The El Camino Real Derby, Golden Gate Fields’ cornerstone race for 3-year-olds to be held Feb. 16, 2019, will provide the winner with an automatic, all expenses paid berth to the May 18 GI Preakness S. at Pimlico, it was announced Wednesday. Any horse nominated to the Triple Crown series is eligible to earn the automatic berth.
A Bay Area fixture entering its 37th year, the El Camino Real Derby was originally held at the now-defunct Bay Meadows, but has been held at Golden Gate since 2005. The nine-furlong event held over the Tapeta track will also provide the winner 10 qualifying points toward the GI Kentucky Derby.
“We are ecstatic to offer this intriguing incentive to run in the El Camino Real Derby to our horsemen, owners, breeders and their horses,” said David Duggan, Vice President and General Manager of Golden Gate Fields. “We have seen horses in the past go on and do big things in Triple Crown races after running here in the El Camino Real Derby and we are hoping to see that trend re-emerge with this new bonus in 2019.”
The Golden Gate Fields Winter/Spring Meet gets underway Wednesday, Dec. 26 and runs through Sunday, June 9.