HERBIE D PLAYS ‘CATCH ME IF YOU CAN’ – IN WINNING $50,000 JOHN LONGDEN 6000 – Evelyn’s Dancer Captures $50,000 Strawberry Morn

May 22, 2013

Vancouver, B.C. (May 20/13) – Herbie D owner and breeder George Robbins refers to his 2012 champion sprinter as “just a little horse out of Cobble Hill”.  After winning the $50,000 John Longden 6000 at Hastings Racecourse Monday afternoon, Mr. Robbins might want to rephrase that description to “just a little horse with a big heart”.

Herbie D, trained by Rob Gilker and ridden by Amadeo Perez, had no intention of giving up his lead to a challenging Shrug and pulled away in the stretch to win the 6½ furlong sprint for 3-year-olds & up  in a final time of 1:15.21, threatening the track record of 1:15.

“Speed and stamina seem to be his trademarks,” Gilker said of 5-year-old Herbie D, who has won seven out of nine career starts.   “He’s just a wonderful horse who does his job to perfection.”

Herbie D. finished 1¾ lengths in front of Shrug and paid $5.10, $3.00 and $2.30. Senor Rojo was third in the five-horse field with the two Troy Taylor-trained campaigners – Commander and Devil in Disguise – running fourth and fifth, respectively.

Taylor was much more pleased with the results of the $50,000 Strawberry Morn for fillies and mares when Evelyn’s Dancer went gate-to-wire to win for a sixth time in seven races at Hastings.

Arch-rival Overvalued, who finished second to Evelyn’s Dancer in the Brighouse Belles on April 27, was runner-up again Monday by a half-length.  The final winning time over the 6½ furlongs was 1:16:25 with the heavily favoured Evelyn’s Dancer paying $2.90, $2.10 and $2.10.

“I just let her get comfortable and do her thing,” jockey Aaron Gryder said in the winner’s circle. “She’s tough when other horses come at her.”

NOTES AT THE WIRE:  Gryder traveled to Emerald Downs for owner Glen Todd Sunday and won the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap aboard Hoist. Trained by Mike Puhich, Hoist scored a one-length victory over second-place 40-1 finisher Stryker Phd.  Hoist won the 6½ furlongs in 1:14.78 and paid $8.40, $5.40 and $4.80 … Veteran Hastings jockey Dave Wilson remains in Vancouver General Hospital after suffering a separated shoulder and concussion following a spill in Sunday’s first race … Pedro Alvarado, a fan favourite as a jockey for several years at Hastings before retiring at the close of the 2012 season, drew huge applause in his return to the winner’s circle Monday in his new role as a trainer.  Alvarado’s Yes He’s Trouble won the fifth race with Antonio Reyes in the irons.

Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager, BC Racing and GM at Hastings, said the Holiday Monday celebrating Victoria Day in British Columbia resulted in the biggest day at the mutuels so far this year.  “The ontrack handle was up 33 per cent,” Mutti reported. “Overall, we were up 25%.”

Racing resumes at Hastings next Saturday and Sunday with the regular start times of 1:50 p.m.

For further information:  Raj Mutti 604.216.5245