on the turn while outside Metaboss, was fanned about seven paths wide into the stretch, was late to change leads, then finished with some interest.

SOUL DRIVER, who finished fifth, broke a bit awkwardly but quickly recovered, was three paths wide on the first turn while in the second flight of horses, made a menacing move while five paths wide on the final turn to loom a threat, but could not match the top four late. He made his five-wide move during the fastest part of the race, so this effort might be a bit better than it looks on paper.

STAND AND SALUTE, three paths wide on the first turn while in a flight of horses just behind the leaders, remained in that spot until upper stretch, encountered a touch of fairly insignificant traffic in upper stretch, then went one-paced to the wire to finish sixth.

MISCHIEF CLEM, who finished seventh, broke slowly from his outside post, then found himself four paths wide on the first turn and remained in that spot all the way until the top of the stretch, where he failed to quicken.

Ernest Shackleton, who was eighth, pressed the pace while between Indianaughty and Conquest Typhoon and steadily retreated in the final furlong.

Indianaughty set or forced the pace while inside Ernest Shackleton and Conquest Typhoon, came under an aggressive ride at the quarter pole and faded. He checked at mid-stretch while inside Ernest Shackleton, but he was done by then, and the incident was inconsequential.

DONJI, who finished last of 10, lost contact with the field after six furlongs, was eased in the homestretch, but was reported by the Equibase chart caller to have walked off the course under his own power.

Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Weak field. None of these can win the Kentucky Derby.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I agree!!! Although metaboss will need to show that he's a good horse and if he improves, he is almost guaranteed to be in the trifecta of kentucky derby!! I know nose are strong words but if he manages to run at Santa Anita derby and win at the 1 1/18 distance with a time of 1:47 or less, he will be very hard to beat at the derby! Only time will tell but I need to see improvement for metaboss to get my money
tommy More than 1 year ago
Lol ipad " nose"!! Ipad spell check needs serious improvement! Anyway, I never use laptop anymore for online web browsing!!!
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Smith gave Typhoon a terrible ride. Thanks for shipping in Mikey.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Typhoon had no chance!! He lacked endurance and his fitness levels was not maintained properly. I still lost the beat because I bet conquest typhoon with metaboss 1st and 2nd with all for 3rd in trifecta and all for 4th in superfecta. I didn't do a win bet because the number 7 horse had a slightly higher vo2 max than metaboss and could of won as well but his jockey gave him a bad ride as he was 8 wide trying to go to the front of top of the stretch!
elwood bluze More than 1 year ago
what's a vo2 max ?
Jeff Wilson More than 1 year ago
A new form of Viagra
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOL. Best comment of the year so far Jeff.
tommy More than 1 year ago
This horse has highest vo2 max which means he can go he longest distance out of all the horses!! Good for kentucky derby and Belmont stakes
tommy More than 1 year ago
He's the best 3 year old closer this year and will contend in kentucky derby. Even so, he can beat Dortmund and firing line in Santa Anita derby!!!
Reagan Floyd More than 1 year ago
Tommy you will see the best closer in the game, in the Risen Star, this coming Saturday. ..Imperia
tommy More than 1 year ago
Imperia is not the best closer or even a good closer, but he has a decent vo2 good enough to win he race and in this race I rank him in the top 3. So here is my bet in superfecta ... 1st: imperia, Bluff, js Bach 2nd: imperia, Bluff, js Bach 3rd: ALL 4th: ALL
Gary Camejo More than 1 year ago
The beaten favorite does not want to beyond 9 furs and dirt. Turf is his future.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Turf miler will be his niche.
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
I would like to see another go. He is a one run closer, and he was 3 wide on the lead the whole way. Smith could have dropped in and stalked.
David Craighead More than 1 year ago
The El Camino Derby may not produce the Kentucky Derby winner nor contender but what I saw with some of these 2 yr old's now deem 3 year olds have alot of up side and probably be the better for the wear and tear that's to come with the top 3 yr old crop this year and one horse who sticks out for me is the Jerry Hollendorfer's runner named " Harmonic" I thought that he broke well and given the charge to the top took the rail for safe ground came on late and charged with some hesitation at the end, which probably needs blinkers next time out and another jockey will be something to admire and watch for future races to come. I have him on my watch list and scope for future consideration.