Vancouver, B.C. (Sept. 19/16) – Dressed for the occasion, everything went according to plan for trainer Phil Hall at Hastings Racecourse Sunday afternoon.
Decked out in a dark suit, matching tie and crisp white shirt, Hall stood tall in the winner’s circle following Spirit Bay’s impressive victory in the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity for 2-year-old fillies bred in Canada.
Hall related later that he was wearing his Hall of Fame father’s necktie for the first time since the passing of Robert (Bobby) Hall in July, 2015. Phil’s dad was best known in thoroughbred racing circles as owner and trainer of the great George Royal, inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1976.
Jockey Denis Araujo contributed in no small way to Spirit Bay’s first stakes victory by assuming command entering the stretch and surviving a late rally by Anstrum. Spirit Bay won by a half-length in a final time of 1:18.93.
It was Araujo’s third win of the afternoon and came close to being his fourth after finishing second to Kermode in the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity for 2-year-old Canadian-bred colts and geldings.
Kermode, trained by Pat Jarvis and ridden by Amadeo Perez, beat Araujo and Strate Remark by two-and-a-half lengths in a final time of 1:18.69.
Dr. Bryan Anderson, a part-owner of Kermode Stable along with his wife Carol, credited Perez with providing “a great ride coming from off the pace”.
Leading jockey Richard Hamel, with a victory aboard Slicky Boy in the fourth race, now has 63 wins on the season for a commanding lead over Antonio Reyes with 49. Hamel is just two shy of 1,500 career wins, a challenge he hopes to conquer when racing resumes at Hastings Racecourse Saturday and Sunday, both with 1:50 p.m. starts.
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