June 22, 2024

Chase the Chaos big late in El Camino Real Derby

Chase the Chaos captures the El Camino Real Derby with an exultant Armando Ayuso (Photo by Vassar Photography)

Chase the Chaos angled out for clear sailing in upper stretch and rolled past rivals in the final furlong of Saturday’s $101,350 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, scoring by 1 1/2 lengths in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier.

Armando Ayuso was up for trainer Ed Moger Jr. on the fast-closing, Pennsylvania-bred son of Astern, and Chase the Chaos guaranteed himself a spot in the May 20 Preakness (G1) by taking the “Win & You’re In” event. However, owners Bill Dory and Adam Ference will need to pay a $6,000 late nomination fee by March 27 to make Chase the Chaos eligible for Triple Crown races.

Chase the Chaos broke his maiden on Canterbury’s turf the second time out last September and followed with a third in the Golden Nugget S. and a runner-up in the Gold Rush S. at Golden Gate. The bay gelding was exiting a 7 1/2-length allowance romp over the Tapeta on Dec. 30., and Chase the Chaos turned 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.68 in the El Camino Real Derby.

He was off as the 4.20-1 third choice among eight runners. Gilmore, the 9-5 favorite following a four-length maiden win at Los Alamitos in mid-December, offered a solid late run up the inside to be a non-threatening second, a length better than 9-2 Harcyn, who took a clear lead between calls in the stretch before giving way late.

Passarando and Nullarbor came next in fourth and fifth. Gilmore and Nullarbor aren’t eligible to receive Kentucky Derby qualifying points since trainer Bob Baffert is suspended by Churchill Downs Inc., and Harcyn and Passarando will need to be supplemented to the Triple Crown to receive their Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

Sea Dog, In Honor of Autism, and Happy Does completed the order of finish.

Bred by Mr. and Mrs. Dale N. Krapf, Chase the Chaos sold for $10,000 as a weanling at the 2020 Keeneland November sale. He’s the first stakes winner from the Uncle Mo mare Live the Moment.

All three career wins have come on synthetic or turf, and Chase the Chaos doesn’t have to switch to dirt to guarantee a spot in the Kentucky Derby field. The Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on March 25, a major qualifier awarding points on a 100-40-30-20-10 scale over Turfway Park’s Tapeta, will be an option for the confirmed closer.