Four-Footed FotosSynergy has won all three of his starts this year, including the Sir Winston Churchill at Hastings in August.
The 91st running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Canadian Derby headlines a stellar card at Century Mile on Sunday.
The mile and a quarter derby drew 11 3-year-olds who will each carry 126 pounds. It goes as race 10 on a 12-race card that begins at 5:15 p.m. Mountain. Post time for the derby is 9:55 p.m.
The Canadian Derby is supported by the $75,000 Century Casino Oaks, $75,000 Northlands Distaff Handicap, and $75,000 Century Mile Handicap. Quarter Horse fans aren’t left out of the fun as the $33,370 Alberta Bred Derby for Quarter Horses kicks off the festivities.
Synergy is the one to beat in the derby. A Russell and Lois Bennett homebred trained by Barbara Heads, Synergy is perfect in three starts this year, all at Hastings, and is coming off a convincing win going a mile and a sixteenth in the $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill on Aug. 13 with Efrain Hernandez riding.
Hernandez was on board when Synergy worked five furlongs in company with the Century Casino Oaks-bound Sangria over a sloppy track at Hastings in 1:01.00 on Sept. 19.
“It was a good work for him,” said Heads. “He did it easily and he should like the mile and a quarter.”
Synergy, a son of Sungold, will break from post 10 with leading rider Rico Walcott riding.
Mongolian Wind was being considered for the Preakness, but his connections came to their senses and opted for this spot, where he looks like a major player.
Trained by Wade Eno and ridden by Wilmer Galviz, Mongolian Wind won the $60,000 Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs on Aug. 3 and came back to beat older horses in the $30,000 Gold Cup there. Both races were at a mile and an eighth.
Eno was pleased with how Mongolian Wind worked an easy six furlongs in 1:18.00 at Century on Sept. 22.
“He likes the track here and has been training very well,” said Eno. “The last eighth will be his race.”
Mongolian Wind, a son of Mucho Macho Man, drew the outside post.
Heading the local contingent is Maskwecis, who is trained by Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Red Smith.
A son of Jimmy Creed, Maskwecis is coming off an all-out win going a mile and a sixteenth with Walcott aboard in the $40,000 Beauford for Alberta-breds and seems a bit suspect at the distance. Rey Williams picks up the mount.
At Attention took advantage of a fast and contested pace to win the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes at Hastings on Sept. 5. He was making his first start for trainer Dino Condilenios, who thinks the British Columbia-bred son of Shanghai Bobby will thrive at the distance.
“He should love the extra ground,” said Condilenios. “We gallop him three times around every day and he gets stronger on the last round. I’m looking forward to running him in the derby.”
Infinite Patience tops Oaks
The Heads-trained Infinite Patience will be a short price in the mile and an eighth Oaks. By Sungold out of Montero, Infinite Patience will appreciate being back on dirt and facing easier company after coming up empty in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks and $250,000 Bison City at Woodbine in her last two starts.
Running on dirt at Hastings last year, she dominated her opponents in all five of her races and was voted the Horse of the Year in British Columbia.
Walcott has been named to ride her and stablemate Sangria.
◗ Heads will also have the favorite in the one-mile Distaff with Sunburst, who won the $40,000 Red Tail Landing in her only start at Century Mile.
She is coming off a runner-up finish behind the sensational Here’s Hannah in an open allowance race at Hastings on Sept. 6. The 85 Beyer she received stands out in the Distaff field, and the 82 she received for her win in the Red Tail Landing tops anything her opponents have posted.
The main threat could come from Infinite Patience’s half-sister Raider, who is coming off an easy win for trainer Greg Tracy n the $39,000 Shirley Virgil at Century on Aug. 7. A 5-year-old daughter of Stephanotis, Raider will be making her first start for trainer Karline Kingston.
◗ In the Century Mile, trainer Jim Brown has two solid shots with Go Away and Stormchaser.
Go Away is making his start after being claimed by Brown. A son of Scat Daddy, Go Away does his best running late and is coming off a narrow loss going a mile in a $20,000 optional claimer at Canterbury on Sept. 3.
Stormchaser is going for the hat trick, having won an allowance sprint and then the $50,000 Red Dial Express going six furlongs at Century Mile on Sept. 6. The speedy son of Stormin Fever will not be used as a rabbit for Go Away, Brown said.
“They are both in it to win it,” said Brown.
Deuces Are Wild will be the one they have to run down. Whiskey Bound did run him down in the one-mile Arctic Laur on Sept. 4, and he will try again in the Mile.