HorseRacing Central – Friday, September 6th, 2013
10-RACE CARD SET FOR BC DERBY DAY CELEBRATIONS
With more than $550,000 in total purse money on the line, the 68th running of the $150,000 BC Derby for 3-year-olds highlights Sunday’s 10-race card with an early start of 12:50 p.m. because of all the festivities surrounding the biggest and richest day of the year at Hastings Racecourse.
Leading trainer Craig MacPherson acknowledges Sunday could be a historic career afternoon. Rarely does a trainer hit the BC Derby winner’s circle in back-to-back years and MacPherson was in that precise location with Second City last year.
MacPherson sends out the top two Derby favourites Sunday when he saddles Reporting Star (5-2) and Bluegrass Pride (7-2). Reporting Star (Enrique Gonzalez) makes his Hastings debut after finishing a promising second to Broadway Empire in the $200,000 Canadian Derby three weeks ago in Edmonton. Bluegrass Pride (Richard Hamel) won the $50,000 Richmond Derby Trial on Aug. 18.
There promises to be a lot of speed in Sunday’s feature with the 10-horse field including trainer Dino Condilenios’ Shooting Jacket (Scott Williams) and Modern (Frank Fuentes), as well as trainer Carl Lausten’s Hopeseeker (Antonio Reyes) and Mario Gutierrez riding Tracker for trainer Barb Heads.
OWNER CHAD JOE HAS FAVOURITES IN DERBY & OAKS
With Reporting Star’s expectations so high in the BC Derby, owner Chad Joe will be just as pumped with the prospects of his top 3-year-old filly Miss Derek (Enrique Gonzalez) winning the BC Oaks. Not since 1969 has an owner swept both … Canadian businessman Frank McMahon won the Derby with Essence of Time and the Oaks with Dorothy Glynn 44 years ago. “I was two-years-old at the time,” says Joe. “Ask me if I’m not excited? I know this: I won’t be getting a lot of sleep Saturday night.”
SUPER MARIO RETURNS TO RIDE SIX MOUNTS SUNDAY
Mario Gutierrez has flown to Vancouver from southern California to ride six horses on BC Derby Day and he’ll be spreading his talent around with mounts for five different trainers. Barb Heads has Mario with Tracker in the Derby and Vinoterra in the Delta Colleen. He rides Mr. Bowling for Troy Taylor in the S.W. Randall Plate; Habida for Pat Jarvis in the Sadie Diamond Futurity; Brother Chuncky for Lenore Dubois in the Jack Diamond Futurity and Tempered Steel for Brian O’Connell in the BC Oaks.
Gutierrez will be riding at Hastings Racecourse over the next three weeks prior to the opening of the Santa Anita season on Sept. 27.
HALL OF FAME GUEST SUNDAY: BRIAN JOHNSON
Brian Johnson, inducted in 2003, is the next B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame member to be saluted in the ongoing series of past racing heroes at Hastings. Sunday’s second race has been designated the Brian Johnson Hall of Fame Purse. A native of Kamloops, Johnson began his riding career at Hastings as an 18-year-old in 1974 and went on to win consecutive leading jockey titles in 1986-87-88. He finished his illustrious career with 2,366 wins and has been successfully employed by Sutton Realty for the past 16 years.
SERENDIPITY GROVE COULD PUT SPEED TO GOOD USE
Saturday’s seven-race card at Hastings (1:50 p.m.) features a $17,500 claimer for 3-year-olds with four-time winner Serendipity Grove (Scott Williams) obviously in the groove for trainer Jim Brown.
FRASER DOWNS GOES FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Standardbred action continues at Fraser Downs Race Track & Casino Friday and Saturday with 7:00 p.m. starts.