ALBANY -- Dice Flavor, making his stakes debut, rallied from eighth in a field of nine to win the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby by 33/4 lengths Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., Dice Flavor charged through an opening in midstretch and went on to win the 11/8-mile test for 3-year-olds in 1:51.45.

Dismissed at odds of 9-to-1, Dice Flavor paid $21 to win.

Nina's Dragon, a 13-1 shot ridden by Julien Couton, took second by three-quarters of a length over 25-1 Counting Days and jockey Dennis Carr. The $1 trifecta paid $1,068.90.

The top three betting choices -- Manando (2-1), Carving (5-2) and Zeewat (5-2) -- placed last, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Dice Flavor is not yet nominated to the Triple Crown, but trainer Paddy Gallagher and owners Oda Racing Stables and US Equine have until March 23 to decide if they want to pay the late nomination fee of $6,000 to make the horse Triple Crown eligible.

Gallagher, who is based in Southern California and didn't make it to Golden Gate Fields because of a fever, said he'll meet with Dice Flavor's owners to discuss the horse's next start.

Purchased as a 2-year-old for $100,000, Dice Flavor has earned $160,500 in five races, including $120,000 on Saturday.

"He made up a lot of ground and made the lead easily" said Valdivia, who has ridden Dice Flavor in all five of his races.



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