Last spring's Triple Crown contenders Brother Derek and Bob and John take the spotlight Saturday at Del Mar when they head a field of five 3-year-olds in the $100,000-added El Cajon Stakes at a mile on the main track.
Both colts are also nominated to Sunday's $400,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Saturday's Del Mar card also includes a full field for the $200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Brother Derek, who has been working sharply in the morning for his return to competition, will be out to prove himself over the Del Mar track in the afternoon for trainer Dan Hendricks. He lost his only start at Del Mar, finishing third to Bro Lo and Moonlite Romance in last year's I'm Smokin for 2-year-old Cal-breds.
He went from there to win the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita and finish fourth in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) before capturing the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) to close out his freshman season and begin a string of four straight victories, including the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). He finished in a dead heat for fourth in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with eventual Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Jazil and was fourth in the Preakness (gr. I. Brother Derek has $1,302,080 in career earnings.
Bob and John, trained by Bob Baffert, went into the Kentucky Derby from a victory in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) over a sloppy Aqueduct track but finished 17th at Churchill Downs. After skipping the Preakness Stakes, Bob and John finished eighth in the Belmont Stakes.
Joining that pair in the gate will be the stakes winning Da Stoops, another Baffert trainee who has shown his talent mostly in sprints, Mr. Katz and Cindago.$100,000 El Cajon Stakes (Race 4, 3:30 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 Mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Da Stoops (CA), 123, Jon K. Court
2. Bob and John (KY), 123, Victor Espinoza
3. Mr. Katz (KY), 121, Isaias D. Enriquez
4. Cindago (KY), 117, Corey S. Nakatani
5. Brother Derek (CA), 123, Alex O. Solis