Vancouver, B.C. (May 14/17) – Trainer Dino Condilenios was dressed to the nines on Mother’s Day in a dark blue suit and crisp blue-on-white button-down shirt.
After winning three races Sunday at Hastings Racecourse including the $50,000 George Royal with Modern for a third consecutive year, he says he’s thinking about making it his normal attire for the balance of the 2017 season.
“I never considered it a lucky suit but I’m starting to wonder,” Condilenios said in the winner’s circle celebrating the George Royal victory with owners Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. “I think we’ve won five of the last six George Royal stakes.”
Close enough: it is actually five of the last seven dating back to 2010. As in the past two years, jockey Richard Hamel was in the irons for Modern’s victory Sunday in a final time of 1:16.79 over 6 ½ furlongs on a track rated sloppy. Modern paid $4.20, $3.00 and $2.20.
“Our plan was to go to the lead because he loves to be out in front,” Hamel said. “I wasn’t worried at any time.”
The Condilenios/Swift Thoroughbreds combination also struck pay dirt with Salzburg in the fifth and Silvertown in the seventh. They were bookend victories for Modern in the sixth race on the Mother’s Day card.
Snuggles, the 2016 Horse of the Year in B.C. under Condilenios and Swift after winning five stakes in six starts, didn’t live up to her billing as co-favourite in Saturday’s $50,000 Vancouver Sun Handicap for fillies and mares 3-years-old & up. Dear Lilly trained by Sandi Gann, ridden by David Lopez and owned by Mark DeDomenico and Glen Todd’s North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, held off a charging Touching Promise to win the Vancouver Sun in a final time of 1:17.49 over a track rated muddy. Dear Lilly paid $5.50, $3.60 and $2.70.
Live racing resumes at Hastings next Saturday with the second leg of the Triple Crown – the 142nd running of the Preakness which will be shown on the jumbo screen at Hastings from Pimlico, Baltimore. The first Holiday Monday card goes on Victoria Day (May 22) with two 3-year-old $50,000 stakes: the Jim Coleman Province and the Ross McLeod. There will no Sunday racing next weekend.

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Darren MacDonald