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Features - RACING

Photo courtesy Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography

By Mike Curry, America’s Best Racing

Dice Flavor made his stakes debut a memorable one on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields, where he powered to the lead in early stretch and drove to a dominant victory.

Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr. for trainer Patrick Gallagher, Dice Flavor overhauled Counting Days and fading Wildcat Moon and pulled away to prevail by 3 ¾ lengths.

The chestnut colt by Scat Daddy, winner of the 2007 Florida Derby (G1), came into the El Camino Real Derby off a third-place finish in a one-mile turf race at Santa Anita Park. In fact, his previous four races all came on grass, including a win at Betfair Hollywood Park in December.

The El Camino Real Derby is Northern California’s signature prep race for the Kentucky Derby and was a points race in the new points system.

The switch to the synthetic surface at Golden Gate seemed to suit Dice Flavor just fine. He rallied from eighth in the nine-horse field and completed the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:51.45 to earn the $120,000 winner’s share of the $200,000 purse as well as 10 Kentucky Derby points.

For an explanation of the Kentucky Derby points system and to follow all of the action on the 2013 Triple Crown Trail, click here.

Nina’s Dragon rallied to collar Counting Days for second. Carving, who is owned by a partnership that includes Olympic champion skier Bode Miller and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, was fourth.

Gallagher trains Dice Flavor for owners Oda Racing Stable and U.S. Equine.  Dice Flavor is a half brother to stakes winners Carolina Sky and Swift Warrior, the latter a multiple graded stakes winner on grass. He is from the family of Canadian champions Sky Classic, Regal Classic, Grey Classic and Classy ’n Smart

A $2 win ticket on Dice Flavor returned $21.

For an Equibase chart, click here.

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