Gold Rush winner Positive Response faces 11 in the California Derby.

Gold Rush winner Positive Response faces 11 in the California Derby.

Vassar Photography

Cal Derby Has 'Positive' Look

Stakes winner Positive Response heads Jan. 15 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

A dozen Derby hopefuls passed the entry box for the Jan. 15 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields, and the field of 3-year-olds couldn’t appear more wide open. The William Morey-trained Positive Response, who drew post 11 for the 1 1/16-mile race, figures to  have a slight edge on paper up based on his victory Dec. 11 in the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes.

A son of Pomeroy, the Florida-bred Positive Response brings a two-race win streak over the synthetic Golden Gate surface to the Cal Derby, including a victory in a one-mile starter allowance race Nov. 10. A sophomore gelding, owned by Saul Gervetz, Morey, Roger Newman, and Ray Pagano, Positive Response broke his maiden in late September against $50,000 claimers over the Polytrack at Woodbine.

Jockey Russell Baze will take the reins of Dancing At Dark for trainer John Sadler, another Florida-bred who also brings a two-race win streak to the Cal Derby, but both of his wins have come sprinting. By Black Mambo, Tim Mickelson’s Dancing At Dark broke his maiden in early November going 7 furlongs Hollywood Park at the $32,000 claiming level then took an entry-level starter allowance Nov. 27 at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will send out Jakesam, who put it all together Dec. 31 in a starter allowance going a mile. Tossed into stakes company in his previous start, Jakesam ran fifth behind Comma to the Top in Hollywood Park’s Real Quiet Stakes. Robert and Mary Ellen Bourque’s son of Smoke Glacken broke his maiden at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park Oct. 1.

$100,000, California Derby (Race 7, 3:45 PST), Golden Gate Fields, 3YO, 1 1/16 miles.
Post, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1, Dancing At Dark, R A Baze, J W Sadler
2, The Great Caper, O Figuroa, E Moger Jr.
3, Zayda, C P Schvaneveldt, B D Wright
4, Bluegrass Reward, J J Hernandez, S Miyadi
5, Rule He Must, D G Lopez, R W Hansen
6, Northern Indy, I Beato, O J Jauregui
7, Jakesam, F T Alvarado, J Hollendorfer
8, Mr. Candy Bar, H R Romero, O J Jauregui
9, Mazarro, F Duran, A Kitchinghman
10, Cut Fastball, C Martinez, T Knight
11, Positive Response, J Couton, W E Morey
12, Grand Maneuver, L Mawing, D Velasquez