HorseRacing Central – Friday, July 5th, 2013


For the past six years Troy Taylor has been saluted as Leading Trainer at the Annual Thoroughbred Awards Dinner.

With 22 wins after 81 starts this season, it might seem that the 81-year-old elder statesman of the backstretch at Hastings Racecourse is headed for a seventh consecutive title.

But Taylor has been around long enough to remember what baseball legend Satchel Paige once said:  “Don’t look back.  Something might be gaining on you.”

Trainers Dino Condilenios (17) and Craig MacPherson (16) are also in double figures in wins this year at Hastings and each of them kept pace with impressive $50,000 stakes victories on Canada Day.

Condilenios won the Chris Loseth with Shooting Jacket while MacPherson hit the winner’s circle with Miss Derek in the Supernaturel.  Mind you, the wily veteran Taylor had set the standard earlier in the holiday card when Evelyn’s Dancer won the Monashee.


Amadeo Perez rode Herbie D to victory for trainer Rob Gilker in the Lt. Governors’ Handicap, the fourth $50,000 stakes on the Canada Day card.  It was one of three wins for Perez (Tally Stick and El Capone) to lift him into second place (28 wins) in the Leading Jockeys standings. Aaron Gryder maintained his lead (29 wins) when he rode Evelyn’s Dancer in the Monashee.  Frank Fuentes (26 wins) holds onto third place in the standings.


The trainers and jockeys rivalries resume Saturday and Sunday at Hastings Racecourse with 1:50 p.m. starts. Showcasing Saturday’s seven-race card will be a maiden special weight for 2-year-olds that has drawn seven horses and goes as the sixth race. The three leading trainers all have contenders in this one with Lord Gallovic (Taylor) listed on the morning line at 5-2, Andallthatitmeans (MacPherson) at 3-1 and Goliath (Condilenios) at 9-2.  Sunday’s feature is the seventh race  – a $25,000 claimer for 3-year-olds and up that includes former stakes winner Crew Leader as the 2-1 morning  line favourite.


Former Exhibition Park (now Hastings Racecourse) General Manager Merv Peters will decorate the winner of the seventh race Sunday as part of the ongoing salute to B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame members.  Mr. Peters is also a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

He was a pioneer in the industry in many ways, having worked as the racing writer and sports editor of The Vancouver Sun before becoming an associate steward with the newly formed B.C. Jockey Club in 1961.  He was elevated to presiding steward and then Director of Racing before taking over as GM in 1975.

Mr. Peters remains a constant supporter of racing with frequent visits to Hastings Racecourse.  He will celebrate his 82nd birthday in August.


Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and Game On Dude will be going for five consecutive stakes victories in Saturday’s $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park.  Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude is the defending champion of the Gold Cup and if he wins Saturday would become the first repeat winner since Lava Man won the last of his three Gold Cups in 2007.  Saturday’s feature goes at 5:10 p.m. PST.  At Belmont on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. is the $350,000 Suburban Handicap with a field of five older horses going a mile and an eighth.
Sunday’s agenda includes the 154th running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine at 2:38 p.m. PST.  It will be shown on the giant infield screen at Hastings between live races 2 & 3.  A field of 12 at a mile and a quarter has Up With the Birds (Eurico Rosa da Silva) the morning line favourite at 2-1