HorseRacing Central – Friday, August 16th, 2013
HASTINGS HORSES HERE, THERE & EVERYWHERE
If all goes according to plan, live racing at Hastings Racecourse will fill the calendar with five dates over the next eight days with four of those landing on Fair at the PNE dates. And just to add to the excitement, several Hastings horses will be running at major stakes races this weekend at Northlands Park and Emerald Downs.
The Hastings trek of five racing dates in eight days begins tonight with Friday Night Live at 7:00 p.m., regular 1:50 p.m. starts Saturday and Sunday, then Wednesday at 1:50 p.m. on Aug. 21 and Friday at 7:00 p.m. on Aug.23. Dates of the 2013 Fair at the PNE are Aug. 17 – Sept. 2.
Saturday’s feature at Hastings will be a six and a half furlong sprint for fillies and mares in a first-level allowance race while Sunday the co-features are the $50,000 Derby Trial for 3-year-olds and $50,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club for 3-year-old fillies, both of them major preps for BC Derby/Oaks Day on Sunday, Sept. 8.
CANADIAN DERBY AT NORTHLANDS SATURDAY
Veteran analysts are suggesting the 84th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Saturday (4:45 p.m.) will showcase one of the toughest fields in recent memory.
The likely favourite is trainer Robertino Diodoro’s Broadway Empire who is coming off a big win in the $50,000 Ky Alta Handicap. Veteran jockey Rico Walcott rides Broadway Empire who drew post 11 in the 12-horse field going 1 3/8 miles.
Aaron Gryder and trainer Dennis Terry team up with Success Rate, who drew post 8 for Glen Todd’s North American Thoroughbred Horse Company (NATHC) as Todd continues to chase his dream of winning the richest race in Western Canada. He has finished second on three occasions, most recently with Texas Wildcatter in 2008.
Hastings’ trainers Dino Condilenios (Shooting Jacket) and Craig MacPherson (Reporting Star) head into the Canadian Derby with respected contenders. Shooting Jacket, who will be ridden by Scott Williams, won the $50,000 Chris Loseth at Hastings on July 1. Reporting Star is the latest acquisition of new horse owner Chad Joe, who made the purchase after a second-place finish in the $63,000 Jersey Derby on July 20. Reporting Star finished second to Verrazano in the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth on June 16. Richard Hamel gets the ride Saturday. Reporting Star and Peter Redekop’s Title Contender, trained by Anita Bolton, arrived on the same airplane from Toronto in good shape. Title Contender is coming off a win in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby.
WESTERNER HANDICAP & DISTAFF
Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. and Condilenios have two-time Hastings stakes winner Shrug entered in the $50,000 Westerner at Northlands Saturday (3:22 p.m.) with Williams getting the ride. The Todd-Terry-Gryder trio hopes Commander will be able to defend his 2012 Westerner title. The 1 1/16 miles race for 3-year-olds and up drew a solid field of seven and it is expected Commander, who drew the rail, will be prominent right from the start.
The $75,000 Edmonton Distaff Handicap drew a short field of five fillies and mares and Saturday Nite Ride, trained by Terry and ridden by Gryder, will be the favourite. Gosailgo and Dashing Daisy add a Vancouver flavour to the Distaff. Dashing Daisy won the $50,000 BC Cup Distaff on Aug. 5 while Gosailgo won the Boeing Handicap two starts back. Madeira Park, trained by Dave Forster, is the second favourite 5-2.
HERBIE D A THREAT IN SUNDAY’S LONGACRES MILE
The 78th running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile Sunday (5:32 p.m.) has Eastern invader Politcallycorrect (7-2) and four-time Hastings stakes winner Herbie D (4-1) listed as the major threats in a 12-horse field. Trainer Rob Gilker has Amadeo Perez in the irons for Herbie D while another Hastings contender – Hoist – owned by Glen Todd and trained by Mike Puhich will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez, who won last year on Taylor Said. Puhich and Todd also have Mr. Bowling (6-1) entered with veteran Aaron Gryder up.
The two most accomplished fillies and mares in the Pacific Northwest square off in Sunday’s $65,000 Emerald Distaff (4:24 p.m.) when the pride of Hastings Racecourse – Evelyn’s Dancer – faces the queen of Emerald Downs – Exclusive Diva.
Evelyn’s Dancer has reeled off seven stakes wins the last two years at Hastings. Exclusive Diva is 7-4-1 in 12 career starts. Another Vancouver horse – Wando Woman trained by Cindy Krasner – will also be part of the stakes action