Vancouver, B.C. (June 8/14) – Leading rider Richard Hamel solidified his hold on first place in the Hastings Racecourse jockey standings with a pair of weekend stakes victories for trainer Craig MacPherson.

Hamel rode Miss Derek to an impressive 5 ½-length win in Sunday’s $50,000 Vancouver Sun Handicap on the heels of guiding Koffee Grinder to victory in Saturday’s $50,000 River Rock Casino by a head over co-favourite Aspen Getaway. Hamel leads the jockey standings with 21 wins on the season.

Both Hamel and MacPherson acknowledged that Miss Derek “has a mind of her own” and were pleased with Sunday’s disciplined performance for owners Copper Water Thoroughbred Company. “She broke alertly and responded to my every asking,” Hamel said.

Miss Derek paid $8.30, $5.10, $4.00 and finished the mile and sixteenth challenge in a final time of 1:44.20.

Title Contender with Rico Walcott in the irons won Sunday’s $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill as the heavy favourite, paying $3.40 to win. Walcott, the leading jockey at Northlands Park in Edmonton, had three winners on Sunday’s card. “When I asked him (Title Contender) for more, he responded well,” Walcott said. “He’s a hard horse to rate but today he relaxed and it all worked out.”

Title Contender finished the mile and sixteen in a final time of 1:43.71.

Also Saturday, Ole’s Miss with Amadeo Perez up for trainer Tracey McCarthy and owner Canmor Farms took the $50,000 Emerald Downs by a nose over Dawelona in the event for 3-year-old fillies.

Racing resumes at Hastings Racecourse Saturday and Sunday with 1:50 p.m. starts.