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Jan 16, 2015

Jeff Mullins to saddle favorite in California Derby


Berkeley, CA ( - Trainer Jeff Mullins is sending Soul Driver north from Santa Anita for Saturday's $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

The 1 1/16-mile stakes is the local prep for the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at the track and has drawn a field of eight. The El Camino Real Derby is part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series.

Soul Driver, owned by Bloom Racing Stable, has been made the 2-1 morning line favorite and will start from post 4 with Tyler Baze remaining in the saddle. The chestnut colt was second in the Eddie Logan Stakes on Santa Anita's turf course Dec. 27.

Also coming out of the Eddie Logan is 5-2 second choice Broughton Kitten with Frank Alvarado riding. The pair will break from post 7.

Trained by Wesley Ward, Broughton Kitten was fourth in the Eddie Logan after racing last in the 11-horse field through the early going. The chestnut colt, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, was second in Golden Gate's Gold Rush Stakes behind Stand and Salute on Dec. 6.

Stand and Salute, owned by Red Oak Stable, will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze from post 4 and is the 3-1 third pick in the eight-horse field. The chestnut colt is one of three horses in the race trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. The other two are Steel and Cross the Line, both partly owned by the Hall of Fame trainer

Hollendorfer and Baze both own seven California Derby victories, teaming up four times. The Hall of Fame trainer has won the event the last three years with Russian Greek (2012), Zeewat (2013) and Exit Stage Left (2014).

Here is the field for the California Derby in post position order: Cross the Line, Juan Hernandez, 5-1; Steel, Leslie Mawing, 12-1; Sandor the Hound, Inoel Beato, 15-1; Stand and Salute, Russell Baze, 3-1; Soul Driver, Tyler Baze, 2-1; Midnight Destiny, Dennis Carr, 20-1; Broughton Kitten, Frank Alvarado, 5-2 and Rye Patch, Ricardo Gonzalez, 15-1.

The California Derby has an approximate post time of 6:45 p.m. ET.

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