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Jan 13, 2012

California Derby attracts seven for Saturday


Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - The first of two stakes races for three-year- olds at Golden Gate Fields this winter goes off on Saturday with the running of the $100,000 California Derby. The 1 1/16-mile race is a prep event for the track's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby on February 18.

The seven horse field is led by Russian Greek, winner of the track's Gold Rush Stakes. Russian Greek, trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, will start from post six with Aaron Gryder in the saddle.

Owned by Olympia Star Inc., Russian Greek opened his career with a win at San Rosa last July. In November the colt was fifth in the Golden Nugget at Golden Gate before rallying from last to win the Gold Rush by a neck over Marshal Marini. He has banked $61,700.

Breaking from post five will be Blacky the Bull, the third-place finisher in the Gold Rush. Trained by Jeff Bonde, the colt had been eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint behind Secret Circle. In five starts Blacky the Bull has a win and a third for $42,780. Kerwin John has the riding assignment aboard Blacky the Bull.

Also coming out of the Gold Rush is fourth-place finisher Cahill Chrome. The chestnut gelding will be ridden by Juan Hernandez from post four.

Cahill Chrome, trained by Roger Hansen, reeled off three straight wins before the Gold Rush. In nine career starts he has earned $56,182.

Here is the field for the California Derby in post position order: Senor Rain, Kevin Krigger; Hodge, Russell Baze; Unveiled Heat, Abel Cedillo; Cahill Chrome, Juan Hernandez; Blacky the Bull, Kerwin John; Russian Greek, Aaron Gryder and Reconstruction, Frank Alvarado.

Post-time on Saturday is scheduled for 7:22 p.m. (et).

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