Another Enchanted Evening
This Time for Amadeo Perez, who won half the races on the card; for Silvino Morales, who scored a hat trick; for Christine Ammann, whose two wins put her in a tie for leading trainer; and for NATHC’s Miss Prospector, who took down the BC Cup Hong Kong Jockey Club Stake in fine style.
The late afternoon and evening races basked in brilliant sunshine which provided a comfortable warmth without the July intensity. It was an absolutely perfect evening for racing on a track which played fair for all.
It was also a great day for chalk players as the favourite went to the winner’s circle in 5 out of the 8 contests.
And finally, two grooms that did not get billing in last Sunday’s wrap up are deserving of a mention, however late. Congratulations Natalie Giesbrecht, the winning groom of Under Par who won the Monashee Stake. The winning groom of the veteran Ace Deuce is Barb Heads’ assistant trainer Madison Zielke. Congratulations on your charge’s victory.
- Jockey Amadeo Perez wins half the races (4 out of 8).
- Jockey Silvino Morales gets a hat trick with three in a row.
- Trainers Christine Ammann and Mark Cloutier both score doubles.
- Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds achieves a breeder/owner daily double.
- Miss Prospector wins the BC Cup Hong Kong Jockey Club Stake in fine style.
- The Mutuel handle was $496,478.
Stay Fantastic Stays the Course
The first race on today’s program, a field of 5 racing in a 16K claimer for NW3 lifetime, went to Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds’ four-year-old good-looking bay gelding Stay Fantastic (4.40, 2.30, 2.10) in a wire to wire performance. Taking advantage of 6-5 favourite Stay Fantastic’s alert break, Amadeo Perez hustled out to the lead and was a length clear by the tote board but was soon joined alongside by 25-1 longshot Allstar Boy. From there the pair ran as a team until the quarter pole when Allstar Boy weakened and commenced to drop back, at the same time Fort Langley and The Chances R began their challenge from the 3 and 4 paths, respectively. Maybe it was the outside trip, or maybe it was the easy 46.81 half, but whatever it was, Stay Fantastic turned back the late challengers and drew off down the lane to a 3 1/4-length victory in a quick 1:17.95.
Stay Fantastic is trained by the very productive Christine Ammann (assisted by Alison Dube), who obtained her 8th win this season after 24 starts (33%-win average). Stay Fantastic, who achieved his second win in a row, is by Stay Thirsty out of Fantastic City by Carson City and was bred in Super Fantastic British Columbia by his owners, Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds. The winning groom is Michael Pounder.
Kandy Katie Takes All the Treats
The second on the card, an optional maiden allowance for two-year-old’s going the distance of 6 furlongs, was won in a gate to wire front running performance by Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds’ two-year-old dark bay filly Kandy Katie (13.60, 6.40, 3.90). Silvino Morales took full advantage of his mount’s quick beginning and put the filly on the front end while setting down very comfortable fractions (24.05, 48.50). By the top of the home stretch, Kandy Katie’s leading margin had shrunk to a short head with three challengers in close proximity coming to call. For a moment it appeared that the filly lost the lead ever so slightly, but Morales was able to find more, powering on to 1 ¾ length clear margin at the finish over runner up Airaffair.
Kandy Katie’s victorious debut gave her conditioner Christine Ammann a second win on the card, vaulting her into first place in the trainer standings. No doubt the Ammann barn’s considerable success (36%-win average) can be attributed in part to the hard-working assistant trainer Alison Dube and groom Michael Pounder.
Kandy Katie is by Twirling Candy out of Alliteration by Congrats and was bred in Beautiful British Columbia by her owner Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds, who achieved an owner/breeder daily double with the wins.
Hilariouslynaughty Gets Very Serious
I am sure that Timeless Shrug who ran second or the other four competitors saw nothing hilarious or even remotely funny about losing to Hilariouslynaughty by 5 ½ lengths in the third race ($4K NW3 claimer) at Hastings on Sunday night.
Piloted by Silvino Morales, she went straight to the lead a little out from the rail and dictated terms to the head of the stretch before widening under confident handling to produce a soft win for the connections.
Miss Viola chased Hilariouslynaughty for most of the journey and fought on well but had to settle for third as she was passed by fast closing Timeless Shrug in the final few strides.
Hilariouslynaughty is a four-year-old bay filly by Gottcha Gold out of I’mnaughtyandnice by Straight Man. She is conditioned by the proficient trainer Brian O’Connell and owned by Nite and Day Stable and Joanne Todd. The winning groom is Alex Dale. She was bred in California by Steen & Cathy Reggelsen.
For those clever enough to back her, she returned 8.70, 4.40 and 2.50 across the board.
The final time of the six and a half furlongs was 1:18.77.
Appellant Wins Appeal
Silvino Morales produced a masterful ride to guide Appellant to a length and three quarters victory over Jack’s Reign in a very competitive 4th race at Hastings. Appellant settled off the contested early pace between Crackdown and Jack’s Reign, before coming alive and rallying smartly from along the rail, entering the final turn when he slipped through along the rail, assuming control mid stretch and going on to win convincingly. Jack’s Reign fought on bravely for second and Bills Smokin Bullet stayed on valiantly for third. This marked the third win in a row on the card for Silvino Morales.
Appellant is a handsome five-year-old dark bay son of Midnight Lute out of Caged Mistress by Ministers Wild Cat. He is owned by Rob and Sheena Maybin and trained by Rob Maybin. The winning groom is Stafford Bracey. He was bred in Kentucky by Glen Todd.
This is Appellant’s third win in his last five starts and he has also hit the board in all of them.
At the windows (virtual these days) he produced 9.30, 4.20 and 2.40 across the board.
Final Time for the six and a half furlongs was a very rapid 1:17.63.
Machine Wins with Mechanical Precision
The definition of Machine is “a device that transmits or modifies force or motion”. I am sure if you asked the competitors of the fifth race at Hastings Racecourse, they would agree that Machine is appropriately named.
Robert Merschback’s recent claim drew away in the final strides to triumph under the careful handling of Amadeo Perez. The gelded son of Colonel John and Macha Glorita (by Macho Uno) got the best of 35-1 longshot Alway’s a Knight, who at the 1/16th pole looked like he may get there but he will have to wait for another “knight”. As the 8-5 race favourite, Machine dueled with the tenacious Ave’s in Command for almost the entire trip before Ave’s in Command weakened and faded to third.
Machine is trained is by Lisa Anderson and groomed by his owner Robert Merschback and the three-year-old bay gelding was beautifully turned out in the paddock today. This was his maiden score from three attempts, and he looks like he has a promising career ahead of him.
Machine paid $5.20, $3.60 and $2.40 across the board.
Chef Cooks Up a Winning Recipe
The 6th race of the evening went to Marty Miller’s five-year-old bay gelding Chef (4.60, 2.40, 2.10) who scored gold with a sweeping last to first dramatic run, easily besting his competition in an event for NW3 races lifetime 4K/5K claiming going a route (1 1/16). Amadeo Perez, marking up his third win on the card, got Chef to relax in a trailing position well back of the field. On the final turn Chef commenced his bid, practically running in the middle of the track, circling the other equine athletes in what seemed to be with the greatest of ease, assuming the lead at the head of the lane and drawing off to a 3 ¾ length victory over K K Gold.
Chef, winning for the second time this season, is trained by veteran conditioner Mark Cloutier and is groomed by Rowan Lougheed, who had his charge absolutely shining today. Chef was bred in Kentucky by KatieRich Farms and was sired by Congrats and is out of Irish Dixie by Giant’s Causeway.
Miss Prospector Strikes Gold
The penultimate contest of the evening and featured event was the BC Cup Hong Kong Jockey Club $50K added Black Type Stakes for three-year-old fillies. For reasons unclear to this writer, the race uniquely required only a $25 nomination fee with no further monies charged to any of the participants.
The field of 5 (Fully Lent was a late scratch at the gate) included Russell and Lois Bennett’s outstanding homebred stake winning Sangria; Michal Jilek, Craig Winnick and Canyon Farms’ fine filly Floral, coming off her recent success in the 2020 Supernaturel Stake; Canmor Farms’ Walkinthewalk; North American Thoroughbred Horse Company Inc.’s stakes placed Miss Prospector, and finally Mark DeDomenico LLC and NATHC’s lightly raced Princess of Cairo.
In the end, the contentious assembly (on paper at least) was easily bested by the Glen Todd trained three-year-old great looking filly Miss Prospector (5.50, 3.70, 2.70).
Scotty Williams in the saddle took advantage of a good break and sent the filly right off to a clear lead, although after a somewhat quick first fraction of 23.55. Unfortunately, the next quarter brought Williams no relief, as Miss Prospector stepped the clock in a very quick 46.84 at the half, while maintaining a lead of 2 ½ lengths. With the ¾’s coming up in a fast 1:12.05, the riders on the chasing trio of Walkinthewalk, Sangria and Floral all began to ask in earnest and started ever so slightly to cut into Miss Prospector’s lead. Just when it looked like they could perhaps catch the leading filly, rider Williams saw them coming and asked for more, a lot more. Miss Prospector exploded away from her challengers and left no doubt about who was going to the winner’s circle. Although Williams perhaps paid for his early move in the last 1/16th (7.66), Miss Prospector had enough left to achieve victory 3 ¼ lengths clear of runner up Walkinthewalk. Princess of Cairo, who clearly would have been much closer had she not stumbled badly after clipping heels, got up for the show 1 ¾ lengths in front of Sangria.
The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was a very quick 1:45.99.
Miss Prospector is by Harbor the Gold out of Clever Bird by Awesome Again and was bred by Bret Christopherson in Washington.
The winning groom Jenn Reichling had her star filly looking absolutely fabulous today.
The victory put Glen Todd into a tie for leading trainer honours with Christine Ammann and kept North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. at the top of the leading owner board.
Wicked Fortitude Is a Tough Racehorse
Courage was definitely required on the part of both rider and horse in order to win the last race of the evening, a 6 ½ furlong dash for maidens in for a 16K/20K tag. Amadeo Perez aboard the three-year-old bay Ontario-bred gelding Wicked Fortitude (2.70, 2.10, 2.10) after a somewhat tardy beginning was able to take an ideal rail position immediately behind the front runners entering the clubhouse turn. Unfortunately, what happened next is that pretty well the entire field encircled and covered up Wicked Fortitude who was held in extremely close quarters until just after the quarter pole when an opening finally appeared, allowing Perez to emerge free from the pack and take on the leading Free for Sure. Down the home stretch it was a two-horse battle with Wicked Fortitude getting clear in the final strides to score a 1-length victory over the tenacious Free for Sure who really ran too well to lose today.
For Perez, who had to take up on his mount several times when he was in close for at least half the journey, it was a sweet win number four.
Wicked Fortitude is conditioned by Mark Cloutier, who pocketed a training double on the evening. The winning groom Sylvia Bismark had his charge looking great today.
Wicked Fortitude is by Wicked Strong out of Mehndi by Pulpit and is owned by Roy and Dixie Jacobson together with their daughter Toni Cloutier. Toni who is married to Mark works in the barn on a daily basis and is no doubt a big contributor to the stable’s success.
After 11 days of racing, the Leader Board looks like this:
North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. continues in the lead with 7 wins. Moving into second place with 6 wins is Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds and in third position are Russell J. and Lois Bennett with 5 wins.
Amadeo Perez is in the lead with 17 wins, followed by Silvino Morales in second place with 15 wins. Scott Williams is third having made 14 trips to the winner’s circle. In fourth position is Efrain Hernandez with 13 scores.
Christine Ammann and Glen Todd are tied for first in the trainers’ standings with 9 victories each. Barbara Heads and Steve Henson are in a dead-heat for second with 8 wins each, followed by a three-way tie for third with Mary-Anne Baumgartner, Mark Cloutier and Robert Gilker each having 5 wins.