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

Hastings Wrap-up For July 21 

The Deighton Cup Runneth Over


An enormous crowd showed up Saturday for the Deighton Cup festivities. Historic Old Hastings Racecourse was a happening place; the tarmac was packed from east to west, the sun was shining brightly on a mass of interspersed gamblers, revelers, race-trackers and fashionistas, all of whom appeared to be laser focused on having fun or winning some money, or better yet, both.  They bet almost a quarter-million on track and the all sources handle was a healthy 773K.

Amadeo Perez had a riding triple and Sahin Civaci’s double left only 3 races to be divvied up among the rest of the jock’s room.  Trainer Mark Cloutier won twice, as did owner Canmor Farms.  It was a good day for them and it was a good day for all of us.

Under Par Birdies The First


The best horses on the day ran in the first, an Allowance Optional for three-year-old fillies. There were five of them, all eligible for the Allowance condition, and easily the best was Under Par ($3.80) who scorched a small field of three-year-old fillies with blistering early fractions (21.85, 45.23 and 1:10.22) on her way to 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.42.  Lookout Taylor did some closing late to be second and Bear held on to third despite having been repelled by Under Par after a brief early tussle for the lead.

Under Par opened up a four-length lead going to the half-mile and padded that some prior to slowing a bit late in the lane. But by that time, it was over and done and rider Aaron Gryder had a comfortable trip home, winning by 2 ½ lengths.  Under Par was bred in British Columbia by Glen Todd.  She is by Stephanotis out of the stakes-placed German mare Big Bertha. Under Par is owned by Canmor Farms and Maureen Goss and is trained by Mark Cloutier.  It was the first of two on the day for Cloutier and Canmor.

Also Noteworthy:


Amadeo Perez’s riding triple came in the third, fourth and seventh races. He kicked it off with the heavily favored Jazz Lady ($3.20) for owner James Eccott and leading trainer Philip Hall.  Jazz Lady got the 6 furlongs in a solid 1:10.98 on her way to a final time of 1:17.88 for the 6 ½.   Jazz Lady was a pretty tough horse to have to run against for a $6,250 tag and clearly, a lot of people thought so.  There was a 6-way shake following that brief, but wonderful Winner’s Circle ritual and she went to a new home.  The ever game Shayla’s Rose missed by a head to finish second while well clear of Beentospain in third.


Perez came right back in the fourth with another odds-on winner in Peach Pike ($3.40) who devastated a brief group of 4k filly and mare claimers when she laid a mile-and-a-sixteenth on them in 1:45.24. She got the final sixteenth in 6.80 seconds while drawing off 9 lengths clear at the wire.  Cassidy Finality and Forever Crystal were second and third.  Peach Pike is owned by Wishful Thinking Friends, Aces and Eights Racing Stable and Delton Stable.  Nancy Betts trains.

Perez got his triple in the seventh race with Include Quinn ($9.90) for owner Canmor Farms and trainer Mark Cloutier. It was the second win on the card for Canmor and Cloutier who also combined to win the opener.  Include Quinn was bred in BC by Ole Nielsen.  He is by Include out of the Hall of Fame race mare, Monashee.

Bowchickawowwow – Patti Tubbs photo

Jockey Sahin Civaci also won two on the card. He took the second, a 16K maiden claimer comprised of three-year-old-colts and geldings, with Bowchickawowwow ($4.50) on behalf of owner Willow Creek Farms and trainer Deirdre Bell.  The 6 ½ furlong sprint went in a respectable 1:18.12.  Willow Creek Farms and Bell had two-thirds of the triactor as Back Alley Denali checked in third, a length back of Dreamin of Peace in second.

Civaci’s other win came in the fifth aboard Lord of the North ($9.10) who beat the heavily favored Sir Knight by three-quarters of a length in a 3 ½ furlong dash over the Nursery Course. Amorcito ran third at almost 20-1.  The 25k maiden event for two-year-olds was completed in 40.65 seconds.  Lord of the North, a son of Numaany is owned by his breeder, Shamrock Racing Stable, Ltd. and is trained by James Brown.


Jockey Ruben Lara got his first win last Sunday and he wasted no time getting his second as he struck again in Saturday’s sixth race with Salzburg ($10.60) for owner Floyd Whiteman and trainer Stephen Byrne. Salzburg covered the 6 ½ furlongs in a quick 1:17.52 while taking the 4K claimer for older horses.  The race was one of several on the card that demonstrated just how difficult the racing can be in the lower claiming ranks at Hastings.  Salzburg got the first 6 furlongs in 1:10.16 and still had enough gas in the tank to get home two lengths clear of Act Up and Brother Rod who ran second and third, separated by a head.  Salzburg was bred in BC by Jennifer Jackson, Paul Hunter and Agnes Jackson.  The winner was claimed.

The last of eight on the card was won by Belli Girl ($8.80) who proved much the best in a field of 4K fillies and mares who were all going a mile-and-a-sixteenth, although at different rates. Belli Girl ran away from her competitors to score by 8 ½ widening lengths in 1:47.18.   Tell Us a Tale and Parianne were a distant second and third.  Richard Hamel rode the winner for owners Ashley Krisman, Morris Peter, Tod Mtn. Thoroughbreds and Warren Wilson.  Charlene Miller trains the four-year-old daughter of Finality who was bred in BC by W. T. Wilson, Tod Mtn. Thoroughbreds, et al.

Richard Yates Hastings Wrap-up for Sunday

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

Hastings Wrap-up For July 15


The dog races were concluded on Sunday in front of a huge crowd. The track appeared to favor early speed as several of the heat winners, not to mention the grand finale, opened large early leads.  There was, however, a tendency for the pace-setters to hang late and have to somehow withstand big runs from the closers.  Actually, the dog race dynamics (somebody went to the front, others chased) were similar to the day’s equine events, even if the aesthetics fell a little short of thoroughbreds in motion.  Corgis will be the next breed in and I have it on good authority that the Queen, a Corgi fancier of the first magnitude, will attend to decorate the winner.  Tell everybody to come on out and see her on Corgi Day.

Even more than was the case on Saturday, the handle was enhanced by the sheer volume of people present. Betting on horses may not have been what brought them out, but for some the frustration of not being able to back their canine choices boiled over into a thirst for action that could in the moment only be sated with a trip to the windows.

There were two stake races carded, the 6-furlong Spaghetti Mouse for two-year-olds and the Lieutenant Governors’ for older horses at a mile-and-a-sixteenth. It was a case of the young and the old.  The young being Spaghetti Mouse victor Summerland, the two-year-old filly who has been nothing short of brilliant in winning her two lifetime starts.  The old was Calgary Caper who at seven beat the eight-year-old Modern in the Lieutenant Governors’.  Leading trainer Philip Hall sent out the winner of both stakes to post a high-class double and jockey Jose Asencio continued his recovery from last year’s riding injury with a double of his own.

Summerland And The Winning Is Easy


The filly Summerland ($2.30) devasted the three geldings and one colt that ventured out to face her in the Spaghetti Mouse Stakes, the first such race of the season for two-year-olds. As far as the betting public was concerned, the race was over before it was run.  The fans made Summerland a 15-cents to the dollar favorite and she turned the bet into a 6-furlong investment that required precisely 1:10.82 seconds to pay a 15% dividend.  The final time represents some serious stepping by Summerland who was 7 ¼ lengths ahead at the wire only because Enrique Gonzalez did not see the need to win by more.  Vintage Man ran second all the way around.  He attempted to test the winner going into the last turn, but he was unable to pose any question that Summerland did not have an answer for.  She left him on the turn and put more distance between them all the way home.  Still, Vintage Man easily held the place ahead of Bugsy who ran an even third the whole way.

Summerland set the track record for 3 ½ furlongs in her debut and her 6-furlong time today was about as fast as any two-year-old ever runs at Hastings. She has quickly emerged as a bright star in the local racing firmament.  No two-year-old in these parts is going to beat her sprinting as long as she stays sound, and it is difficult to see who is going to beat her if she can carry her blazing speed beyond sprint distances.  The sky is the limit.

Summerland was bred in Kentucky by Tres Hombres and George Gilbert. She races for Gilbert now and Philip Hall trains the daughter of He’s Tops and the Honour and Glory mare, Otero.   The mare won stakes at two and three at Hastings.  Summerland is the first and only winner from her four foals.  Her older half-sister, Spanish Dancer, ran in the next race, finishing fourth in a $4,000 maiden claimer.  Proof once again that breeding racehorses is more art than science.

Calgary Caper Heists The Lieutenant Governors’


Calgary Caper ($13.00) is back to his old tricks, namely trailing the field for a while and then inhaling it with a long, sustained run that gets him home late in the proceedings, but there nevertheless. That’s how it was in 2016 when he was Champion Older Male in BC after winning the S. W. Randall Plate and the Pacific Custom Brokers Classic.  Things went not so well the next year. On Sunday, the 2016 edition of Calgary Caper showed up.  He hit the front early in the stretch and moved away from Modern who continued on to be second after setting a vicious pace.  The sharp social climber Coulterberry closed well for third.

Modern appeared to be trying to make it clear that any talk about assisted living was premature. He out competed Bistraya and Driller for the early lead and proceeded to blaze a trail that included a half-mile in 46.19 and 6 furlongs in 1:10.82.  He discouraged Highway Boss who made a run at him, then Driller, The All Button and Bistraya.  He held off all of them, save for Calgary Caper.  Sahin Civaci gave Calgary Caper a perfect ground saving ride before finding a seam at the head of the lane and moving emphatically to the lead and gradually widening all the way home.  The final time of 1:43.65 was good for a 2 ½ length margin over Modern.

Calgary Caper is owned by Kim Peacock, Lance Giesbrecht and trainer Philip Hall. He launched his career at Woodbine in 2013 and broke his maiden in a Maiden Special Weight there in his second start.  Things went well for a while, then not so good and he ran at Turf Paradise for $12,500 before coming north and getting good again.  2017 saw things go a little south again, but he is clearly a much better horse now.

Also Noteworthy:


The card opened with an Allowance for horses that had not won three lifetime. It was taken in definitive fashion by Hansen’s Victory ($7.00) who had the lead before they went into the first turn and never gave it up.  Absolutely Stylish offered Hansen’s Victory some mild harassment for part of the trip without ever really bothering him.  Going into the final turn, Hansen’s Victory separated himself from Absolutely Stylish and from there it was difficult to work up much enthusiasm for the chances of any of the others.  Absolutely Stylish was able to hold on to second over Spring in Alberta who finished third.  Aaron Gryder metered out Hansen’s Victory at a rate that produced a 4 ½ length margin after a mile-and-a-sixteenth that flew by in 1:43.49.   That was almost a length faster than Calgary Caper ran in the Lieutenant Governors’ five races later.  Hansen’s Victory, who topped the 2015 CTHS Sale at $65,000, is owned by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Russell Morrison and Peter Tom.  Glen Todd trains the Kentucky bred gelded son of Hansen.  The next stop is in the stakes program.


Apprentice Jose Asencio got his riding double started with Crafty Memory ($12.90) in the third. John Snow trains the winner for Chris Babiy, Chad Michener and Justin McGhee.  Asencio came right back in the fourth with Run Harvey Run ($11.30) for owner J T Racing and trainer Mike Anderson who saddled the exacta with Fantastic Command checking in second.  The winner was bred in BC by Corsair Holdings.


Jockey Ruben Lara got his first win of the season aboard Convergent ($42.00) who at 20-1 provided the day’s largest win price. Frank Ma trains the Florida bred for Barry Lee and Concepcion Mabanta.


The nightcap saw Brother Brian ($7.60) get the job done for rider Denis Araujo, owners East Van Racing Stables, Lindsey Edge and Demetris Topouzis. The winner was bred in BC by Clint Wilson.  Demetris Topouzis does the training.

Half way through the season, Enrique Gonzalez leads all riders with 26 wins. Amadeo Perez is second with 24, although he does lead in earnings, his mounts having won 376K.  The show spot is currently occupied by Denis Araujo who has won 22 races.  Aaron Gryder with 19 wins and Antonio Reyes with 14 round out the top five.

Trainer Philip Hall’s stakes double gives him 20 wins at mid-season. He is three ahead of Glen Todd who has 17.  Mike Anderson won three on the weekend and he is now alone in third with 14 wins.  Mark Cloutier with 12 scores and Barbara Heads with 11 occupy the fourth and fifth spots.

The North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. leads the owner standings with 12 wins and it is also tops in terms of money won, having accumulated about 145K. Rob and Sheena Maybin are next with 10, followed by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. and Russell and Lois Bennett who are tied for third with 7 wins.  Riversedge Racing Stables, Ltd. is one behind in fourth, followed by Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd. with 5 wins.


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

Hastings Wrap-up For July 14

It was another one of those dog theme days and folks turned out in droves to see a number of tubular canines compete over the Short Course. Whatever it takes.  The handle was better than it has been most previous Saturdays this season, the inference being that the dog fanciers made some bets between their qualifying heats.  It was, all in all, festive.  The final is on Sunday.  Don’t miss it.



Victress Returns From Vacation


Victress ($5.60) took some time off after she was beaten five lengths in a Grade 3 stake at Del Mar last November. She came back after a 7 ½ month absence to take her second straight Monashee, a handicap for older fillies and mares, with a corner-cutting move that put her on the rail for a stretch drive that had her three-quarters of a length ahead of Yukon Belle at the finish.  Good Luck to You ran evenly while being close to the pace and checked in third.  Time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:44.98.  Last year Victress won the Monashee off a six-month absence with Amadeo Perez who was back in the saddle on Saturday.

Indie Rock went to the front after a brief skirmish with Good Luck to You only to have Yukon Belle set up camp a length back as they left the first turn. But while she was close, Yukon Belle had to chase Indie Rock well into the stretch before getting by her and Good Luck to You who, after backing off an early pace duel with Indie Rock, had soldiered on steadily to remain in contention.  Once past the two of them, Yukon Belle had only Victress to deal with, but could not.

Victress, although well off the pace, was still a little closer to the front than she was accustomed to in her three-year-old year when she came from far back to win the Oaks and run second in the Grade 3 Ballerina to division champion Snuggles.   After 6 furlongs had gone by in 1:12.67, Victress was about four-lengths out of it and the horses in front of her were still running strong.  It looked uphill from there.  But not for long.  Jockey Amadeo Perez cut the final corner, found the rail and Victress took him through a hole along the inside to the win.  It was the fourth career win for the lightly raced five-year-old and the fourth stakes score.  She is by Include and is a half sister to the graded stakes placed Majestic Presence who also raced at Hastings, among other places.  Robert and Victoria Gilker own her, and Robert Gilker trains her.  Victress galloped out like the horse that won the Oaks at a mile-and-an-eighth in 2016.

Also Noteworthy:


There were two Maiden Special Weights for two-year-olds on the card, one per gender. The filly version went as the third and was won by G M T Baby ($24.40) who went off as the second longest shot in a field of seven.  G M T Baby broke on top and stayed there.  Friday chased her, Snappy Ginger made an early run at her and Warrior’s Promise came from last to take second with a good run, but no one actually threatened the winner.  Final time for the 6 furlongs was 1:12.87, a solid three lengths faster than the juvenile boys went in the next race.  G M T Baby was bred by Maureen Goss who collected a $5,000 Breeders Award by producing a BC bred Maiden Allowance winner.  G M T Baby is by first year stallion Shrug out of the Forestry mare, Greenwich.  That makes her a half-sister to stakes winner Lord Vancouver.  Dennis Tucker owns G M T Baby and Philip Hall trains her.  Tucker purchased the filly as a yearling for $5,000 in the 2017 CTHS Sale.  That $5,000 is the same amount he gets on top of the purse as the owner of a BC bred Maiden Allowance winner.  Enrique Gonzalez rode the winner.


Eight geldings and two colts lined up for the fourth, the other Maiden Special Weight. Move On ($8.40), after leading at every pole, survived a cattle-charge late to hang on by a nose over Dat Day.  Numaany’s Reward was another nose back in third, a nose better than Tricky Notis who deserved better than fourth but did not get it.  Jockey Aaron Gryder got Move On to the front after breaking outside from the ten-hole.  He was a length clear going into first turn and never was headed subsequently, although the margin had shrunk from feet to centimeters by the time they hit the wire.  The North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. owns Move On and Glen Todd, who bred him, also does the training.  He is by Texas Wildcatter out of Two Feathers, a Storm Victory mare.  Owner/breeder Todd also stands the stallion and and will collect the 10K bonus for his homebred Maiden Allowance score. Final time for the 6 furlongs was 1:13.61.  It was the first of two for Gryder.


Trainer Mike Anderson sent out the winners of the early double. He hoisted David Lopez up on Backseat Rider ($16.40) to get the job done for owner James Redekop.  Anderson also bred the two-year-old filly who is no longer a maiden after adding blinkers and taking the 16K maiden claimer in her third start.


Anderson won the second with Humphrey Lad ($7.20). Scott Williams rode for owner Ken Johnson.  Humphrey Lad was bred in BC by Pooli Thoroughbreds.  He is by Second in Command.  The first Humphrey Lad was a foal of 1982 by Bold Laddie.  He won 23 of 62 starts, almost all of them at Hastings (Exhibition Park).  The win by the current edition carries on a fine tradition.


Code of Arms ($4.50) won the fifth under rider Aaron Gryder. It was Gryder’s second of the day and it was also the second for trainer Glen Todd.  Dana Barker owned the Kentucky bred gelding who is by To Honor and Serve.  Following the Winner’s Circle festivities, the winner went to a new home.


El Super ($4.60) closed out the proceedings with a dominating wire-to-wire effort in a mile-and-a-sixteenth contest that passed by in a very rapid 1:44.85. That put the Florida bred gelding by Giant’s Causeway more than 5 lengths clear at the wire.  He was ridden by Amadeo Perez who completed a riding double, this race being to the benefit of owners David Milburn and Don Muldoon.  David Milburn trains El Super who proved to be a difficult assignment in a 4K non-winners affair.


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

Hastings Wrap-up For July 8

Summer returned to Hastings after a brief absence and it was much appreciated by those in attendance for the Sunday card.  The track appeared to be a shade faster than it has been recently.  Four of the seven winners were on the frontend for most of the way and only one winner came from as far back as fourth.  It was another remarkable day for jockey Richard Hamel who won with two of his three carefully selected mounts.  He is now 9 for 15 in an injury shortened season and it is not impossible to imagine him being leading rider again if he stays healthy the rest of the way.  It is uphill, but it is not out of the question the way things are going for him and his agent Gord Rumble.  Antonio Reyes and Sahin Civaci also won two, as did trainer Glen Todd and the North American Thoroughbred Horse Company Inc.

Speaking of Glen Todd, it was his various companies’ (notably Pacific Customs Brokers) annual day at the races and per his custom (pun intended) there was a generous collection of goodies available to the connections of each winning horse. That included leather bridles for the trainers, blankets for the owners, carrots for the horses, bouquets for the ladies and a swag collection for the groom of the best turned out horse in each race that featured 32” flat screen televisions.  It was a good day to win a race.

AF. Indy


The feature was the fifth, an Allowance event for three-year-olds that had never won two races lifetime. It went to A. F. Indy ($24.40) who held off Mighty Mick to win by a neck.  The pair was more than 3 lengths clear of Smart Deal in third.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.88.  Antonio Reyes got his second win of the day with a well-timed ride that saw him save just enough horse to get the job done.

AF. Indy broke well but relinquished a brief early advantage to Mr. Finch who rushed to the front along the rail to crank out a quick quarter mile in 23.74 before slowing up to cover the half mile in 48.25. This encouraged A. F. Indy to re-engage for the front end and he took it over going into the final turn. At that point, Mr. Finch had done all he was going to do for the day and began his retreat to the rear. Mighty Mick took up the chase, ultimately falling a neck short at the wire.

AF. Indy is raced by the Hastings Racing Club II and is trained by Nancy Betts. It was the second win of his career, the first coming at Turf Paradise in Phoenix where he broke his maiden for $5,000. His best races have been at a distance and the move to a route after 3 sprint efforts at Hastings appeared to be right in the wheelhouse for the Kentucky bred son of Take Charge Indy. It was the second win in a row on the card for three-year-olds by Take Charge Indy.

Pan Handle


The third race on the card was a Maiden Special Weight for three-and-ups. It was contested entirely by three-year-olds and things definitely went right for Pan Handle ($3.70) who broke his maiden after finishing second 5 times in 8 previous starts, one of those seconds having come in last year’s Jack Diamond Futurity.  It appeared that he was going to run second again until the pace-setting The Chances R responded to the left-hand whip of jockey Miguel Rodriguez by ducking sharply to the right as he neared the finish.  This enabled Richard Hamel to get the job done for owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trainer Glen Todd who no doubt collected some karma points for his good works on the day.  The win completed a double for the Hamel/Todd/NATHC combination.  The Chances R, despite his peregrinations, still finished second only a half-length behind Pan Handle and more than 6 lengths clear of Fireman in third.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was a rapid 1:16.97.

Pan Handle was bred in BC by Salishan Meadows and the North American Thoroughbred Horse Company. He is by Texas Wildcatter out of the Thunder Gulch mare Thunder Goddess who is a half-sister to two graded stakes winners.

Also Noteworthy


Richard Hamel kicked off a raft of doubles when he took the first half of the daily double with the favored Kelson ($4.50) for owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trainer Glen Todd. The 6 ½ furlong time of 1:17.65 was plenty quick for 4K claimers with conditions left.  The eight-year-old Payton’s Best was a solid second.  Cross the Line ran third while making his first start of the season.  Kelson, by Sungold, was bred in BC by Tod (no relation) Mountain Thoroughbreds.  He is a half brother to three stakes winners, including the 2015 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, C U At Eau Claire.  The Hamel/Todd/North American combination came back to take the third with Pan Handle as already reported.

Don’t Tell Judy ($5.10) led all the way while winning the second for owner James Callihoo and leading trainer Philip Hall. The ever-trying Shayla’s Rose rallied for second ahead of Astartobe in third.  Enrique Gonzalez rode the winner.

Antonio Reyes got his riding double in the fourth with first-time starter Babylon Will Fall ($13.50). The winner finished almost 5 lengths ahead of runner-up Essi Rose who was a neck better than Simply Golden.  James Redekop owns the Kentucky bred Babylon Will Fall and Mike Anderson trains the three-year-old daughter of Take Charge Indy.  Reyes would follow in the fifth with his previously mentioned win aboard A. F. Indy.

Sahin Civaci also rode a couple of winners. In fact, he closed out the card by winning the sixth and seventh.   He won the sixth with Kermode ($11.90) over a game The Odds R Good who attended the smoking early fractions set by Its in Command (21.54 quarter, 44.69 half) and battled all the way to hold second over a closing Omega Victory.  Kermode, who won the 2016 Jack Diamond Futurity raced for owner Reno Comazetto and trainer James Brown.  Following the photo ritual that occurs in the vicinity of the Winner’s Circle, Kermode returned to his previous owners via the claim box.

Civaci came back in the seventh with Mustachio ($44.70) who, after finishing second, was the beneficiary of the disqualification of his stablemate Master Ewen. Master Ewen crossed the finish line first but was found guilty of interfering with Sanawar who ran third prior to being promoted to second.  No matter for owners Robert and Sheena Maybin who race both the elevated winner Mustachio and the demoted Master Ewen.  Robert Maybin trains Mustachio (and Master Ewen).

As we close in on, amazingly, the halfway mark of the season Philip Hall leads the trainer standings as he has almost since opening day. He has had 17 wins.  Glen Todd’s double on Sunday has him in second with 14, two better than Mark Cloutier with 12.  Mike Anderson and Barbara Heads both have 11 scores, one more than Robert Maybin who checks in fifth with 10 wins.

Enrique Gonzalez has moved into the lead in the jockey standings, having now won 24. Amadeo Perez and Denis Araujo are tied for second with 22 each.  Aaron Gryder has won 17 and Antonio Reyes has 14 wins, three more than Scott Williams and Sahin Civaci with 11 apiece.  Incredibly, Richard Hamel is next with 9 wins in 15 starts.  David Lopez, with 92 starts, also has won 9 times.

The owners list is headed by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. with 11 trips to the Winner’s Circle. Robert and Sheena Maybin are second with 10 wins.  Russell and Lois Bennett and Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. are tied with 7, followed by Riversedge Racing Stables, Ltd. with 6 and Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd. with 5.



Richard Yates Saturday Wrap-up for Hastings

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

Wrap-up For July 7

Truth be told, it was not, by any metric, the best day we will have this year at Hastings. It was overcast at times, the crowd, well let’s just say it was not a holiday or a dog day, and we had, with one exception, a series of modestly priced claiming races.  Not to say that it was an uninteresting day of racing.  The first six of the seven races offered were at the route distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth.  That was a little unusual.  We got to see another page turn in the Richard Hamel returns story.  This one featured two wins, a second and a third in four tries.  Winning only half his starts for the day actually dropped his win rate for the season from 63% to 58%.  Oh well, no one is perfect.  Three of the seven winners came from dead last, one from next to last.  The other three winners led for all but one call.  A track cannot play much fairer than that.

 Ace of Diamonds


We are going to call the fourth, a Maiden Optional Claimer, the feature and it was won by Ace of Diamonds ($4.90) with jockey Richard Hamel orchestrating a ground-saving last to first move that was good for a 1 ¾ margin over the hard-trying Chef. Spokane’s Gem finished a game third after hotly pursuing the rapid fractions set by Stone Carver who deserves an honorable mention for being a neck out of third despite setting very swift early fractions (23.31 quarter, 46.83 half).  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was a solid 1:45.52.  It was the second win of the day for Hamel.

Stone Carver and Spokane’s Gem immediately hooked up to battle for the lead with Ace of Diamonds falling back to be last of eight. He was still last after a half-mile, but soon thereafter he began a run that would see him split horses at the head of the lane and take a lead that he would not relinquish.

Ace of Diamonds is owned by Riversedge Racing Stables, Ltd. He is trained by Craig MacPherson. The winner brought $40,000 at Keeneland September in 2016.  He was the fourth most expensive of 45 yearlings sold from the first crop of Alternation, one of the many sons of Distorted Humor that have found their way to stud.

Also Noteworthy:


Hamel took the opener aboard Herecomesakiss ($5.90) who simply ran away and hid from a field of 4K maiden fillies and mares. Herecomesakiss took a few strides to get the lead, but it was over when she did.  Bequest was closest but not close and Champagne Waltz was third all the way around, but it was a one-horse show.   High Stakes Thoroughbreds, Charlene Miller and Crest Farm own Herecomesakiss.  Charlene Miller trains her.  Final time was 1:47.48.

Fear of the Cat ($10.00) took the second half of the daily double with a closing run that got him past the pacesetting New Dreams on the final turn and home by a length-and-a-half. New Dreams never quit trying, tried to cling to Fear of the Cat, could not, but did have enough left to narrowly hold second over Chase the Money who came from last to miss the place by a head.  Fear of the Cat is owned by David and Sylvea Gregory and is trained by Sylvea Gregory.  Fear of the Cat was bred in BC by the late Rob McDonald.  Final time was 1:48.81.

Seventimes Seventy ($20.90) summed up to the second longest price on the day as she survived a serious pace battle with even-money favorite Classic Statement and held off the late close of Mayfair Lady who took second over Classic Statement. Seventimes Seventy got the first quarter in 23.39 and chased that with a half-mile in 46.89.  More than fast enough to quit but Denis Araujo kept her going and the half-length she won by was more comfortable than it may sound.  James Redekop owns and Mike Anderson trains Seventimes Seventy.  Final time was 1:46.80.

Gogo Eileen ($53.80) fell in on a field of 4K non-winners at a shade less than 26-1 to generate the day’s best win, place and show prices. Gogo Eileen is another Robert and Sheena Maybin production in that they own the stallion and mare that produced her, they raised her, they race her, and Robert Maybin trains her.  Gogo Eileen was last by a lot in the early going behind a field that appeared to enter into a group suicide pact, the means to their ends being an insane early pace.  Belli Girl and Storm Cruiser ran second and third.  Final time was 1:48.62.

The last of the card’s six mile-and-a-sixteenth events went as the sixth race, it was the fastest of them, and Citron Kid ($10.90) closed from last to stop the clock in 1:45.32. That had him 2 ¾ lengths to the good of Shooting Jacket in second and another half-length better than Aditya in third.  Citron Kid was claimed at Turf Paradise in February of 2016 by his trainer Philip Hall.  He is owned by Praven Sorensen and Brian Albertson who have won 8 races with him since then.  Citron Kid now has 15 career wins.

The seventh and last offered the day’s only sprint. The 6 ½ furlong dash was won by Cedar Chines ($4.70) who led all the way to score in 1:18.20 under jockey David Lopez.  Dreamin of Peace and Buck ran second and third the whole trip with Dreamin of Peace bringing some heat to bear on Cedar Chines who withstood it and collected his first win.  Cedar Chines is owned by Don Danard and Curtis Landry who bought the gelded son of Second in Command for $45,000 in the 2016 CTHS Sale.  Greg Tracy trains.  Cedar Chines was bred in BC by White House Stables, George Robbins and Darcia Doman.  Cedar Chines is a half-brother to Longacres Mile (G3) winner, Herbie D.


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

Hastings Wrap-up For July 2

It was another beautiful day at the Track of the Mountains and Water. The racing surface was rated fast, the crowd was large, the mood upbeat, the handle (in the 900K range) was one of the year’s best and there was a mix of winning favorites, longshots, and points in between available to those with the right investment strategy.


Here’s Hannah Stretches Out To Take The Supernaturel

Reclaiming her position at the top of the three-year-old filly hierarchy, Here’s Hannah ($9.40) reminded everyone that she was still the horse that was Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in BC last season. She tracked the early pace before moving to the lead with more than enough left to hold off Tip Toe who was second best by 7 ½ lengths over 64-1 shot Lookout Taylor.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.60.

Here’s Hannah broke well from the rail to lead briefly before Sharp Contrast insisted on setting the pace and went to the front, getting the first quarter in 23.51 and the half in 47.81. The next quarter mile slowed down a lot and Richard Hamel, back on a horse he has never lost on, sensed it.  He asked Here’s Hannah to make a move and she responded, moving to a clear lead after 6 furlongs and coming home the last 5/16ths in 31.56.  That is difficult to run down and even though Tip Toe tried mightily, she could not get to the winner.  Past the wire, Here’s Hannah never let Tip Toe by while galloping out like a horse that will not be overly challenged by the mile-and-an-eighth Oaks distance.

It was only the third career start for Tip Toe and she could move forward hugely following this, her first route effort. And while she did not get past the winner, Tip Toe also galloped out like a horse that will run farther.  The jury is still out on where the heavily favored Toni Ann’s Miracle fits in.  She was done soon after she broke outward at the start, bounced hard off her neighbor, lost her balance and, briefly her action, as she struggled to right herself.  That was it for Toni Ann’s Miracle at fifty cents to the dollar.

Here’s Hannah is owned by her breeder, B C Stables, and Paul Caravetta. John Morrison trains the chestnut daughter of Numaany who is out of the well named Dreams Start Here.  Morrison is the epitome of an old school trainer, in the very best sense of the phrase, and he knows what to do with a good horse.  Last year’s leading rider Richard Hamel has won only five, however, since he has had a grand total of eight starts, his 63% strike rate gets your attention.  Four of his five wins have come in stakes.  He is now 5 for 5 over the past two seasons with Here’s Hannah, including 4 stakes wins.

The Investors Were Not Bullish On Bear


The third, a Maiden Special Weight for three-and-up fillies and mares, fell to longshot and first-time starter Bear ($44.40) who prevailed in a photo finish with the 7-10 favorite Dorys Darlin. Scott Williams earned his 10% while Bear engaged in a long head-to-head battle with Dorys Darlin after Lady Larue could not maintain her involvement in an early three-horse speed duel with those two, but she ran on to be third.

Bear, a Kentucky bred daughter of Super Saver, is owned by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. and is trained by Dino Condilenios

Also Noteworthy:

Denis Araujo got his second riding double of the weekend. He won the fifth with Pawnee Girl ($6.20) for owner Cameron Hill Mortgages Ltd. and trainer David Forster.  After winning his first two of the year on Sunday, Forster wasted no time getting number three.  Cameron Hill Mortgages Ltd. also won three on the weekend.  Araujo took the seventh aboard heavily favored Alpha Uno ($3.00) for owners Robert and Victoria Gilker.  Robert Gilker does the training.


Iama Better Cause ($6.60) opened the card with a win in his first start of the year while utilizing a claiming waiver that allowed him to run protected from being claimed by dint of his retuning after an absence of more than 90 days and in a race at or below the level of his last start. Randy Milne is the owner, Pat Jarvis does the training and Antonio Reyes did the riding.  The winner was bred in BC by Bryan and Carol Anderson.


The second half of the double went to Got My Mo ($4.60) with contract rider Aaron Gryder handling the reins for owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and trainer Glen Todd.


The eight-year-old gelding, Bornatthetrack ($13.10) wired the fourth with Enrique Gonzalez riding on behalf of owners Peter and Susan Milburn, trainer Peter Milburn. Bornatthetrack’s dam, Desert Stormer, beat the boys in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1995 and that residual genetic heritage is sufficient to make Bornatthetrack (he was born at Keeneland during a sale) a contender in his dotage at this level.

Silent Eagle ($49.70) led all the way to upset the last at almost 24-1. The mile-and-a-sixteenth for 4K non-winners of the year (or NW4) passed by in a respectable 1:46.46.  Jeffery Burningham rode for owners Matthew, Kristina and Andrew Collins.  The trainer being Andrew Collins.  Silent Eagle was bred in BC by Salishan Meadows.

Twenty-two days into the season, Enrique Gonzalez and Amadeo Perez are tied atop the jockey standings with 22 wins apiece. Denis Araujo’s four weekend wins move him into the runner-up spot with 21.  Aaron Gryder has won 17, Antonio Reyes, 12, and Scott Williams has 11.

Philip Hall continues to lead all trainers with 15 wins. Mark Cloutier and Glen Todd are tied for second with 12 each.  Barbara Heads has won 11, two more than brother Mike Anderson with 9.  Robert Maybin has 8 wins.

With a win on Sunday, the North American Thoroughbred Horse Company has moved into the top spot on the owners list, having now won 9 times. Robert and Sheena Maybin occupy the place position with 8, while Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. and Russell and Lois Bennett are dead-heated for the show with 7 apiece. Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd. and Riversedge Racing Stables have won 5 times.  It is worth noting that owners Nick and Pauline Felicella have won 4 of 7 starts with one second and a third.



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

Oh Canada


Aside from figuring out who is going to win a horse race, there are probably few more difficult predictions than when and where it is going to rain in the Lower Mainland. Fortunately, the weatherman did not handicap Canada Day all that well and the 40% chance of showers was 100% over by post time, leaving glorious sunshine for the large crowd that chose to celebrate this wonderful country with a day at the races.

We had more doubles than Wimbledon. Trainers Mark Cloutier and David Forster won two.  So did jockeys Enrique Gonzalez and Denis Araujo.  Canmor Farms had an owner’s double (not to mention an owner’s exacta in the first).  So did Cameron Hill Mortgages Ltd.  Ole Nielsen bred two winners and the mare Ansede foaled both of them.  Stephanotis sired both of them.  Doubles all over the place.

The bettors, either in person or via simulcast, bet almost 750 grand on the card and those on hand at Hastings appeared to have a grand time.

We’re Off To See The Wizard (Well, His Rear End Anyway)


With one exception, the only view the field in the Chris Loseth Stakes had of Weekend Wizard ($9.90) was his hindquarters. He’s the Reason was the exception and he settled for the same view after dicing for the lead with the winner through 6 furlongs in a solid 1:11.80.  After that, it was Weekend Wizard by himself and by as far as he wanted.  He’s the Reason continued on bravely to easily hold second despite not being able to keep up with Weekend Wizard while trying hard.  Day Raider out-closed the rest with an admirable last to third move, but he was still in a different postal code than the winner.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth route was 1:44.11.

Weekend Wizard was away well, better than He’s the Reason who had to do some checking early before rushing up inside Weekend Wizard to take the lead that he held for most of the first 6 furlongs. After that, it was all Weekend Wizard.   He’s the Reason did not quit; Weekend Wizard, with Richard Hamel making a cameo appearance in the irons, simply ran away from him. Hamel is four for four on Weekend Wizard who now assumes the mantle as the local horse to beat in the BC Derby future book.  He rode the winner when he broke his maiden at Hastings last September and in three subsequent stake scores.

Weekend Wizard was purchased by his owner, Riversedge Racing Stables, as a yearling from the Red Rock Farm consignment for $47,000 in the 2016 CTHS Sale. He was bred in British Columbia by the Foundation Racing Stable and is by Rosberg, out of Gosailgo, a Finality mare who won stakes at both Hastings and Emerald Downs while racing for the Foundation Racing Stable.  Craig MacPherson, who also sent out the third-place horse in Day Raider, trains Weekend Wizard.

Also Noteworthy:


The winners of the first two races were the full sisters Notice ($4.40) and Annotis ($10.20). Both the two-year-old Notice and the three-year-old Annotis are owned by Canmor Farms and trained by Mark Cloutier.  Enrique Gonzalez was aboard Notice in the first for her clear-cut win over the Nursery Course, Amadeo Perez rode Annotis in the second.   Notice was bred by Ole Nielsen and Annotis was bred by Ole Nielsen and Glen Todd who also raced Ansede, the mare who foaled both winners after being bred to Stephanotis.  Ansede’s only other foal to race, a full brother to the fillies named Act Up, has also won at Hastings this season.

Hall of Fame trainer David Forster broke his non-customary o-for with a bang, celebrating Canada Day with two wins. He sent out Russian Thrill ($16.50) to win the fourth and he took the seventh with Kodiak Rose ($3.90).  One was a price and one was odds-on, both were ridden by Denis Araujo who closed out the card with the heavily favored Kodiak Rose.  Cameron Hill Mortgages Ltd. owns Russian Thrill and has Kodiak Rose with co-owner, Dr. Karl Chan.

Cypress Park ($5.20) got hit shortly after the break by a horse ricocheting off another one and was uncharacteristically last early. Regardless of the tough early going, she ran down Under Par late in the 6 ½ furlong sprint to get there for owners Nick and Pauline Felicella and trainer Anita Bolton.  The winner was bred in BC by White House Stables.  Cypress Park is by Second in Command and is out of Mascaretta who has produced three stakes winners and two stakes-placed horses, one of the two being Cypress Park.  It seems quite possible that Cypress Park will be stakes winner number four at some point for Mascaretta.

Square Dancer ($10.50), the 2015 Horse of the Year in BC, got back to the Winner’s Circle after a two-season absence from that blessed location. Scott Williams, who won the Redekop Classic with him in 2015, provided a ground-saving trip for Square Dancer over a mile-and-a-sixteenth that took 1:45.95 to complete.  Square Dancer races for the Hastings Racing Club and trainer Steve Henson.


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

Wrap-up For June 24, 2018 

Who Let The Dogs Out: A Modest Proposal

Given the difference in crowd size between Bulldog Saturday and our regular Sunday, it might be time to start thinking about Breed of the Week races. There is no end to the possibilities.  The World Canine Organization recognizes 339 different breeds.  With our current racing schedule, we could go 13 seasons without running the same breed twice.  Some of the attendees would inevitably gravitate to the windows, thereby boosting the purse account.  As for food and beverage, well, the sky is the limit.

But to get back to betting, while manning the Hastings Racing Club table on dog theme days, I have sensed a desire on the part of many dog fanciers to have a little flutter on the outcomes of the various heats, not to mention the ultimate Run for the Kibble. I base this notion on the number of people who approach me to inquire as to where they can get down.  I have no doubt personally turned away thousands of dollars worth of action.  Imagine if we could convince the regulatory authorities to let us set up like the old English style bookie with chalk boards and maybe a period costume just to add a touch of authenticity.  The potential defies estimation.  In the interim, we continue to race horses.

Bugsy Muscles In


Surviving a wide trip, Bugsy ($4.40) validated his status as the public choice with a sturdy effort out towards the middle of the track to win the fourth, a Maiden Special Weight for two-year-olds. Move On set the early pace and battled to the end.  Numaany’s Reward ran evenly to be third.  Final time for the 6 furlongs was 1:13.87.

Move On went to the front along the rail with Discriminating chasing while inside of Bugsy who managed to be three-horses wide but in the 4-path around the first turn. As they started down the backside, Move On made a little space for himself, only to soon be joined on his outside flank by Numaany’s Reward, and further out, Bugsy.  Going into the final turn, Bugsy got his head in front, Numaany’s Reward fell out of the firing line and left only Move On to contest matters.  He battled on from the rail, but Bugsy slowly ground him down and had a length-and-a-half when he hit the finish line.  Amadeo Perez rode the winner.

Bugsy was bred in BC by Salishan Meadows.   He is by Shrug, out of the stakes placed Haunting You.  Bugsy is the first winner for the freshman sire Shrug.  Bugsy is owned by Swift Thoroughbreds and is trained by Dino Condilenios who also trained Bugsy’s dam, Haunting You, a couple of decades ago.

Also Noteworthy:

The combination of jockey Antonio Reyes, trainer Barbara Heads and owner/breeders Russell and Lois Bennett all doubled up when they won the last two races on the card. They won the sixth, a 16K maiden claimer for fillies and mares, with Jayna ($6.90) and came right back in the seventh with Tell Us a Tale ($4.60).


My Greyson ($4.90) with Denis Araujo aboard opened the card with a win in a conditioned 8K event for owner My Greyson Syndicate and trainer Pat Jarvis. The winner was bred in BC by Bryan and Carol Anderson.  Following the photo session in the Winner’s Circle, the half-brother to the stakes winner Yukon Belle went to a new barn.


The second half of the daily double was a 16K maiden claimer for three-year-olds and up (although this heat was comprised of 6 three-year-olds) that was won by R W Stanley ($8.40). The win was the first for jockey Jose Ascencio since he came back from a serious spill last season.  R W Stanley is owned by Nite and Day Stable and Joanne Todd.  He is trained by Brian O’Connell.  R W Stanley was bred in BC by Joanne Todd and Brian O’Connell.


Heartset ($17.60) took the third as the longshot in a brief 4-horse field that was reduced from five courtesy of City Steel’s disagreement with the starting gate. Heartset aced the field of $12,500 open claimers by going to the front and not surrendering the lead over the route distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth.  Final time was a quite decent 1:45.74.  Sahin Civaci was in the irons for his third win on the weekend, this one on behalf of owner/trainer Patty Leaney.


The fifth race went to Bluegrass Pride ($8.40) with David Lopez handling the riding duties for owner Foster’s Meadows and trainer Tara Neigel. The race was named in honor of Hastings Racing Club member the late John “Timer” Goodwin whose family attended the Winner’s Circle festivities and decorated the victor to celebrate his life.

Amadeo Perez continues to set the pace for jockeys. His win on Sunday with Bugsy gave him 21 for the season, two more than Enrique Gonzalez who is holding down the place spot with 19.  Denis Araujo with 17, Aaron Gryder, 16, and Antonio Reyes with 11, round out the top five.

Philip Hall maintained his 4-win lead in the trainers’ race. His win with Billie on Saturday was his fifteenth of the season.  Barbara Heads continued her Magical Winner’s Circle Tour with three more wins on the weekend to move into a tie for second with Glen Todd, both of whom have now won 11 times.  Mark Cloutier has 10 wins, followed by Mike Anderson with 9.  Robert Maybin and Craig MacPherson have 8 apiece.

The owners’ list is headed by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and Robert and Sheena Maybin, both with eight wins. Russell and Lois Bennett have won 7 races and Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. has won 6 times.  Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd. has 5 wins.


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

Wrap-up For June 23


A large crowd turned out to witness Saturday’s proceedings that, coincidentally, had some thrilling bulldog racing interspersed amongst the thoroughbreds.   Many of the spectators seemed to have a more than passing interest in bulldogs and observers more perceptive than I thought they were cute.  The victor in the canine finale appeared to be a cross between a couch pillow and a partially deflated soccer ball, but he was quick as bulldogs go.  The handle was better than it has been for recent Saturdays, so if we are going to the dogs we are at least collecting along the way.

But getting back to the thoroughbred, there were some notable performances at Hastings on the day. Jockey’s Sahin Civaci and David Lopez both won two on the card, as did trainer James Brown.  The card featured two Maiden Special Weight races for juveniles and there are few things in horse racing more exciting, and terrifying, for those closely involved than sending out a field of untried two-year-olds.  Exciting because their limits have yet to be established and anything is possible.  They are all unquantified potential before the race, and after it one of them will remain undefeated.  The terrifying part comes in because you can never be sure of what they will do and where or when they may do it.  But on Saturday both fields of two-year-old maidens handled it pretty well in all and a couple of unbeaten horses emerged from the youthful frays.



The opener, being a Maiden Special Weight for two-year-old fillies around two turns, was the feature and Billie ($6.80) put another ace in trainer Philip Hall’s well-stocked deck when she pulled away in the lane to post a 5 ¾ length margin after 6 furlongs in 1:12.23. Snappy Ginger set the early fractions and easily held second over Friday who was third in a well strung out field.  Enrique Gonzalez rode the winner.

Snappy Ginger broke sharply but she had company in Billie and G M T Baby around the first turn before she opened up a clear lead on those two, with Billie in second, going down the backside. After a half-mile in 46.44, Snappy Ginger was still on top, but the lead was beginning to disappear.  At the head of the lane it had vanished as Billie collared Snappy Ginger late in the final turn and stretched her advantage all the way home.  The favored Friday came along for third but was more than 10 lengths behind Billie who left no doubt as to who was best today.

Billie is a Florida bred daughter of First Dude who won the Hollywood Gold Cup when it was a significant Grade 1 and placed in the Preakness and Belmont. She is owned by Praven Sorensen who bought her for $4,200 US in the January 2017 Ocala Breeders Sale.

Miss Invasive


Miss Invasive ($10.80) led for all 3 ½ furlongs of the Nursery Course to take a co-educational dash for two-year-olds that was contested by five fillies, three colts and a gelding. Fillies ran one-two in what was essentially a contest between the front-running Miss Invasive and Krissy who chased all the way only to come up a half-length short at the wire.  Final time was 39:97.   The gelding Dat Day ran on to be third, although well behind the top two.  David Lopez notched the first of his two wins aboard the winner.

Miss Invasive is precocious like her mother, the Storm Victory mare Victory With Class who won two stakes at two, including the Sadie Diamond Futurity, and was named Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in British Columbia in 2010. Miss Invasive, a daughter of Graydar, was bred in Ontario by 3480 Equine L.L.P. & Mulholland Springs, LLC.  She is owned by 604 Bloodstock Syndicate and Don Danard.  Miss Invasive is trained by Greg Tracy.

Also Noteworthy:

Jockey Sahin Civaci and trainer James Brown combined to win two races. They scored in the second with Stormy Teen ($12.60) for owners Mitch Sutherland and T. C. Leslie.  Stormy Teen got the 6 ½ furlongs for $6,250 conditioned claiming types in a solid 1:17.51 to prevail over the odds-on Aditya by a neck.  The winner was bred in BC by the late Doug Clyde.


The duo came back to take the fifth, the Mark Walker Memorial Purse, with the favored Footman ($4.50) who hung a nose on New Dreams at the wire.  The race was run in honor of the late Mark Walker who won 1,979 races, including 100 stakes, over a 30-year career at Hastings.  John Anderson owns the winner.  Mike Anderson and Terry Clyde bred him in BC.

David Lopez got the second half of his riding double in the sixth when he got Astartobe ($8.90) home for owners Michael Whieldon and Terry Clyde. Astartobe, a Pennsylvania bred, is trained by Mike Anderson.


Ace Deuce ($7.80) won the third under the guidance of Denis Araujo who put him on the lead and never gave it up on the way to completing a mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:45.23. Barbara Heads both owns and trains the seven-year-old California bred gelding.


Robertino Red ($13.30) closed out the afternoon with a stalking effort under rider Jeff Burningham that was good enough to get the win for owners Pat Gormley and Dennis Spence. Cindy Krasner trains the gelded son of Olmodavor who was bred in BC by Gerd Smith.


We would be remiss to not recognize and talk about what BC resident John Gunther and his daughter, Tanya Gunther, have accomplished. Eleven breeders have bred a total of 13 Triple Crown winners, the first coming in 1919.  That is rarefied company to be in, but none of the other ten ever did what the Gunther’s did this year when they topped off Justify’s Triple Crown run with a victory by their homebred, Without Parole, in the St. James’s Palace Stakes opening day at Ascot.

The St. James’s is a Group 1 race at a mile and it is arguably the best mile race for three-year-olds for most, if not all, of the season in Europe. While I have no research at hand, I think it is very safe to say that no breeder before the Gunther’s has ever had this double.  I also think it is equally safe to say that no one is ever going to do it again.  Amazingly, in the same year-crop they also bred Wood Memorial winner, Vino Rosso.  Breeding the winner of a historically significant race like the Wood would be a crowning achievement for most breeders.  Vino Rosso was no better than third best of the crop out of the relatively small number of mares the Gunther’s actually breed themselves. They are a precision operation, not a mass producer.  Congratulations to them for an extraordinary accomplishment.