Exit Stage Left, the undefeated colt expected to be among the favorites in the upcoming $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) was injured during training at Golden Gate Fields the morning of Feb. 8 and has been declared.
The 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real Derby, set for Feb. 15 at Golden Gate, is the Northern California track's official prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
"The horse came back from galloping this morning and was injured," said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer when contacted at Santa Anita Park, where he spent Saturday morning watching his Southern California runners train. "There's no way to know why, or, actually, what happened, but the horse can't run. He's going to have to have some time off and that's all I can tell you."
Exit Stage Left, owned in partnership by Hollendorfer and Mark Dedomenico, has recorded three wins to begin his career, all in stakes. The New Jersey-bred Noonmark colt edged favored Enterprising by a half length in his most recent start, the Jan. 18 California Derby. The two were expected to rematch in the El Camino Real Derby.
Hollendorfer, who originally planned to run Exit Stage Left and Puppy Manners, still expects to have two entrants in the race. The Hall of Fame conditioner, a five-time winner of the race, said Exit Stage Left will be replaced by Tamarando , winner of the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and most recently second in the California Cup Derby.
Eight-time El Camino Real Derby winner Russell Baze, who guided Exit Stage Left to all three of his victories, is to ride Tamarando. Frank Alvarado will ride Puppy Manners, who is coming off a fourth-place finish in the California Derby.
Entries for the El Camino Real Derby will be taken the morning of Feb. 12. Enterprising, trained by Tom Proctor for owner/breeder Glen Hill Farm, heads the list of seven probables for the Tapeta track test.