Zakaroff Posts 48-1 Upset In El Camino Real Derby

Zakaroff wins the El Camino Real Derby.

Antone Metaxas’ Zakaroff posted a surprise victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, striking the wire first at odds of 48-1. Ridden by Kyle Frey, the sophomore son of Slew’s Tiznow rode the rail through the turn, angled out and collared the favored Ann Arbor Eddie to win by a half-length. Trained by Steven Specht, Zakaroff covered nine furlongs over the fast Tapeta in 1:51.34 to earn 10 points toward a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. The gelding is not nominated to the Triple Crown.

Tribal Storm and Ann Arbor Eddie vied for the lead in the early going, with Ann Arbor Eddie taking over through the turn as Tribal Storm was a bit green. As he straightened out, Tribal Storm took his lead back and marked the first quarter in :23.95. Meanwhile, Zakaroff was tucked in along the rail in fourth, just in front of Kona Dreams, waiting patiently under Frey. After a half in :49.03, Kona Dreams moved up into second, prompting the pace as Ann Arbor Eddie had to take back a bit on the rail.

Zakaroff was shuffled back a bit, but Frey didn’t panic. Around the far turn, Ann Arbor Eddie joined Tribal Storm on the lead as Zakaroff moved up the rail into fifth, only two lengths off the lead. Turning for home, Ann Arbor Eddie had a clear lead, but raced erratically, bouncing off Tribal Storm. Zakaroff was making his move as Frey angled him to the center of the stretch, and as soon as the gelding found clear running room he showed a solid turn of foot to run down the leading Ann Arbor Eddie, besting him by a half-length on the wire. More Power To Him closed to finish third, and Tribal Storm hung around for fourth.

A stewards’ inquiry after the race resulted in the disqualification of Ann Arbor Eddie from second to fourth, leaving the order of finish as follows: Zakaroff, More Power To Him, Tribal Storm, and Ann Arbor Eddie.

Bred in Kentucky by Eagle Ridge Racing, Zakaroff was a $25,000 Barretts yearling purchase. The El Camino Real is just his second career win from six starts, boosting the gelding’s career earnings to just under $150,000.

Watch the race replay here:

— by The Paulick Report and published on

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