San Francisco the scene, Golden Gate the place with the California Derby featuring an eight-horse field.
Choo Choo has started five times with one win and two thirds. Synthetic debut for the son of the English Channel who was a turf pro back when he was racing. Most recent effort on the turf was a close third to impressive turf winner Publius Syrus. The best shot may have been a Delmar win on the lawn. He has tactical speed to lay close, expect him to be 4-5 lengths off the leader and make his move going into the turn. Best chance is to get some cover and make and fan out into the stretch may have the fastest gear late.
Campaigner has speed and shippers from Southern California have done well in this race over the years. I like the speed and synthetic form on both the sire and mare side. He ran evenly from off the pace in the King Glorious. Faces open company in this spot, but can see him working out a trip close to the lead or close to the speed. Longshot has a chance if he can improve from off the pace, like his chances and think he can improve on the synthetic surface.
Kylemore fast wins at Old Delmar this summer and lost by a nose over this surface in a most recent race. Draws the rail and has a solid five-furlong workout on January 15th. California Derby will be the second race of his current form cycle and fifth race of his career; he could be ready for a slight improvement in his speed figures.
Choo Choo 5/2
Choo Choo is the top selection his tactical speed should get first run on the deep closers. A straight exacta with Campaigner could have some upside.