Richard Yates

Hastings Wrap-up For Closing Day

Our Revels Now Are Ended

Until next April anyway. We will have to get by on simulcasts and our memories for the next few months, but spring will roll around as it always does, and we will be back at it.

Finaly Classy


A Maiden Special Weight over the 3 ½ furlong Nursery Course got the day under way and it went to Finaly Classy ($9.70) who dueled with Jack’s Reign to the head of the lane before pulling clear on the way home to win convincingly in 39.87. Jack’s Reign kept at it to finish second but was unable to keep up in his first start with Finaly Classy who was cutting back in distance after finishing second in a 6 ½ furlong race for 25K maiden claimers.  Antonio Reyes rode for owner Marie Weisenberger and trainer Pat Jarvis.  Finaly Classy is by Finality out of Classadala, the Champion Broodmare in BC in 2010.  Finaly Classy is a half-brother to BC’s Champion Sprinter of 2010, Classic Alley Kat, and the 2010 Sadie Diamond winner and Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, Victory With Class.  Finaly Classy was bred in BC by Dr. Sheila McDonald, Ron Bidniak and Karen Bidniak.

B Quick B Gone


The second went to B Quick B Gone ($5.90) who was both under jockey Richard Hamel. B Quick B Gone stalked the pace around the first turn, took the lead before they had gone a half and was never going to lose thereafter.  The final 6 ½ furlong time of 1:17.93 was good for a 4 ¾ length margin at the wire.  B Quick B Gone is owned by Dennis Spence and trained by Cindy Krasner.  The winner, by Archarcharch was bred in Kentucky and was purchased in the January Keeneland Sale by her owner for $20,000 US.

Papa Papa Papa


Richard Hamel came right back in the third with a frontrunning win aboard Papa Papa Papa ($3.90) in an open 25K waiver claimer that went in a seriously fast 1:16.23, the quickest 6 ½ furlongs of the day. Papa cubed appeared to turn back a challenge from most of the field at one time or another, although none of their moves appeared to cause him much concern.  After he straightened out for the run down the backstretch, Papa Papa Papa opened some daylight, got the half in 45.37, went three-quarters in 1:09.87 and did not slow down, covering the last sixteenth in less than six-and-a-half seconds.  No one was going to catch him.   Papa Papa Papa is owned by Big Fly Stables and trained by Steve Bryant.  Papa Papa Papa won 2 of his 3 Hastings starts after opening the year at Santa Anita.

Bad and Bougie


Bad and Bougie ($3.80) turned a 4K maiden waiver claimer into a victory parade down the lane as she drew off to a near 7-length win. Bad and Bougie hugged the rail as she stalked the pace set by Pender Island.  Amadeo Perez took her off the rail mid-way of the second turn, went around Pender Island and said goodbye to the competition.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:18.30.  Bad and Bougie is owned by Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd. and is trained by Philip Hall.  It was the only win of the day for this season’s leading rider and trainer, but no one is close to either in their respective categories.

Southern Casanova


The fifth was won by Southern Casanova ($8.00) and Aaron Gryder for owner/trainer Patty Leaney. Southern Casanova was fourth early, but Gryder pushed the go button before they had traveled a half mile and quickly took over.  The winner widened on the field as they made the last turn, clocked 6 furlongs in 1:09.88 and was almost 5 lengths clear after 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.74.  A series of fast works and a class drop to the bottom overcame Southern Casanova’s three-month layoff and put him in the Winner’s Circle for the first time this season and the fifth in his career.  Southern Casanova, by Rosberg, was bred in BC by Jim Alendal.



Aditya ($12.20) took advantage of the 107-pound impost in the person of leading apprentice Lenny Seecharan to win the sixth by a length over favored Stormy Teen. The winner covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.34 and the top two were many lengths clear of the rest of the field.  Whieldon Thoroughbreds owns the BC bred gelded son of Mass Market, Leif and Karen Nordahl bred him and Mike Anderson takes care of the training.  It was the eighth career win in 24 starts lifetime for Aditya.



The day’s best win payoff came in the seventh when Fireman ($20.70) set all the fractions on his mile-and-a-sixteenth way to the Winner’s Circle. Dennis Araujo hustled Fireman to the front through some quick early fractions, built a sizable lead and comfortably held off the closing Always Sunny who checked in second.  Final time for the route was 1:46.29.  Fireman is owned by his breeders, Russell and Lois Bennett.  Barbara Heads trains the BC bred Sungold gelding.

Santa Fe Trail


In the eighth, Santa Fe Trail ($6.70) was last after a half mile and first by a neck at the wire over Parsimonious who did not go quietly. The two battled down the lane and even when Santa Fe Trail edged by, Parsimonious kept digging.  Regardless, Santa Fe Trail got it done with the urging of rider Antonio Reyes who was winning his second of three on the card.  David Forster trains the Skimming gelding who was bred in BC by his owner, Forster Stable.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.49.



The last race of the Hastings season was won by Speculator ($7.20) and Antonio Reyes. It completed a hat trick for Reyes while finishing off a double for owner/breeders Russell and Lois Bennett and trainer Barbara Heads who earlier combined to win the seventh.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.76.  Speculator is by Sungold and his win gave that stallion a double on the card as well.

Also Noteworthy:

In Saturday’s wrap-up I failed to mention the connections of Not Yet who won the seventh race. Not Yet is owned by Lana Brindley and is trained by Robert Gilker.  Not Yet was bred in Kentucky by Glen Todd.  Owner Brindley is one of a number of Hastings Racing Club members to have graduated to be full-fledged owners of horses and she now has an active stable that is led by Not Yet who has provided all her wins as an owner.

The Leaders:

In the end, the jockey race was won comfortably by Amadeo Perez as his four wins on Saturday, plus one on closing day, gave him a 10-win edge on runner-up Enrique Gonzalez who returned to Mexico prior to the season ending. Perez also led all riders in purse earnings with $1,030,599.  Richard Hamel won 24% of his starts to lead all Hastings based riders, one percentage point better than Aaron Gryder and Perez who both won 23% of the time.  The leading apprentice was Lenny Seecharan who won 12 races. The top 10:

 Jockeys                  Wins

    • Amadeo Perez            57     
    • Enrique Gonzalez        47
    • Aaron Gryder              43
    • Denis Araujo                36
    • Antonio Reyes            33
    • Richard Hamel             28
    • Sahin Civaci                  28
    • Scott Williams           16
    • Silvino Morales           15
    • Lenny Seecharan       12
    • Jeffery Burningham   12
    • David Lopez                11
    • The trainers’ race has been a foregone conclusion for much of the season. Philip Hall has a powerhouse barn and he utilized it well, winning 40 races in 2018 to distance his field.  Hall also led in money won, sending out the earners of $805,711.  Mike Anderson finished strong the last few weeks to take second with 29 wins, one more than Glen Todd and Mark Cloutier.  Cloutier won 29% of his starts, a percentage point better than Hall who won 28% of the time.  John Morrison started only 13 times in 2018 and won 6 of them for a 46% strike rate.  The top 10:

Trainers                     Wins

Philip Hall                     40

Mike Anderson           29

Mark Cloutier               28

Glen Todd                     28

Barbara Heads             24

Robert Maybin             16

Craig MacPherson       13

Dino Condilenios         12

  • James Brown                 10
  • Pat Jarvis                         9
  • John Snow                       9
  • Rob Gilker                       8
  • Mel Snow                         8

North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. topped the owners’ table for most of the season and finished with 23 wins. NATHC also led in money won with $355,622.  It was followed by Robert and Sheena Maybin and Russell and Lois Bennett who competed on even terms all season long and ended the year with 16 wins apiece.

 Owners                                                                          Wins

    • North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc.                     23
    • Robert and Sheena Maybin                                                                 16
    • Russell and Lois Bennett                                                                      16
    • Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc.                                                                   12
    • Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd.                                                         \           12
    • Canmor Farms                                                                                              11
    •  Riversedge Racing Stables, Ltd.                                                     9
    • George Gilbert                                                                                                 7
    • Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds                                                             7
    • Nick and Pauline Felicella                                                                       6
    • James Redekop                                                                                              6
    • Roy and Dixie Jacobson                                                                           5
    • Philip Hall, Brian Albertson, Praven Sorenson & Dan Lee         5
    • Whieldon Thoroughbreds                                                                       5

Counting partnerships, North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. won 26 races and Canmor Farms won 20 times. The partnership of Philip Hall, Brian Albertson, Praven Sorenson and Dan Lee won 5 of their 8 starts for a 63% win rate.


Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

Hastings Wrap-up For October 13

They don’t make days any better than Saturday. The sunshine was brilliant, but the air had a bit of a fall bite to it that, combined with a hint of a breeze, made the temperature perfect for racing thoroughbreds.  The track was fast and there were nine races on the card.  Four of those nine races were won by Amadeo Perez who will be the leading jockey at Hastings in 2018.

Shooting Jacket Sweeps The Marathon Series


The Hastings Racing Club’s Shooting Jacket ($7.10) completed a long-distance hat trick when he caught Citron Kid in the last couple of yards of the Marathon Series’ third and final leg. Shooting Jacket won the first two races in the Series, at a mile-and-and-an-eighth and a mile-and-three-eighths, and he needed every bit of Saturday’s mile-and-a-half.  The public made Silent Eagle the even money favorite off his third-place finish in the quite recent Premier’s.  He went too fast early, along with We Found Gold, and that left Shooting Jacket and Citron Kid as the survivors in a four-horse field.  Aaron Gryder on Shooting Jacket made a move going down the backstretch the second time that kept Citron Kid and Amadeo Perez, who had moved up inside them, boxed in and having to check behind the tiring speed while Shooting Jacket went to the lead. After falling back, Citron Kid got himself together and put in a huge run that had him a length on top as they straightened out for the stretch drive.  Gryder moved Shooting Jacket from inside Citron Kid to outside of him, and it was on between the two eight-year-old geldings.  Slowly, very slowly at first, Shooting Jacket wore away at Citron Kid’s lead.  The closer they got to the wire, the better Shooting Jacket was doing, and he had a half-length margin when it was over.  Final time for the mile-and-a-half was 2:32.45.  Keith Pedersen trains the gelded son of Hard Spun who is out of a Mr. Prospector mare.

Apalachee Bay By A Long Way


The public made Apalachee Bay ($3.00) the overwhelming favorite in the sixth, an Allowance Optional for three-year-olds. He did not disappoint.  Amadeo Perez set up behind the early pacesetters The Chances R and European, but to the outside as he did not appear to feel a need to save ground.  He kept the winner clear and out of trouble going down the backside.  Perez reached for a clean set of goggles going into the second turn and when he was sure he could see where he was going, he asked Apalachee Bay.  It was over in short order.  Apalachee Bay won by almost seven lengths, having traversed the 6 ½ furlongs in a quick 1:16.37.  European continued on for second, a nose ahead of R. W. Stanley who did some closing late.  Apalachee Bay is owned by Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd. and is trained by Philip Hall.  The three-year-old colt is a Kentucky bred son of Malibu Moon.

Not Yet Gets There In Plenty Of Time


The seventh race carried the same conditions for three-year-old colts as the sixth, except it was set at a mile-and-a-sixteenth. Not Yet ($6.00) won like the favorite he was as, once again, Amadeo Perez rode as if he was confident he was on the best horse.  He stayed out of trouble, asked when it got to be time, and had only to manage the response he got from Not Yet who moved on the outside past the early chasers and caught the front-running Harry the Hammer a sixteenth out.  Not Yet finished the mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:44.20 and 2 ½ lengths clear of Harry the Hammer.  Rogerio ran on from last to be third.

Also Noteworthy:


Amadeo Perez got his victory blitz started with Aurora d’Oro ($3.70) in the fifth for owner/trainer Kerri Raven. The fifth was a 4K waiver claimer but all 7 contenders were in for the price.  No one got tagged including Aurora d’Oro who was never threatened and won by almost 5 lengths over Red Buffalo who chased all the way with determination.  The 6 ½ furlongs went in 1:17.88.


Perez won the sixth and seventh, as recounted above, and he closed out his four-bagger in the nightcap ninth with Yes Please ($5.10) for owner Canmor Farms and trainer Mark Cloutier. It was a game effort by Yes Please who was the ham in a three-horse speed sandwich for much of the trip and after she appeared to have been beaten, she dug back in and got the win.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:47.10.


The card kicked off with an 8K claimer for two-year-olds and it produced a tight three-horse finish that saw Buzios ($12.30) get home a neck faster than Klondike Gentleman who was in turn a neck ahead of an unlucky Mr. Tiz who ran out of room along the rail late in the proceedings and had to wait some. Regardless of racing luck, Buzios was full value for the win.  He never had a moment’s peace on the front end and Denis Araujo worked hard to the wire.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:19.36.  Buzios is owned by his breeders, Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds and Mike Anderson trains the Haynesfield gelding.


The second, a 16K waiver claimer for two-year-old maiden fillies, was won by Zetamarie ($10.40) who set all the fractions on her way to a three-length win under jockey Jeffery Burningham. Zetamarie had to turn back a challenge from Amorcito and did so by drawing off in the lane to win by three lengths.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:19.81.  Zetamarie is owned by Gary Johnson, Zeta Hannah, Sharlea Stables and Pumpkin Stable.  Frank Barroby trains.


The day’s biggest win price showed up in the third when Cryptonotis ($33.60) whacked a field of 4K maidens as the longest shot by far in what had appeared to be a competitive field of five plus the winner. The public had this one wrong and Cryptonotis was three lengths right after 6 ½ furlongs in 1:19.19.  Antonio Reyes rode the winner for owner Sunrise Stables and trainer Stephen Byrne.  Cryptonotis, by Stephanotis, was bred in BC by Loire Miller.


Future Games ($10.60) went wire-to-wire in the fourth to win her third race of the season for owner/trainer Mary-Anne Baumgartner. Future Games covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:18.89 under rider Silvino Morales. The four-year-old daughter of Second in Command was bred in BC by Baumgartner and Robert Charles Ferguson.


Hastings Wrap-up For Thanksgiving Day

Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

 Hastings Wrap-up For Thanksgiving Day 

Thanksgiving Day dawned grey but lightened up some by the first post, although it remained spotty all afternoon. There were two outstanding races offered.  The Grade 3 Ballerina for older fillies and mares drew a quality field of seven, all stakes winners with a total of 22 stakes wins between them.  The Grade 3 Premier’s Handicap (although it is no longer a handicap, it’s a weight for age stakes) attracted 10 older horses to compete in the longest stake run at Hastings.  Both races were won by horses that closed from last to eke out narrow but glorious victories.  Amadeo Perez rode three winners in a row to give himself a near unassailable lead in the jockey race.  Aaron Gryder doubled as well, as did trainers Philip Hall and Mike Anderson who won a total of five on the weekend.

The BC Premier’s Handicap (G3): Calgary Caper


Rebounding from a sub-par outing in the S. W. Randall Plate, Calgary Caper ($12.50) was back to his old self in the Premier’s. He came from last and 15 lengths out of it after a half mile, to first by a neck over the three-year-old Brave Nation who did some closing of his own.  Another neck back in third was Silent Eagle who was game beyond belief in setting a series of fast fractions, particularly so for a mile-and-three-eighths and holding off Calgary Caper who rolled past every other horse in the race going down the backstretch but was life and death to get past Silent Eagle.  Get by he did, and then he had to withstand the late charge of Brave Nation.  He did that too.  Final time for the route was 2:17.47.

Calgary Caper has won 4 of his 7 starts this season at Hastings. All four of the wins came with today’s rider, Sahin Civaci, in the saddle.  Calgary Caper was Champion Older Horse Open Division in 2016, then was just not the same horse the next year.  He is certainly the same horse now, or better.  His two previous attempts at the Premier’s produced a pair of fifth place finishes.  After Monday’s race, he is a graded stakes winner.  Calgary Caper is owned by Kim Peacock, Philip Hall and Lance Giesbrecht.  He is trained by Philip Hall.  It was Hall’s second win on the card.  Calgary Caper is a Kentucky bred by El Corredor out of a Stephen Got Even mare.  The pedigree suggests distance and the horse agrees.  Calgary Caper has won 5 stakes in his career, three this year.  He will be the Champion Older Open horse for the second time in 2018.

The Ballerina (G3): Victress


She does not close from as far back as she used to but Victress ($10.00) still comes running and in these parts, it takes a good horse to withstand her charge. None could in the Ballerina, although the 41-1 longshot Sailingforthesun ran an enormous race to come within a neck of doing so.  Top Quality ran on some to be third after appearing to threaten more at the head of the lane.  The mile-and-an-eighth was accomplished in 1:50.38.  Amadeo Perez produced a beautifully timed ride to get Victress up in the nick of time.

Sailingforthesun set sail for the lead right out of the gate, but first Reginella and then for much longer, Touching Promise gave her no peace on the front end. When she shook Touching Promise and made some space for herself on the final turn, Sailingforthesun became a real possibility.  Victress had outrun Notis the Jewel on the outside but was well back.  Top Quality moved along the rail but began to hang a bit as they straightened out for the drive and Sailingforthesun started to look like a winner.  And would have been save for the fact that Victress, when she is right, tends toward the inexorable and she was that in the lane, catching Sailingforthesun in the shadow of the wire.   Top Quality took third over a tiring Touching Promise.

Victress was a bargain basement purchase ($3,000) in the 2016 Hastings Paddock Sale. She is owned by Robert and Victoria Gilker.  Robert Gilker trains the Kentucky bred daughter of Include.  She is a lightly raced five-year-old mare and Gilker does not waste trips with her.  Victress has won two stakes at Hastings in two attempts in 2018 and finished second in the City of Edmonton Distaff at Northlands in her only other start this year.   She has now won 5 stakes and well north of 200K.

Also Noteworthy:


The equine Blondie ($7.40) proved to have no heart of glass as she defeated a Maiden Special Weight field comprised of a half-dozen two-year-old fillies. She and Aaron Gryder turned back a bid from Solarity and moved away to a 2 ½ length win.  Final 6 ½ furlong time was 1:18.65.  Blondie is owned by Roy and Dixie Jacobson and trained by Mark Cloutier.


The second Maiden Special Weight for two-year-olds went as the second. It was won by Shruggy Bear ($9.70) who was a head in front in a three-horse photo with the 44-1 shot Adelaar and the fifty cents to a dollar favorite Krissy, one of two fillies in with the boys.  Shruggy Bear covered the six furlongs in 1:12.58 under apprentice Jose Asencio.  He was bred in BC by Nite and Day Stable and is owned by his breeder and JoAnne Todd.  Brian O’Connell trains the gelded son of first-crop sire Shrug.  The owner and breeder will receive a total of $10,000 in incentive awards above and beyond the winner’s share of a $25,000 purse.


The third race was won by We Found Gold ($4.50) and apprentice jockey Lenny Seecharan who was riding for owners Terry Clyde and JoAnne McDonald, having been legged up by trainer Mike Anderson. Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.73.  The winner, who was bred in BC by Dr. Lois E. Philp, was claimed.


Gimme Some Slack ($5.80) won the fourth while finishing off a double for Mike Anderson and kicking off a triple for rider Amadeo Perez. Gimme Some Slack laid it down in the lane to get past Khaiky’s Command who had set all the early fractions.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:16.85, moving along pretty good for conditioned 4K types.  Larry Potozny and Maria Godart own the gelded son of Storm Victory.  Gimme Some Slack was bred in BC by Helen Klimes.


Amadeo Perez got his third win in a row in the sixth. It was an open 4K waiver claimer for older fillies and mares that was won by Don’t Tell Judy ($10.50) who covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.56 while holding off the favored Lady Cash.  Don’t Tell Judy is owned by James Callihoo and trained by Philip Hall.


Appellant ($8.70) made his case in the eighth with a stalking trip that provided a half-length margin after 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.23. Aaron Gryder, who won the opener, bookended the day with his second win, this time for North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trainer Glen Todd who bred the Midnight Lute gelding in Kentucky.


At Century Downs outside Calgary, Driller ($11.80) continued the BC run on their stakes program with a win in the $100,000 Harvest Plate Stakes at seven furlongs. Driller got there with a neck to spare while being the third BC bred to take a big money event there this weekend.  Driller, a gelded son of Texas Wildcatter, was bred by Mel and Fran Snow and is owned by Don Danard and Mel Snow.

Amadeo Perez won 5 races on the weekend and moved five ahead of Enrique Gonzalez who will have to close out the season with a weekend like Perez’s to deprive Perez of leading rider honours. Perez and Gonzalez entered the penultimate weekend tied for the lead with 47 wins apiece.  Gonzalez was blanked while Perez went on a win binge, and it will require an extraordinary close for him to catch Perez.  Aaron Gryder’s double gave him 3 wins on the weekend and has him solidly in third with 40.  Barring an incredible closing run from Gonzalez or Dennis Araujo, who appears to have fourth tied down with 34 wins, the top 4 spots appear to be settled.  There is contention for the fifth spot.  Antonio Reyes with 29 wins, Sahin Civaci with 28 and Richard Hamel, 26, are all live.


Philip Hall’s double gives him 38 wins with a weekend to go. Glen Todd has 28, one ahead of Mark Cloutier and Mike Anderson who won 5 on the weekend to move into a tie for second with Cloutier.  Barbara Heads with 22 and Robert Maybin, 16, round out the top five.


North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. heads the owner’s table having won 23 races. Robert and Sheena Maybin have won 16, two more than Russell and Lois Bennett.  Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. has a dozen, two more than Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd. and Canmor Farms with 10.



Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

After the day before Thanksgiving There are three more to goYou know we can stand the rain  But please don’t let it snow

It was gray day for some, it was a brilliant day for trainer Mike Anderson who sent out three winners on the card. Further, it was a good day for the Anderson siblings as Barbara Heads won the last to give brother and sister half the card.  Apprentice Lenny Seecharan won two as did owner Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds who also bred one of their winners.

The Annual HBPA of BC Thanksgiving Dinner will be served in the Cookshack on the Hastings backstretch beginning at 10:30 AM on Thanksgiving Day.

Pan Handle


The feature was the fifth, an Allowance Optional sprint for three-year-olds that, essentially, had not won a stake at Hastings this season or were willing to run for a $50,000 tag. It was won by Pan Handle ($12.90) who caught his stablemate Proof It late to post a ½ length win after 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.39.  He’s the Reason closed effectively but tardily to be third.  Denis Araujo put together a well-timed ride to get the winner home.

Proof It set some stiff fractions (22.08-44.61) on the way to 6 furlongs in 1:09.39.  Last year’s champion two-year-old Wise Market, the only horse in for the 50K tag, chased early but was unable to maintain the pressure.  Pan Handle made his move not long after the half and it took him almost the rest of the trip to get by Proof It, but he did so about two jockey statues from the wire.

Pan Handle was bred in BC by Salishan Meadows and owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company. Glen Todd trains the gelded son of Texas Wildcatter.

Also Noteworthy:

Trainer Mike Anderson won three on the day. He got things underway by knocking down both ends of the early daily double.  He sent out Ourevelady ($5.00) to take the opener, a maiden event for two-year-old fillies, on behalf of owners Michael Whieldon, Larry Potozny and Reba Racing Stables.  Ourevelady was the public choice in the 8K claimer and she proved the fans right with a length to spare, covering the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:19.36.  Amadeo Perez was aboard for his only win of the day, but it put him two ahead of Enrique Gonzalez who was shutout on the card.

Anderson encored in the second with Expensive Taste ($7.00) under the featherweight apprentice Lenny Seecharan who would have needed some lead in the saddlebags to make the 110-pound impost assigned to the winner. The winner negotiated the 6 ½ furlongs comprising the 16K claimer for non-winners of three in 1:17.54.  Expensive Taste, a Kentucky bred daughter of Giant’s Causeway is owned by Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds.

Anderson got his third in the seventh race when Fantastic Command ($5.20), with the feathery Lenny Seecharan again doing the riding, won for owner/breeder Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds. Fantastic Command caught the frontrunning Mr. Finch at the wire to win by a neck after a mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:45.28.  Aside from finishing off Anderson’s triple, Fantastic Command completed a double for jockey Seecharan and owner Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds.


The three-year-old filly Convergent ($3.30) rolled up her second straight length-of-the-stretch win in the third when she demolished a 4K claiming field of fillies and mares by many lengths.   Convergent was 6 lengths back of a fast half mile that went in 46.73.  After a mile-and-a-sixteenth had passed, she was 12 ¾ lengths in front.  The final time was 1:44.59 over a track labeled “good” but playing fast.  Regardless of how fast the track was, Convergent was a brutal horse to run into in what was a non-winners of four for 4K types.  Aaron Gryder rode for owners Barry Lee and Concepcion Mabanta.  Frank Ma does the training.


The fourth, an open 16K waiver claimer, was won by The Odds R Good ($12.90) who set a blistering early pace (21.88-44.70) and kept on running to wrap up the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.25. That was good for a widening 3 ½ lengths at the wire as The Odds R Good got the last five-sixteenths in 6 3/5 seconds after needing only 1:09.57 for the first six furlongs.  Silvino Morales rode for owners Don Danard, Mel Snow and Rob McKellar.  The winner, a gelded son of Cause to Believe, is out of the good producer What R the Odds and was bred in BC by Mel and Fran Snow.

The longest-priced winner on the day came in the sixth when Proud Cause ($25.10) ran away from a field of maiden 4K fillies and mares like she should have been odds-on. Jeff Burningham had the daughter of Cause to Believe 4 ½ lengths in front after a mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:46.41.  The winner is owned by Roland Embree and Jean Lavallee.  Lavallee also trains Proud Cause and it was his first win in 9 years as he returned to training in 2018 after taking a sabbatical from the track.  Proud Cause was bred in BC by Henry Booy.  It was the second win on the card for the stallion Cause to Believe who stands at Wild Rose Farm.


The nightcap went to Sunset Drive ($11.90) who prevailed over Sargent Rick by a neck after the two of them had gone at it tooth-and-nail for a mile-and-a-sixteenth. No quarter given, none asked.  They both ran “too good” to lose, but in the end Sunset Drive proved a touch the best on the day for owner/breeders Russell and Lois Bennett and trainer Barbara Heads.  Final time was 1:44.64.  Antonio Reyes rode Sunset Drive and while it may have been Sunday, it was no Sunday drive.  Reyes worked hard all the way around to get the Sungold gelding home.


It is definitely worth noting that the two CTHS Sales Stakes run on Sunday at Century Downs outside Calgary were won by BC breds. Notice ($4.00) demolished the 6 two-year-old fillies that lined up against her with an effort that got her home 11 lengths clear of the runner-up.  Notice ran the 7 furlongs about 5 lengths faster than did the two-year-old gelding Purple Storm when he took the boy’s division three races later.  Notice, by Stephanotis, was bred in BC by her owner, Ole Nielsen.  Mark Cloutier trains.  Purple Storm was bred in BC by Terry Clyde.  The gelded son of Storm Victory is trained by the Alberta based Tim Rycroft.


Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

Hastings Wrap-up For September 30


Wet was the operative word at Hastings on Sunday. The track was sloppy at a minimum.  Speed was an asset, as it usually is, but several horses did some notable closing over it and a couple of closers got there as did a stalker or two.  Four of the seven races were won by the favorite, but the other three produced some healthy prices.  The Ascot produced a potential two-year-old champion and three-year-old star.  Amadeo Perez bagged a pair of wins, one of them the Ascot, to move back into the lead in the jockey standings.  Both of his wins were for owner Canmor Farms and trainer Mark Cloutier.

The Ascot: Explode


Explode ($5.50) absolutely blew up the Ascot with a move on the final turn that had him as home and dry as you can possibly be on a rainy afternoon over a very wet racetrack. Explode was half a dozen lengths clear of Stay Fantastic who closed well to be second, 2 ½ lengths clear of Dat Day in third.  As well as they ran, all said and done, they were not in the same race as Explode.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.44.

Ring of Kerry set a brisk early pace (23.26, 47.67) and was still in front after three-quarters in 1:13.18. Soon thereafter, he was not.  Jockey Amadeo Perez had Explode tracking two or three lengths back and to the outside through the first two turns, but after straightening out for the run down the backstretch Explode switched leads and started to move up on the leaders.  When he went past Ring of Kerry it was over, it was just a matter of how far.  Turned out to be a lot.

Explode is owned by Canmor Farms and is trained by Mark Cloutier. The gelded son of Trappe Shot was bought out of the 2016 Keeneland November Sale by Ole Nielsen as a weanling for $2,500.  He was an RNA in the 2017 CTHS Sale (BC Div.) at $14,500.  (Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make.)  Explode is the fourth foal out of a Kingmambo mare that has not previously produced a lot (one placed in a minor stake in England), but she is a full sister to an Epsom Oaks (Group 1) winner who also ran second in the Irish Oaks (Group 1).  There is some quality in the family and it has surfaced in Explode.

Also Noteworthy:


The opener was won by Khaiky’s Command ($3.50) with one of those sub-1:17 six-and-a-half furlong events that have become de rigueur for bottoms claimers in recent days. Khaiky’s Command got it done in 1:16.98 and that was good for more than four clear lengths at the wire.  Aaron Gryder orchestrated the wire-to-wire effort on behalf of owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trainer Glen Todd.  Khaiky’s Command, by Second in Command, was bred in BC by Paul Caravetta.


The second went to Brother Rod ($4.10) who validated his favorite status by sitting behind a four-horse speed skirmish until jockey Denis Araujo decided it was time to go. When asked, Brother Rod went outside the frontrunning foursome with gusto and only Brother Brian was able to keep Brother Rod’s attention for a while after that.  And only for a while.  Brother Rod began to widen mid-way down the lane and had three clear lengths on the Brother from another mare after 6 ½ furlongs had passed in 1:17.33.  Brother Rod is owned by John and Kim Morrison and Robin Sadler.  He is trained by John Morrison.  Helen Klimes bred the gelded son of Storm Victory in BC.


Seven Chances ($15.70) took the third with a last to first move under apprentice rider Jose Asencio who did not seem to worry about saving ground while trailing early. Asencio rode Seven Chances as if he knew she was much the best.  He was right about that. Seven Chances made a large move on the last turn to establish a margin of comfort that slowly expanded to the finish in 1:18.78.  She is owned by Pocket Aces Racing Stable and trained by Steve Henson.  Seven Chances, by Gottcha Gold, was bred in BC by Steen Reggelsen and Cathy Reggelsen.


Amadeo Perez got the first of his two wins aboard Yes Please ($4.00) who just did, by a neck. Yes Please slowly ground away at Mis Viola’s lead for the length off the stretch and got by a few strides out from the wire.  It was also the first of two wins for owner Canmor Farms and trainer Mark Cloutier whose day would culminate in the Ascot win discussed above.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:17.99.


Marshall Swindle ($33.90), likely named by a chess player, did not break on top in the fifth, but she got the lead and got gone not long thereafter. She won by almost 4 lengths over a mixed gender field but had to withstand an enquiry into a skirmish on the turn involving Numaany’s Reward who ran on well after checking and losing significant ground.  Regardless, Marshall Swindle had already gone to the lead and was not going to get caught.  The 3 ½ furlongs over the Nursery Course went in 39.93.  That is stepping for a two-year-old filly in a $12,5000 maiden claimer.  James Redekop owns and Mike Anderson trains.  The daughter of first crop stallion Shrug was bred in BC by Embree Farms Ltd.  Apprentice Learie Seecharan rode the winner.


The nightcap went to Code of Arms ($13.40) who led all the way with Sahin Civaci aboard to post a final time of 1:45.31 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth. Code of Arms got a length on the field early and maintained it the rest of the way.  He is owned by Dino Honesto and Patty Leaney does the training.

Amadeo Perez’s two wins give him 48 for the season and put him one ahead of Enrique Gonzalez’s 47. The jockey’s race is about as even a contest as is possible.  Perez has been one-two-three 114 times in 221 starts, Gonzalez in 219 starts has hit the board 113 times.  Aaron Gryder is in third with 38 wins, five more than Denis Araujo who occupies the fourth spot.  Antonio Reyes is in fifth with 28 wins.

The trainer standings are much more sharply defined. Philip Hall won two on the weekend and now has 36 scores for the season.  That is good for a 10-win margin over Mark Cloutier and Glen Todd who are tied for second.  Mike Anderson with 22 wins and Barbara Heads with 21 are third and fourth.  Robert Maybin holds down fifth with 16 trips to Victory Lane.

North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. tops the owners with 21 wins, 5 more than Robert and Sheena Maybin. Russell and Lois Bennett have 13, one more than Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. in fourth.  Canmor Farms and Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd. fill out the top five with 10 wins apiece.


Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

Hastings Wrap-up For September 29

The days dwindle to a precious few and after today’s 40th running of the Fantasy Stakes for two-year-old fillies, there are only three more stakes to be run.  Sunday’s Ascot, like the Fantasy, is the first distance race for, in this case, the juvenile boys.  On Thanksgiving the two graded stakes for older horses, the Grade 3 Ballerina and the BC Premier’s Handicap, also a Grade 3 will be run.

There was an Oktoberfest in the Marquee Tent even though it is still September. Given that beer is a significant component of Oktoberfests, no one appeared to be concerned about minor calendar discrepancies.  The track provided a betting voucher as part of the package for the 500 ticket buyers.  That may have helped gin up the handle as it was about a $100K better than last Saturday.

The fourth race on the card was the Bernie Gallagher Memorial. It was run in honour of longtime racetracker Bernie Gallagher who owned, raced and bred horses at Hastings for more than 40 years.  He had many winners over the decades, notably the seven-time stakes winner Arabella’s Muse.

The Fantasy: Summerland


The betting public calculated that Summerland ($2.20) would win from here to the Okanagan in the Fantasy, but it turned into a tight two-horse race between the winner and Dancin Shoes who was lapped on her at the wire. It was the first time the top two-year-olds went a distance and they covered the mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:45.04.  Our Here’s Hannah, who set the Fantasy record last year when she got the distance in 1:44.59 and, perhaps, Senate Appointee have run faster.  It is perhaps because the races were not timed in hundredths in 1991 when Senate Appointee, one of the most outstanding fillies to ever race here, was timed in 1:45 flat.  That could have been anywhere between145 flat and 1:45.19.  So, second or third fastest as it may be, it was quick.   Friday was about a week back in third, three-quarters of a length better than Gifted Grey who completed the brief field.  Enrique Gonzalez rode Summerland as he has for all four of her wins, beginning with a 3 ½ furlong debut in late May when she broke the track record.

Summerland went to the lead immediately at the break with Dancin Shoes in close pursuit. They ran 1-2 all the way, with Summerland clicking off even quarters in 24 and 24.21 seconds, then getting the next two quarters in 25 flat and 24.85 to close out the mile in 1:38.06.  They covered the last sixteenth in a shade under seven seconds.  Friday and Gifted Grey were in striking position going down the backstretch until Summerland and Dancing Shoes were asked to run.  After that, they were not.  It was the fourth win in five starts for Summerland and the first loss in three outings for Dancin Shoes.

Summerland was bred in Kentucky by Tres Hombres and George Gilbert. She is owned by Gilbert and trained by Philip Hall.  She is a daughter of He’s Tops and the Honour and Glory mare, Otero, who won stakes at two and three at Hastings and placed in several others while winning over a $100,000.

Both Summerland and Dancin Shoes have won two stakes. Summerland had taken the Spaghetti Mouse prior to winning the Fantasy and Dancin Shoes won the Debutante and the Sadie Diamond.  While the local pundits will have to sort out division honours, the fans can look forward to a rivalry next year in the three-year-old filly ranks.  They are both very nice horses.  It is worth noting that Dancin Shoes is a June 21 foal. The number of those that have ever won two stakes at Hastings, or anywhere else, in their two-year-old year would be mighty small.

Also Noteworthy:


The second half of a high- class Daily Double (the Fantasy having opened the card) was an Allowance Optional Claiming race for three-year-old fillies. It was won by Under Par ($2.80) to no one’s surprise as the 40 cents to the dollar return indicates.  Lookout Taylor was getting closer late, although not close enough, but his late wide run did get him past Sharp Contrast who stalked the winner early after deciding not to contest the pace. Aaron Gryder was aboard Under Par, the only horse in for the 25K tag, for his first of two wins on the day.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:17.84.  Under Par is owned by Canmor Farms and Maureen Goss.  Mark Cloutier trains the daughter of Stephanotis.  She was bred in BC by Glen Todd.


Gryder got his second win in the last (seventh) with Stormy Teen ($3.30) who ran the 6 ½ furlongs in a ridiculously fast 1:16.58 after getting three quarters in 1:09.72. Stormy Teen is owned by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trained by Glen Todd.  Stormy Teen was bred in BC by the late Doug Clyde.


Enrique Gonzalez also won a couple on the day.   He took the Fantasy, as discussed, and he teamed up again with trainer Philip Hall to win the sixth with Willing to Travel ($13.30) for owner/trainer Hall and owners Brian Albertson and Praven Sorensen.  Gonzalez’s double gives him 47 wins and moved him one ahead of Amadeo Perez.  After the photo session, Willing to Travel went to a new home.


The fourth was a Maiden Special Weight for two-year-olds that went to longshot Finally Gottcha ($34.70) who put the heavily favored Arranger away going down the backstretch and moved on to a comfortable 2 ¾ length margin after completing the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.98. It was a triple-header for Clint Wilson who bred, owns and trains Finally Gottcha.  In addition to the winner’s share of the $25,000 purse, Wilson will collect $10,000 in Incentive Awards as the breeder and owner of Finally Gottcha.  Ruben Lara rode the winner.


The fifth, a 16K Waiver Claiming race, fell to Heartset ($10.00) who laid down a strong mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:44.36 to prevail over Sanawar by a neck that was getting shorter with every stride. Sahin Civaci rode for owner/trainer Patty Leaney.


Unleashed ($7.00) took the third to break his maiden with Denis Araujo aboard for owner/breeders Russell and Lois Bennett. Barbara Heads trains the homebred gelded son of Finality


Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

Hastings Wrap-up For September 22


My publishers, blog masters (sounds a little kinky), whatever you want to call them, were out of town last weekend. Glen Todd was at Keeneland and Michael Bye was on his roundabout way to Egypt, so I took last Sunday off and did not do a wrap-up.  Instead of staring at a blank computer screen trying to think of what to fill it up with, I settled into the Sunday night NFL game with a glass of red.  I did have a twinge of guilt but was soon over it.  So, just let me wrap-up last Sunday by saying it was a lot like this Saturday which was a lot like last Saturday.  Grey, wet days with no plethora of horses or fans.  We are down to the people with the passion.


Shayla’s Rose


As honest as the day is long is Shayla’s Rose ($3.20) who opened the card with a five-length victory in a mile-and-sixteenth route run over a wet track. Final time was 1:46.16.  Shayla’s Rose gives her best about every time out and has now been 1-2-3 in 20 of her 29 lifetime starts.  Sahin Civaci rode the winner for owner/trainer Ted Hurt and owner Nancy Hurt.  Glen Todd bred the daughter of Sir Gallovic in BC.

Expensive Taste


The second went to Expensive Taste ($26.00) who was the longest shot on the board and the fastest horse in the race. She hit the front before they had gone a half-mile and steadily widened from there.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:17.43.  Apprentice Lenny Seecharan was the lightest of burdens at 106 pounds, 15 less than runner-up Classic Statement.  No matter, Expensive Taste was never losing today.  Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds owns and Mike Anderson trains.

Silent Eagle


Apprentice Seecharan picked up a pound and a second straight win with Silent Eagle ($9.20) in the third. It was a $25,000 waiver claiming event for older horses at a mile-and-a-sixteenth that passed in a rapid 1:43.85.  The track was playing fast, but no matter how you parse it, that was stepping for claiming types.  Silent Eagle with Seecharan riding at 107 carried 13 pounds less than second place finisher Square Dancer.  Nevertheless, he was full value with a frontrunning effort that had him discourage Dashing Don and then hold Square Dancer.  Silent Eagle is owned by Kristina Collins, Matthew Collins and Andrew Collins.  He is trained by Andrew Collins.  The winner was bred in BC by Salishan Meadows.

The Hybrid


Combining some tactical speed and a closing kick with a very brave ride from Amadeo Perez produced a win for The Hybrid ($8.60) in the fourth, a 25K maiden waiver claimer for two-year-olds. Squeezing through on the rail in deep stretch got The Hybrid past Finaly Classy who looked like the winner until very late in the proceedings.  Kerri Raven owns and trains The Hybrid, a $5,500 purchase as a weanling at the Keeneland November Sale.



Benefiting from a well-measured ride by Enrique Gonzalez, European ($7.40) proved a neck better than the late closing Rogerio after 6 ½ furlongs in a solid 1:17.37. The 16K waiver claiming race for three-year-olds drew a field of eight geldings and 6 of them were within a length-and-a-half of each other at the wire, European being at the head of the cavalry charge led by his jockey, Enrique Gonzalez.  The winner is owned by Swift Thoroughbreds and is trained by Dino Condilenios.  European, by Cause to Believe, was bred in BC by Peter Redekop BC Ltd.

Kensington Market


The sixth was a 25K maiden waiver claiming affair for two-year-old-fillies that was won by Kensington Market ($7.20) in what was essentially a wire-to-wire effort, even if she took a few steps to get to the lead. Her final 6 ½ furlong time of 1:19.10 was about 3 lengths faster than the juvenile boys went two races earlier.  Commanding Notice chased hard all the way in a good effort, but one that never really worried Kensington Market.  It was the first of two straight wins for jockey Denis Araujo.  Kensington Market is owned by Foundation Stables and trained by Robert Anderson.  The winner, a daughter of Mass Market, was bred in BC by Foundation Racing Stable.  Out of the stakes winning mare Gosailgo, Kensington Market is a half-sister to the multiple stakes winner Weekend Wizard.  Kensington Market was a $14,500 RNA at the 2017 CTHS Sale.

Great Blake


Denis Araujo closed out the card with Great Blake ($3.80) who laid waste to a field of 4K waiver claimers while getting the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17 flat. That is tough for bottoms non-winners of three lifetime to contend with.  El Diamante and Iama Better Cause both tried at one time or another, but Great Blake drew off as he pleased when he was asked to do so.  It was the second consecutive score for Great Blake who has now won three this season.  He is owned by Robert and Sheena Maybin and is trained by Robert Maybin.


Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

Hastings Wrap-up For September 9 

No way around it, there was something of a day after feel in the air, not to mention considerable moisture, but we ran a card that produced 4 double-digit win prices and few things will brighten a racing fan’s day more than a good return on a couple of bucks.

When it comes to owners, trainers and breeders, few things will brighten their day more than winning three of the eight races carded. And that is what trainer Barbara Heads and owner/breeders Russell and Lois Bennett did on Sunday.  Jockey Silvino Morales was aboard for two of those wins.

Scott Williams and Richard Hamel also rode two winners on the card. The stallion Finality also sired a couple of winners.  Finality stands at Red Rock Farm.

Pan Handle


The feature race was the second, an Allowance for three-year-olds that was won by Pan Handle ($16.20) to the benefit of owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trainer Glen Todd. Pan Handle and runner-up Smart Deal played bumper cars at the head of the lane, then battled down the stretch.  Pan Handle slowly got the edge and got home three-quarters of a length ahead of Smart Deal who had three lengths on Proof It in third.  Scott Williams rode the winner who covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.70 over a track rated as wet fast.

Pan Handle was bred in British Columbia by Salishan Meadows and North American Thoroughbred Horse Company. He is by Texas Wildcatter out of a Thunder Gulch mare.  Pan Handle needed nine starts to break his maiden but appears to be getting the hang of it now having won two of his last four.

Also Noteworthy:


The Barbara Heads/Russell and Lois Bennett express got on track in the first when Fireman ($4.80) comfortably wired a 25K maiden claimer by 3 ½ lengths.   The Bennett homebred by Sungold was ridden by Antonio Reyes, the first of two for him.  The same combo won the sixth with Jayna ($19.00) who posted her third win of the season in seven starts.  Jayna, by Finality, is another Bennett homebred.


The Heads/Bennett collaboration produced the winner of the eighth and last in Parsimonious ($8.50) although there was nothing stingy about the 5 ¾ lengths he won by. Scott Williams rode the gelded son of Finality.  It completed a double for both rider and stallion.  For Russell and Lois Bennett and Barbara Heads, it wrapped up an owner/breeder/trainer hat trick.

Jockey Richard Hamel had a back-to-back riding double. He won the fourth with Ezekiel ($14.60) for Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. and trainer Dino Condilenios.  Hamel followed that up with a 7 ¼ length romp aboard Silvertown ($5.90) in a 16K claimer for non-winners of three lifetime.  Ken Johnson owns Silvertown and Keith Pedersen is the trainer.


In the third, Tricky Notis ($4.00) appeared to benefit from a class drop that took him out of Maiden Special Weights and into a 12.5K maiden claimer. It is also possible that some surgical gender modification may have improved his ability to focus on the business at hand.  In any case, he cleared a mixed field of two-year-old maidens by almost three lengths for Canmor Farms and Tracy McCarthy.  Ole Nielsen bred the winner in BC and Mark Cloutier trains him.


Second Solo ($5.30) and Silvino Morales won the seventh for owners John Snow, High Stakes Thoroughbreds, Wayne Oliver, Dreamtime Stables and John Heatherington. John Snow trains the horse that he and Tammy Snow bred.

With five weekends left there is a dead heat in the jockey race between Enrique Gonzalez and Amadeo Perez. Both have won 42 times.  Aaron Gryder is next, having won 32 races.  Antonio Reyes has 28 wins, followed by Denis Araujo with 26 and Richard Hamel with 24.

There is no mystery as to who the leading trainer will be. Philip Hall has won 34 to date and does not appear to be running out of ammunition.  That is good for a 12-win margin over Glen Todd who is second with 22 trips to the Winner’s Circle.  Mark Cloutier has been 21 times and the siblings Barbara Heads and Mike Anderson have both won 20.  Robert Maybin and Craig MacPherson fill the fifth slot with 13 wins apiece.

North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. remains comfortably atop the owners’ table with 17 wins. Robert and Sheena Maybin continue to occupy the place spot with lucky 13.  Russell and Lois Bennett have a dozen, two ahead of both Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. and Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd.  Riversedge Racing Stables, Ltd. has won 9.

We learned of long time Hastings trainer David Dahl’s passing today. David was a significant part of the Hastings racing community, both as a horseman and as a member of the security team that must look after the safety and welfare of both the horsemen and women and racing patrons attending the track.  He was seriously injured in 2010 while on duty at the Winner’s Circle when a horse left the track and crashed into the area where people were standing.  Spectators said there would have been more injuries had David not stepped in front of people to shield them.  He was not all that well from time to time following that incident and was living with a significant diagnosis.  That did not keep him away from the track or his horses.  He loved being there until the end and he bravely created a quality of life for himself.  He will be remembered and missed.



Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter


Hastings Wrap-up For Derby Day


We caught a Derby Day break from the weatherman in that the rain held off for about half the card and started late enough to not dissuade the large crowd that showed up to take in the year’s strongest Hastings program. There were six stakes on the docket, including the Derby, Oaks and two Futurities.  Not to mention the S. W. Randall Plate and the Delta Colleen.  The on-track handle topped 220K and all sources wagering was north of $1.2 million.

The fans witnessed some outstanding performances, both human and equine. Trainer Philip Hall saddled 3 winners and jockey Enrique Gonzalez was aboard for all three.  Rico Walcott shipped in to win two stakes.  Antonio Reyes matched that for the home team.  George Gilbert had two wins as an owner, highlighted by the return of the prodigal daughter Summerland who dusted the field in an Allowance race for two-year-olds that was named in honor the late Cecil Peacock, a long-time owner who won the Derby here in 1997.  But on to the six stakes we ran on Saturday.

The British Columbia Derby: Sky Promise


Things did not look all that promising for Sky Promise ($4.70) going into the final turn of the Derby. He was lengths behind Weekend Wizard who had the lead after a dawdling 6 furlongs in 1:14.06.  At that point jockey Rico Walcott began doing some serious asking.  Sky Promise managed to find another gear and ran Weekend Wizard down late in the lane even though Weekend Wizard had found another gear of his own and was not stopping.  Canadian Game who had been right beside Weekend Wizard for much of the trip secured third despite tiring from his frontend exertions.  Sky Promise got the mile-and-an-eighth in 1:51.77.

Weekend Wizard and Canadian Game kept close company for the first three-quarters of a mile. Canadian Game maintained a narrow margin early before Weekend Wizard wrested it away with a burst that had him lengths clear of everybody coming into the stretch.  But just when it looked like he might be home and dry, Rico Walcott got Sky Promise rolling.  They dropped down inside Weekend Wizard for the final push and got past him about one jockey statue before the finish line.  It was the second BC Derby win in a row for trainer Robertino Diodoro, jockey Walcott and Clayton Wiest and Rick Wiest who co-own Sky Promise with R 6 Stable and Norman Tremblay.  The winner, by Sky Mesa, was bred in Kentucky by Normandy Farm LLC.  He sold as a yearling at the July Fasig-Tipton Sale for $55,000 US.

It really was déjà vu all over again. Last year on June 30 Diodoro claimed Chief Know It All for Clayton Wiest and Rick Wiest and partners at Churchill Downs for $100,000.  He proceeded to win the Canadian and British Columbia Derbies in his first two starts for the new connections.  This year, on June 30, Diodoro claimed Sky Promise for the Wiests and partners.  Not only did he win the Canadian and British Columbia Derbies, he kicked off the run by winning the Manitoba Derby.  They claimed Sky Promise for $40,000 so they may have gotten more for less.  By the way, in terms of déjà vu, Rico Walcott was aboard for all five wins.

The Derby trophy was presented by former BC Supreme Court Justice Wally Oppal and the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. It was likely one of the few times anyone from Alberta was pleased to be on the receiving end of something from the Sedins.

The British Columbia Oaks: Here’s Hannah


Here’s Hannah ($3.80) showed up where she usually does, that being the Winner’s Circle for the seventh time in eight starts following a wire-to-wire tour de force in the Oaks. Here’s Hannah set all the fractions, including some (a quarter in 23.1, the half in 47.3) that would have doomed a less talented horse.  But Here’s Hannah has a high cruising speed, and after today’s win at a mile-and-an-eighth, there can be no doubt about her stamina.  Tip Toe exhibited her quality with a dogged effort that had her second going into the final turn, but that was it.  She was unable to narrow the gap for the last quarter mile.  Raider closed well to be third, but she, like the others in the well strung-out field, was in a race that did not have anything to do with Here’s Hannah.  The length-and-a-half she won by sounds closer than it appeared to be visually.  Here’s Hannah was not in any danger of getting caught.  Richard Hamel rode the winner and the duo has now won seven times in seven starts.

Here’s Hannah was never headed after breaking on top, although the longshot Bear tried mightily early. After Bear recognized the inevitable and retreated, her stablemate Tip Toe moved into position but was unable to advance against Here’s Hannah whose final time of 1:52.77 for the mile-and-an-eighth compared favorably to the 1:52.64 the older fillies and mares hung up in the Delta Colleen three races earlier.

Here’s Hannah, by Numaany, was bred in British Columbia by B. C. Stables.  She is owned by B C Stables and Paul Caravetta.  John Morrison trains and he has kept her on top of her game.  If she comes back to face older horses in the Grade 3 Ballerina on the 8th of October it will be a genuine event.

The Sadie Diamond Futurity: Dancin Shoes


The two-year-old filly Dancin Shoes ($2.90) skipped the light fantastic down the lane in the Sadie Diamond as the odds-on favorite drew away to an 8 ½ length win over second choice Notice. Krissy ran evenly to finish third and was not far away from Notice, but they were both a long way behind Dancin Shoes.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:19.22.

Dancin Shoes had only a couple behind her after the first quarter, but not long after they straightened out for the run down the backside she kicked into gear and began to run past horses. Jockey Antonio Reyes seemed less concerned about saving ground than he was about having anything get in Dancin Shoes way.  He rode her like she was much the best horse and he was right.  When she caught the pace-setting Notice early on the last turn, the contest was for second because the winner was no longer in doubt.  It was only a matter of how far and that turned out to be quite a bit.

Dancin Shoes was bred in British Columbia by her owners David Pihl and Delaurlyn Pihl. Barbara Heads trains Dancin Shoes who is from the first crop of Cross Traffic, a son of Unbridled’s Song.  Cross Traffic ran one season as a four-year-old and counted the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga as one of his three wins in six starts.  Dancin Shoes is out of the Gone West mare Andtheliviniseasy.  Given Gone West on the bottom and a sire who won a Grade 1 at a-mile-and-an-eighth, a pedigree geek could conclude that she is likely to have no problem covering the mile-and-a-sixteenth distance in the Fantasy.

The Jack Diamond Futurity: Dat Day


The only real surprise among the six stakes results was sprung by the maiden Dat Day ($24.20) in the Jack Diamond. Dat Day was the only price to win one of the day’s six stakes, the other five were won by favorites or second choices, but he was full value for the win.  Arranger did all the work early and looked like the winner for all but the last few yards.  He was still a solid second over betting favorite Call It a Wrap who closed well to be third.  Fine efforts, but the day belonged to Dat Day who picked a pretty posh spot to shed his maiden condition.

Antonio Reyes kept Dat Day in the clear at the cost of giving up some real estate around the first turn, and to a lesser extent the final turn as well. Reyes had no real opportunity to tuck in early and was outside of Arranger around the second.  Regardless, he just kept grinding prior to getting his reward for effort close to the wire.  Dat Day required 1:19.35 to complete the 6 ½ furlong Diamond distance.

Dat Day is owned by Canyon Farms who also bred him in British Columbia. He is by New Year’s Day, a son of Street Cry.  New Year’s Day had a brief 3 race career that culminated with a win in the Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile.  Dat Day’s dam is the French bred Datura who won a race in 3 starts after bringing the equivalent of $338,000 at the Tatersalls Sale in December of 2004.  Trainer Craig MacPherson got Dat Day to the Winner’s Circle off works after he missed in a maiden race by a nose in mid-July.

The S. W. Randall Plate: Absolutely Stylish


Absolutely Stylish ($8.40) ended up absolutely dominating the Randall. After he shook off the longshot Silent Eagle, he had only runner-up Don’t Hold Me Back to contend with.  He did so with considerable aplomb, drawing away by half a dozen lengths as they came home.  Highway Boss made a move on the final turn and looked momentarily like he might finish second before flattening out and checking in third.  Final time for the mile-and-an-eighth was 1:50.89.

Rider Enrique Gonzalez sent Absolutely Stylish from the rail to get the lead, then got him to relax as they set moderate early fractions on their way to a clear lead after 6 furlongs had passed in a comfortable 1:13.42. From there, Gonzalez stepped on it.  Absolutely Stylish covered the last three-eighths in 37.2 seconds and no one was ever going to run him down.

Absolutely Stylish is owned by Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd. who bought him for $285,000 in the 2016 Barretts March Select Two-Year-Old In Training Sale. Philip Hall trains the four-year-old Kentucky bred son of Uncle Mo. Anyone observing Absolutely Stylish galloping out after running the fastest mile-and-an-eighth of the day, as was appropriate for older colts and geldings, could be forgiven for thinking that the 1 3/8 miles of the Grade 3 Premier’s Handicap is going to be right in the winner’s wheelhouse.  Gonzalez had a hard time pulling him up deep in the backstretch and when he got him stopped and turned around, Absolutely Stylish wanted to run some more.

The Delta Colleen: Reginella


Off a win in the Emerald Downs Distaff, the public made Reginella ($8.90) the second choice in the Delta Colleen and she did not disappointment, although things began to get a little desperate as they approached the wire. Notis the Jewell ran her to a nose with a late surge that closed a ton of ground but came up an ounce short.  Top Quality put in a strong effort to be third, a half-length away from the first two.  The top two covered the mile-and-an-eighth in 1:52.64.

Reginella had to do a little work to wrest the early lead away from Touching Promise and that one harassed her for a goodly portion of the journey before giving way after 6 furlongs in 1:12.92. As Touching Promise began to fade, the public choice Top Quality took her shot.  It was a good one, but not quite good enough.  The real threat would come from Notis the Jewell, although that was not apparent at the top of the stretch.  She appeared to have too much to do, and although that proved to be the case, it was so by a diminishing nose.  Rico Walcott kept the winner going long enough to score his second stakes win on the card.

Reginella was bred in California by DiPietro Thoroughbreds and is owned by Luigi DiPietro. The daughter of Minister’s Wild Cat is trained by Blaine Wright who has cut a swath through the Hastings’ stake program with his forays north from his Emerald Downs base.

Also Noteworthy:

Summerland ($2.60) returned from her sojourn to Del Mar to remind the local fillies who is who on this side of the 49th parallel.  The two-year-old filly’s time of 1:17.44 for the 6 ½ furlongs was in the neighborhood of 9 lengths faster than Dancin Shoes ran a race later in the Sadie Diamond.  Tres Hombres and George Gilbert bred her in Kentucky and Gilbert owns and races her.  Philip Hall trains Summerland who was ridden by Enrique Gonzalez.

In the opener, Peach Pike ($3.20), under rider Amadeo Perez, ran away and hid from a field of 4K fillies and mares. She was owned by Wishful Thinking Friends, Aces and Eights Racing Stable and Delton Stable.  She was trained by Nancy Betts.  The winner was claimed out of her winning effort.

Aldergrove ($7.80) wired the sixth for owners Philip Hall, George Gilbert, Brian Albertson and Praven Sorensen. Philip Hall trains the winner who provided him with his third win on the card.  Jockey Enrique Gonzalez was also winning his third of the day, all in combination with Hall.

In the nightcap Babylon Will Fall ($16.50) fell in on the frontrunners late in the contest after benefiting from a well-timed ride from Jose Asencio to score for owner James Redekop and trainer Mike Anderson.


It should also be noted that the second race on Saturday’s card was named in honor of Cecil Newton Peacock, known to his many friends as Cec, who passed in late July after a splendid 91-year run. Cec Peacock began as a farmer, then went into the oil business and used some of the proceeds to establish a very successful racing stable that competed at many tracks in Canada and the United States.  In 1997 he had the Horse of the Year in British Columbia in Liberty Road who won 4 stakes that season.  That same year Cec won the BC Derby with Bobbin for Stars who was named Champion BC Bred Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding.  In 1999 Cec had Digital Dan who won three stakes at Hastings before shipping to Calgary to win the Alberta Derby.

But his greatest successes were yet to come. In 2003 he bought a filly named Don’tsellmeshort at the Barretts sale who would go on to win 3 stakes and $400,000.  Cec liked her so well that in 2005 he paid $275,000 for her full brother who was named Brother Derek.  Brother Derek would go on to win five graded stakes including the Santa Anita Derby.  Brother Derek finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after getting about as bad a trip as a horse could have.  Cec handled his bad luck with the same class and grace that exemplified his entire 91 years on earth.  He rounded up family and friends and went out to an Irish pub in Louisville to eat, drink and be merry.

Cecil Peacock enjoyed a long and successful life. He did well in business, had a family that he loved and was loved by and he had a strong passion for thoroughbred racing.  He had an elegance that shone through a down-to-earth exterior and a respect for his fellow human beings that applied to all, regardless of their station in life.  A good deal of Cec’s philosophy of life can be found in what he had to say after Brother Derek’s tough luck trip in the Kentucky Derby.

“When you have a horse running in a race, its an unexplainable feeling. The anxiety of getting ready for the race, the anxiety of watching the race and then all of a sudden, the race is over.  And then you have a glass of wine.”



Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up every racing day in the Derby Bar & Grill Daily Newsletter

Hastings Wrap-up For September 5


The dual (both BC and Canadian) Hall of Famers that are the brothers Frank and Harold Barroby bookended the card with wins in the first and last. Amadeo Perez moved back to the top of the rider standings with two wins on the card, good for a one-win lead over Enrique Gonzalez.  That master of the long bomb, Robert Maybin won the sixth race with a 51-1 shot and set up a carryover to Derby Day in the neighborhood of $90,000.  That will generate a massive Pick 5 play on Saturday that could very well put a half-million in the pool.   By the way, four of Maybin’s last 5 winners went off at better than 11-1.  He has had 13 wins at Hastings this season for an average win price of $24.40.

Captain Jones In Command


Taking advantage of a torrid pace duel, Captain Jones ($26.70) ignored the fact that he was the longest shot on the board and ran the frontrunners down to score by 2 lengths in the opener. Spring in Alberta, the only horse behind Captain Jones early, rallied for second.  Papa Papa Papa, although tired from contesting the stiff pace, was only a head back in third.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:17.70, the fastest of the night.

Captain Jones is owned by Sharlea Stable, Pumpkin Stable, Gary Johnson and Rocking Bar B Outfit. Frank Barroby trains the winner and Antonio Reyes rode the gelded son of Bold Executive.

Explode Blows Up A Maiden Field


Explode ($4.90) took the second, a Maiden Special Weight for two-year-olds, with a stalk and pounce effort that was good for a 3 ¼ length win over Whiskey Bound who chased willingly through 6 ½ furlongs that went in 1:18.32. That was a solid time for two-year-old maidens over a track that did not play as fast as has been the case sometimes this season.  The first-time starter Purple Storm was along for third, but well back of the top two.  Amadeo Perez rode Explode for the first of two wins on the card.

Explode is owned by Canmor Farms and is trained by Mark Cloutier. Prior to breaking his maiden, Explode had been second twice and third once in three previous starts.  He was bought as a weanling for $2,500 by Ole Nielsen in the 2016 Keeneland November Sale and offered back in the 2017 CTHS Sale (BC Div.) where he was an RNA at $14,500.  He would bring that now.

Also Noteworthy:


Got My Mo ($2.60) justified his 3 to 10 favoritism with a head to spare over Great Blake who chased for all the 6 ½ furlongs but just could not get by Got My Mo and jockey Aaron Gryder. North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. owns the winner and Glen Todd trains him.  Final time for the gelded son of Uncle Mo was 1:18.95.


City Steel ($12.40) proved his mettle in the fourth, a route race for open 12.5 older claiming horses. At the age of 8, City Steel certainly qualifies as older, but despite looking like a runner-up on the final turn, City Steel kept on trying and caught the front-running Heartset late to win by a neck.  The final time of 1:46.05 was quite acceptable given the way the track was playing.  City Steel is owned and trained by David Milburn.  City Steel has now won 14 out of 53 starts and been in the money 32 times.


The nine-year-old gelding Halo’s Quest ($32.30) won the fifth.   It proved to be a mixed gender event for older horses as three mares wanting to run long joined five geldings for the mile-and-a-sixteenth jaunt.  Halo’s Quest diced for the early lead with Be a Hole Auger and then turned back the favored We Found Gold to win by almost two lengths.  Sahin Civaci was aboard for owner David Bennington and trainer James Brown.  The winner was bred in BC by Shamrock Racing Stables Ltd.


Feel No Shame ($104.30) got no support but we were all wrong as he prevailed to the astonishment of most, while enriching the clairvoyants in the crowd. Silvino Morales was in the saddle and he produced a ride that made the winner a real good thing as he finished a neck up on Santa Fe Trail.   The mile-and-a-sixteenth took 1:48.35 to complete.  Feel No Shame was bred in BC by his owners, Robert and Sheena Maybin.  The gelded son of Acceptable is trained by Robert Maybin.  Feel no shame was the only horse not covered in the Pick 5 and his win provided a carryover to Derby Day in the 90K range.


The last was, in its own way, a classic two horse duel, a real horse race between two equally matched horses who hookup at the break and fight it out all the way around. In this case it was Stoneridge Ruler ($9.90) and the 20-1 El Diamante going at it tooth and nail for 6 ½ furlongs before Stoneridge Ruler got to the wire a nose ahead of El Diamante.  The runner-up hit the head of the lane with a length lead, but Stoneridge Ruler slowly ground that away to get there in the last jump.  The winner is owned by Fred Kwan and Sheldon Kwan.  Harold Barroby trains the gelded son of Storm Victory who was bred in BC by Dr. Sheila McDonald.