Tree of Life Heads to Golden Gate for Cal Derby
WPT 3-year-old Tree of Life looks for his second stakes win in Saturday’s California Derby at Golden Gate Fields. Trained by Craig Dollase, Tree of Life won his first two starts as a 2-year-old over the summer, a maiden special weight on the synthetic at Del Mar, and the Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Fairplex.
He had a wide trip in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, and was steadied early in his last start, the Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park. He comes into the race off a bullet six furlong workout at Hollywood park on January 4. .
“His last two races don’t look that good initially on paper, but he ran pretty solid Beyers and Rag Numbers,” said Terry Finley. “I think they were better efforts then a lot of people give him credit for. Craig (Dollase) and I took a hard look at the Sham, but figured this horse would be a better fit for the Cal Derby. He ran very well at Del Mar this surface, and the Golden Gate surface is pretty similar.”
“This horse has always been a little bit of a goofball around the barn,” said Craig Dollase. “He’s been much more focused since we gelded him and added blinkers.”
It’s a pretty evenly matched field of sophomores. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee Zeewat figures to be the top betting choice.
Second leading rider Dennis Carr has the mount on Tree of Life. Post time for the California Derby is 2:15 PT/5:15 ET.
Best of luck to all his Partners!