OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Michael McCarthy said he is opting towards staying in southern California with John and Diane Fradkin’s Rombauer, who was under consideration for the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World casino on April 3.
Currently at No. 17 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, Rombauer was a close second in last year’s Grade 1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita where he earned four Kentucky Derby qualifying points. He picked up ten more qualifying points with a last out victory in the El Camino Real Derby on February 13 over the Golden Gate Fields synthetic.
The defection of unbeaten Kentucky Derby trail standout Life Is Good made the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, held on the same day as the Wood Memorial, a more viable option for the son of Twirling Candy.
“I’d say the Wood is a second choice,” McCarthy said. “We’re just going to monitor what’s happening out here. Both races are in play but I’m leaning more toward staying out here.”
A debut winner on turf and a stakes winner on synthetic, Rombauer is still in search of his first career victory on dirt. He worked five-eighths in 59.20 Saturday on the Santa Anita main track.
Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Rombauer is out of the Cowboy Cal mare Cashmere – a half-sister to multiple stakes-winning millionaire California Flag and California-bred champion Cambiocorsa.
Aqueduct Stable Notes
Photo: Rombauer defeats Javanica in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. (Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography)