Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer goes for his sixth El Camino Real Derby victory Saturday when he saddles Zeewat, winner of the California Derby, at Golden Gate Fields. The 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real is part of the "Racing to the Kentucky Derby" point system.
Zeewat, co-owned by Hollendorfer and George Todaro, will start from post 5 in the nine horse field. Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze will again ride the Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-old.
"He waits for you to tell him what to do, and when you do, he does it. I think he'll go further," responded Baze following the Cal Derby. "There's no doubt in my mind. He's got a nice way of moving. I've always liked the way he moves so efficiently over the ground."
Zeewat, who was the 9-10 favorite in the Cal Derby, has four victories in six starts for $177,700.
The colt won the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate on Dec. 8 to finish off his 2-year-old season. He earlier won the Cavonnier Juvenile at Santa Rosa during the summer. Zeewat was fourth to Merit Man in the Tim Conway Stakes at Santa Anita in October and third in Golden Gate's Golden Nugget in November.
Hollendorfer has previously won the El Camino Real with Chocolate Candy (2009), Bwana Bull (2007), Cause to Believe (2006) and Yougottawanna (2002) and Event of the Year (1998).
Cal Derby runner-up Wildcat Moon will again take on Zeewat in Saturday's stakes. Co-owned and trained by Jeff Bonde, the colt will be ridden by Kyle Frey from the inside post.
Wildcat Moon has never been worse than third under the wire in eight starts. He began his career with three second-place finishes before coming in first in start number four. However, he was disqualified to second after drifting out and bumping another horse.
The colt came back in his fifth start with a third and then won two straight heading to the Cal Derby. Wildcat Moon has banked $86,370 with two wins, five seconds and a third in eight starts.
Here is the field for the El Camino Real Derby in post position order: Wildcat Moon, Kyle Frey; Rush In, Juan Hernandez; Counting Days, Dennis Carr; Manando, Aaron Gryder; Zeewat, Russell Baze; Nina's Dragon, Julien Couton; North Pacific, Frank Alvarado; Carving, Victor Espinoza and Dice Flavor, Jose Valdivia Jr.
Post-time for the El Camino Real will approximately 7:22 p.m. (ET).
In 1999 Charismatic won the El Camino Real Derby and went on to claim that year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and win two Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year.