Sunday, June 16th Hastings preview
The weekend of racing concludes with an excellent eight race program that features six older colts and geldings in the John Longden 6000 at a mile and a sixteenth. The race named in honour of the Hall-of-Fame jockey Johnny Longden who became the first rider to win 6,000 races and he did it at our Hastings oval aboard Prince Scorpion on August 18th, 1965. His resume also includes winning the Triple Crown on Count Fleet in 1943 and proceeded to become the world’s winning rider in 1956 when he piloted win number 4,871 surpassing British jockey Sir Gordon Richards. Before his amazing career came to an end in 1966 he had amassed a total of 6,032 victories including the 1966 San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita aboard George Royal, whose statue currently resides in the middle of the Hastings paddock, and was partly owned and trained by Bobby Hall father of the current leading trainer Phil Hall.
The competitors for the Longden blanket and the $50,000 purse include Russ and Lois Bennett’s LUCKY ENDING who was a fast closing second in quick six and a half furlong heat three weeks back. He is a much better distance horse but still has to prove himself with stakes company. He will get the services of Scott Williams again for trainer Barbara Heads.
Peter Redekop’s APALACHEE BAY has been stakes placed in both of his starts since returning to Vancouver from California. His better races have been sprinting but he has shown a lot of ability when the fractions are kind to him at this mile and a sixteenth trip. He should get to set the pace and control a comfortable tempo which will give him every opportunity to claim the top prize. Amadeo Perez is aboard for trainer Phil Hall.
Gord Christoff’s BRAVE NATION returns to Hastings after a game score at Golden Gate in an allowance race late last month. He is an impressive looking colt by Pioneerof The Nile that has trained smartly since arriving back in the John Snow barn and may be one that can stay close to what should be a very slow early pace in the Longden. Richard Hamel will throw his leg over him for the first time as he looks to sweep the weekend stakes action after winning the Strawberry Morn yesterday on the favored HERE’S HANNAH.
Marcia Dawn Bower and the NATHC’s PITCH COUNT will be making his Hastings debut after being claimed for $50,000 out of the Robertino Diodoro barn at Oaklawn Park in April. He looks to be a distance specialist and if his lofty Beyer numbers (last three are 88, 89 and 88) are true then he has a big chance to win the money. He does have the ability to stay close if the pace is slow which will give him a huge shot. Denny Velazquez rides for trainer Glen Todd.
Kim Peacock and Lance Giesbrecht’s CALGARY CAPER showed a ton of life in the stretch in his last sprint closing up strongly to get the runner-up spot at the abbreviated distance of six and a half furlongs. He is definitely at home at this longer trip but he will still need a little pace help if he is to break through with his first visit to the winners circle in 2019. He is always dangerous. Enrique Gonzalez is back in the tack for Phil Hall.
Don Danard and Mel Snow’s DRILLER was a game second in the $50,000 George Royal last time out. He was bounced around out of the gate but still managed to make a threatening move on the stretch turn and eventually rally into the second spot. He was giving away a lot of weight to his rivals last time but the things are far more even in that department this time. He is a versatile type which should help him in this race that does not feature much early interest. He is a major player and will be ridden again by Antonio Reyes.
There is a guaranteed late Pick 4 pool of $10,000 which starts in race five at approximately 3:50 p.m.
Racing resumes next Saturday and Sunday… Happy Father’s Day and Good luck everyone.
Hannah stamps her class on Strawberry Morn
Hastings round-up by Nigel Reid
Some days at the track are more informative than others, but the headline story from Saturday’s eight-race card at Hastings confirmed something most Vancouver race fans already knew – Here’s Hannah, we were reminded, is a really, really good filly.
Not that we needed much reminding. The pugnacious daughter of Numaany has nothing left to prove. And, despite carrying a little more weight than her burden a few weeks ago in The Vancouver Sun Stakes, the result this time, over the Strawberry Morn’s eight-and-a-half furlongs, was exactly the same: a two-and-a-half length victory.
At first glance, rider Richard Hamel and Here’s Hannah appeared not to have things as much their own way as usual. The pair was taken on early by Oxhilirating and Romario Saunders in a duel that initially looked as though it would do neither of them any good.
It was little more than a skirmish, however, and there may even been a little bit of rope-a-dope from the wily Hamel. Yes, he needed to ask her, but the fractions were perfectly manageable and the dynamic duo had enough in reserve to be driven out to another convincing win.
Hamel, who sneaked a peak over his left shoulder as they turned into the home straight, confirmed as much when talking after the race.
“We weren’t going too quickly,” he said. “I could have let her go, and she didn’t really enjoy the other horse, but I was always happy with how we were going.”
Any fears that the race may have come too quickly after just the one sprint were shrugged off by the filly’s trainer, John Morrison, who explained that the four-year-old holds nothing back in training.
“She trains really well and always gives 110% in the mornings, so I wasn’t concerned,” he said.
Hamel even had time to mug for the cameras as he crossed the line, and well he might. Watching her perform at Hastings is exhilarating enough from the rail; it must be quite the view from her back.
If Hamel had needed a confidence boost before the Strawberry Morn, he received it in spades when partnering the Glen Todd-trained He’s The Reason to land the fourth, a $35,000 claimer, by a comfy three-and-a-half lengths.
The result, which was a welcome return to form for Todd’s North American Thoroughbred Horse Company after a relatively quiet couple of weeks, proved to be a winning Exacta for the barn as the “first string”, Proof It, ridden by retained jockey Denny Velazquez, finished second.
Todd was not done, either. Just 25 minutes later he saddled Northern Graystar to take the six-and-a-half furlong maiden optional claimer contest in the style of a smart horse under jockey Scott Williams.
Northern Graystar topped the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS) sale back in 2017 when Todd went to $100,000 for the daughter of the successful sire Graydar. On Saturday, she finally delivered on some of that price promise by seeing off the odds-on favourite Warrior’s Promise by more than four long-looking lengths in an impressive time that was, by some way, the quickest of the afternoon at that distance.
The Hastings Racing Club’s valiant filly Warrior’s Promise ran her usual game race, running on well without ever looking like she would land a blow on the winner. She ran to her form but looks, not for the first time, to have bumped into a top-notch filly.
Another equine athlete who delivered on promise was the Steve Henson-trained juvenile, Yo Zackly. Closing from some way back on his debut to finish third behind the impressive Capilano Canyon, the son of first-season BC sire Lent broke like a veteran here under rider Alex Marti and blasted home by six-and-a-half lengths from the normally “difficult” inside gate.
The win by Pocket Aces Racing Stables’ youngster confirmed the impression the compact gelding made on his debut and Saturday’s Maiden Special Weight certainly franks the form displayed by Capilano Canyon in a similar event two weeks ago.
For Marti, Yo Zackly was the first of a double on the day, which he completed aboard the Pat Jarvis-trained Genoa Bay. Marti was required to do more than just steer and hold on this time, however, and was seen to great effect, cajoling and encouraging the three-year-old for much of the $4,000 claiming event over six-and-a-half furlongs.
Genoa Bay, who wears the scars of an accident he suffered as a foal like a proud veteran hockey player, seemed to lose concentration after being in front for some time but, despite lugging out at the two-furlong marker, the James Eccott owned/bred and Jarvis-owned son of Cause To Believe rallied well once he saw another horse challenge on his outside and appeared to be good value for his neck win over I Kissed Ivy. The pair was more than seven lengths clear of the third.
Leading rider Amadeo Perez was another with a double on the day, landing the first two events of the afternoon.
The first came in good style aboard Tracy McCarthy and Canmor Farms’ Tricky Notice, closing three wide down the homestretch to beat the excellently named Bowchickawowwow by a deceptive neck for trainer Mark Cloutier.
Perez followed up in the very next contest aboard the John Snow-bred, trained and co-owned Indie Rock in a $12,500 waiver-claiming event. It seemed inconceivable that the five-year-old daughter of Second In Command might survive the punishing early fractions under Perez (21:94, 45:22), but the plan worked perfectly, and Perez soon had the entire field strung out in single file like a platoon returning from a long march.
Owned in part by High Stakes Thoroughbreds, Indie Rock had the race won some way out, despite an understandable slow-down in the home stretch.
The runner-up Bear deserves a mention. She wasn’t able to live with the early onslaught but closed rapidly from a long way back to take second.
The nightcap was won by Ken and Sharon Johnson’s Classic Statement for the in-form trainer and rider team of Keith Pedersen and Antonio Reyes.
Ridden in typically calm and confident style, Reyes took control of the race at the top of the stretch, drawing clear for a welcome win for a highly consistent mare who had filled the runner-up spot in her four previous races.
The sunshine brought out another healthy crowd of revelers, further enticed by Hastings’ special “Country Day” – which helped explain the dramatic increase in plaid shirts on view, as well as an on-track handle that, at just shy of $110,000, was ahead of last year’s figure. The gross handle of almost $475,000 was also significantly more than the figure 12 months ago.
The 6-year-old son of Perfect Soul punched his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) June 15 with a determined victory in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Stakes (G2), a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race at Churchill Downs.
|Race 1||5 – Marshall Swindle
6 – Librarian
1 – Rox Star Red
|5 – Marshall Swindle
1 – Rox Star Red
6 – Librarian
|Race 2||5 – Demarara
7 – Sword Fighter
4 – The Chances R
|7 – Sword Fighter
2 – European
5 – Demerara
|Race 3||7 – Eco Charge
3 – Caymus Reserve
1 – Mori Girl
|3 – Caymus Reserve
1 – Mori Girl
7 – Eco Charge
|Race 4||1 – Bad and Bougie
7 – Cape Lite
10 – Pawnee Girl
|1 – Bad and Bougie
7 – Cape Lite
5 – Essi Rose
|Race 5||5 – Waffles
8 – Fourtowin
2 – Saturna
|5 – Waffles
8 – Fourtowin
1 – Boston Betty
|Race 6||3 – Sunburst
7 – Dat Day
2 – Ring of Kerry
|7 – Dat Day
3 – Sunburst
2 – Ring of Kerry
|Race 7||2 – Apalachee Bay
6 – Driller
3 – Brave Nation
|4 – Pitch Count
5 – Calgary Caper
3 – Brave Nation
|Race 8||3 – Don’t Hold Me Back
1 – Absolutely Stylish
8 – Square Dancer
|3 – Don’t Hold Me Back
1 – Absolutely Stylish
6 – Highway Boss
|Mike’s Picks||Drew’s Picks|
|Molly Brown S. – Race 8, $20,000 Added|
|Poker S. – Grade 3, Race 8, $300,000 Added|
|Coca-Cola S. – Race 8, $50,000 Guaranteed|
|John Longden 6000 H. – Race 7, $50,000 Guaranteed|
|Alma North S. – Race 4, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Polynesian S. – Race 5, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Prince George’s County S. – Race 6, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Big Dreyfus S. – Race 7, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Open Spring S. – Race 8, $8,000 Guaranteed|
|TVG.com Pegasus S. – Race 10, $150,000 Added|
|Ruidoso Sprint H. – Race 9, $30,000 Guaranteed|
|Possibly Perfect S. – Race 7, $75,000 Added|
|Affirmed S. – Grade 3, Race 8, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Trillium S. – Grade 3, Race 8, $125,000 Guaranteed|
|Niagara S. – Race 7, $50,000 Guaranteed|
|Karl Boyes Memorial S. – Race 6, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Christiana S. – Race 7, $50,000 Guaranteed|
|Indiana Grand Race Course
|Hoosier Breeders Sophomore S. – Race 7, $100,000 Added|
|Hoosier Breeders Sophomore S. – Race 8, $100,000 Added|
|Evangeline Mile S. – Race 8, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Mountain Top New Mexico Bred Thoroughbred Futurity – Race 9, $150,005 Added|
|Aspen S. – Race 7, $30,000 Added|
|Dancin Renee S. – Race 9, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Matt Winn S. – Grade 3, Race 5, $150,000 Added|
|Wise Dan S. – Grade 2, Race 6, $250,000 Added|
|Fleur de Lis H. – Grade 2, Race 7, $250,000 Added|
|Stephen Foster S. – Grade 2, Race 8, $600,000 Added|
|Regret S. – Grade 3, Race 9, $150,000 Added|
|Obeah S. – Race 7, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Daily Courier Inaugural S. – Race 7, $3,400 Added|
|Ginger Punch S. – Race 5, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Strawberry Morn H. – Race 7, $50,000 Guaranteed|
|Fillies and Mares Spring Sprint S. – Race 7, $8,000 Guaranteed|
|Honey Bee S. – Race 10, $79,500 Added|
|John Wayne S. – Race 3, $60,000 Guaranteed|
|Thor’s Echo S. – Race 8, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Steady Growth S. – Race 3, $100,000 Guaranteed|
HARRIS FARMS’ HOMEBRED DESERT LAW DOMINATES $100,000 THOR’S ECHO STAKES, WINNING BY 6 ¼ LENGTHS IN RAPID 1:09.49
RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSES
ARCADIA, Calif. (June 15, 2019)–In what must rate as one of the most impressive sprint performances of the Spring Meet, Harris Farms’ homebred Desert Law seized the moment turning for home and marched to an emphatic 6 ¼ length win in Saturday’s $100,000 Thor’s Echo Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Carla Gaines and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, the 5-year-old Desert Code gelding got six furlongs in a sizzling 1:09.49.
Breaking from post position five in a field of six California-bred or sired 3-year-olds and up, Desert Law sat an attentive second to speedball Smiling Angelo up the backside and around the far turn and drew even at the quarter pole, whereupon the Thor’s Echo was for all intents and purposes, over.
“He has been training fantastic, he loves the track,” said Gaines. “He’s one of those that just glides over this deeper racetrack. His works have been phenomenal and he’s run out of conditions. The Cal-bred program is great because you are restricted to Cal-breds, so it’s all good!”
Most recently fourth in a 6 ½ furlong open allowance here on May 11, Desert Law was off as the 8-5 favorite and paid $5.40, $2.60 and $2.20.
Out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Treasure Chest, Desert Law, in his first-ever stakes appearance, notched his fifth win from 15 overall starts and with the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $259,707.
“I’ve been working him the last three weeks and he’s been training amazing,” said Bejarano, who notched his 4,000th career win earlier in the day. “I told Carla, anything, six or 6 ½ (furlongs) and he’ll be tough. I thought the speed would go today and it worked out good for us.”
Last heading to the far turn, Coil Me Home rallied for second, finishing 4 ¾ lengths in front of Smiling Angelo. Off at 9-5 with Drayden Van Dyke, Coil Me Home paid $3.00 and $2.20.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Smiling Angelo just held off comebacking Smokey Image by a nose for third money and paid $2.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.15, 45.13 and 57.05.
The Thor’s Echo is part of the lucrative Golden State Series. Sponsored by the CTBA, the Golden State Series is for California-bred or sired horses.
2 Furlongs —(Dirt) Track Fast
3 Furlongs —(Dirt) Track Fast
4 Furlongs —(Dirt) Track Fast
5 Furlongs —(Dirt) Track Fast
6 Furlongs —(Dirt) Track Fast
6 1/2 Furlongs —(Dirt) Track Fast
|June 16 – Santa Anita|
|Wandering Patrol||Wgt-125||Race 1||Allowance Optional Claiming $20,000|
|Lemoona||Wgt-123||Race 7||Possibly Perfect S.|
|Kingly||Wgt-122||Race 8||Affirmed S. (Gr 3)|
|Mongolian Hero||Wgt-120||Race 9||Maiden Claiming $50,000|
|June 21 – Santa Anita|
|Vegan||Wgt-122||Race 2||Maiden Special Weight|
|Peedie||Wgt-120||Race 3||Maiden Special Weight|
|Eskimo Roses||Wgt-125||Race 5||Allowance Optional Claiming $40,000|
|Call You Tomorrow||Wgt-124||Race 6||Maiden Claiming $50,000|
|June 15 – Santa Anita|
|Hardboot finished 7th beaten 3 3/4 lengths||Race 2|
|Hit the Seam finished 1st by 1/2 length||Race 4|
|Smoovie finished 6th beaten 4 1/4 lengths||Race 6|
|Sergio finished 6th beaten 3 1/4 lengths||Race 7|
|Prodigal Son Scratched (Trainer)||Race 8|
|Dulverton Darling finished 5th beaten 2 1/2 lengths||Race 9|
TRUMP ITZ PREVAILS IN THRILLING FINISH
AUBURN, Wash. (June 15, 2019) – Trump Itz blasted between rivals late and prevailed in a blanket finish Saturday in the $18,500 Muckleshoot Casino Purse at Emerald Downs.
With Jose Zunino riding, Trump Itz covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.73 and paid $18, $9 and $5.20. Blaine Wright is the winning trainer for owners John and Janene Maryanski and Riverbend Farm (Gail and Gerald Schneider).
Runner-up in the 2017 Gottstein Futurity, Trump Itz has an overall mark of 4-3-2 in 12 starts with $75,080 in earnings. Trump Itz, a 4-year-old Washington-bred by Coast Guard, has finished first, second or third in nine of 11 career sprints.
The Press rallied strongly to finish second, a half-length behind Trump Itz, and is 1-1-0 in two starts as a 6-year-old. Ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, the runner-up paid $10.60 and $6.40.
Cody’s Choice, ridden by Javier Matias, swept to the lead three-wide in mid-stretch but was outfinished late and paid $5.80 to show. Mixo also closed with a late bid and finished fourth while Miner Heat, the 3 to 2 favorite, weakened late and finished fifth. Payne’s Prairie, Legitimate Cause, Battle Point Red and Togrammashousewego rounded out the order if finish.
MUCKLESHOOT GOLD CUP INDIAN RELAY RESULTS
Grizzly Mountain, Little Badger and River Road Relay won qualifying heats on day two of the $67,000 Muckleshoot Gold Cup, featuring 21 of the nation’s finest Indian Relay Racing teams.
Grizzly Mountain, led by rider Oliver Pakootas, is the only team to sweep qualifying heats Friday and Saturday, while River Road Relay, with Darren Charges Strong riding, posted Saturday’s fastest time of 3:36.53 for two miles.
The three-day competition concludes Sunday with two consolations and the championship Muckleshoot Gold Cup.
Results of Saturday’s Qualifying Heats:
Heat 1: 1st-Little Badger (Chris Carlson), Little Badger, MT, 3:38.81; 2nd-Abrahamson Relay (Scott Abrahamson), Omak, WA; 3rd-North West Express (Mathew Pakootas), Omak, WA.
Heat 2: 1st-Grizzly Mountain (Oliver Pakootas), Omak, WA, 3:45.42; 2nd-Pikunii Express (Narsis Reevis), Browning, MT; 3rd-Northern Cree Express (Tyrell Mcgilvery, Good Fish Lake, AB.
Heat 3: 1st-River Road Relay (Darren Charges Strong Jr.), Crow Agency, MT, 3:36.53; 2nd-Tissidimit (Mious Teton), Fort Hall, ID; 3rd-Cedar Ridge (Dallon Racehorse), Fort Hall, ID.
Sunday’s Indian Relay Schedule:
First Consolation: 2:40 p.m. (after 2nd race)
Second Consolation: 3:58 p.m. (after 4th race)
Muckleshoot Gold Cup Championship: 5:15 p.m. (after 6th race)
NOTES: He’s Not Grey ($3.60) became the meet’s first triple winner, romping by 7 ½ lengths under Gary Wales in 1:09.42 for six furlongs. A 4-year-old Slew’s Tiznow gelding, He’s Not Grey has won six of his last seven overall for owner John Parker and trainer Candi Cryderman. . .Wales rode three winners Saturday—his meet-leading 29th, 30th and 31st of the season. . .Ryan Barber notched his first two-win day at Emerald Downs, scoring victories on Tesla ($10.80) and Ridgefield Rocket ($17.40). The latter gave trainer Patty Lydon her first win of the meet. . .Baja Sur—also owned by the Maryanskis and Riverbend Farm— will be heavily favored in Sunday’s $50,000 Coca-Cola Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings at 6 ½ furlongs. First post is 2 p.m