Hastings Wrap-up for April 26, 2015
By Richard Yates
The rain forecast for Sunday held off and Hastings Racecourse provided racing fans with a card that was chock full of quality and of sufficient quantity to stimulate the natural tendency towards speculation that is common to horseplayers. Only two betting favorites won, five winners paid $10.00 or more, and the new Sea-to Sky Pick 6 did not get hit. There is hope.
It was a day marked by individual achievements and dynamite performances. Trainer Dino Condilenios, who did not win a stakes race in 2014 for the first time in thirteen years, won the first two contested this year. And since Condilenios did not win one last year, Swift Thoroughbreds did not, even though they were leading owners in wins for 2014. That is history now as they doubled in the stakes races and turned a filly loose that made as impressive a debut as has been seen in recent times within the city limits of Vancouver.
Jockey Marklee Buchanan hung up another riding double (“please allow me to introduce myself”, he says) and Richard Hamel and Pedro Alvarado did the same.
Trainer Anita Bolton sent out the winner of a Maiden Special Weight on Sunday to go with the one she won on Saturday. Nick and Pauline Felicella own both those winners.
Rather Beautiful Catches The Eye
Rather Beautiful ($11.80) won the Brighouse Belles after she produced a spectacular run that began not long after she straightened out going down the backside and ended with her clearing the front-running Hollywood Miss midway down the lane and moving out to a two length win. Rather Beautiful covered the 6 ½ furlongs in a very, say it again, very rapid 1:15.79 while carrying 117 pounds and jockey Rico Walcott.
Hollywood Miss did not break perfectly but she was soon in front with Arabella’s Muse in pursuit. The ease with which they cleared the speedy Dawselina told you how fast they were going and the teletimer showing a first quarter in 21.88 and a half in 44.63 confirmed it. The first two opened up 3 to 4 lengths on the rest going down the backstretch and were 6 or 7 lengths ahead of Rather Beautiful when she launched what was to be a near half-mile run that would take her to the lead and to the head of the Hastings filly and mare class.
Hollywood Miss, who won this race last year, ran a race that would have won the majority of filly and mare sprint stakes ever run at Hastings. Even when passed by the winner she refused to give up and held off Arabella’s Muse for the place. Arabella’s Muse herself ran far too well to finish third, but that was what happened, even though she was 6 lengths clear of the multiple stakes winner Ole’s Miss who was three for three at today’s distance coming into this race.
The winner was the only non-stakes winner in the field. She was a non-winner of two other than coming into this race, having only routed while winning two on the US East Coast before she was purchased privately by her current owner, Swift Thoroughbreds. Looking at her form it is obvious that her connections and trainer Chad Brown thought she was better going long. If that proves to be the case, then good luck to the mares in the Pacific Northwest when the glamour races get run.
Dino Condilenios trains her for Swift Thoroughbreds and after the race he gave credit to Brown for sending her to him in good shape. That may be, but Condilenios and his crew got her settled in and acclimated to Hastings and sent her out for an extraordinary effort.
Rather Beautiful is a Kentucky-bred daughter of the top class sire Malibu Moon.
Modern Is Right Up To Date With First Stakes Win
Modern ($16.20) turned in a very gritty performance in wiring the 6 ½ furlong George Royal against a deep and talented field that included Herbie D and Title Contender, winners of the Longacres Mile and BC Derby, as well as 12 time stakes winner Commander, among others. Ridden by Richard Hamel, Modern covered the sprint distance in 1:16.19 after setting blazing fractions of 21.91 and 44.18 on his way to three-quarters in 1:09.15.
Modern went straight to the lead but he was dogged every step of the way, first by Herbie D, who was lapped on him from the break to the head of the lane, and then by Title Contender who may have actually gotten a head in front early in the lane. In any case, Modern refused to crack and opened up a small working margin over Title Contender that he maintained to the wire. Devil in Disguise had to wait behind horses coming out of the final turn and ran on well when clear to finish third.
Modern is by Tiznow out of an A.P.Indy mare. Darley bred him in Kentucky, Dino Condilenios trains and Swift Thoroughbreds owns.
Meg Giry Impresses In Maiden Win
Meg Giry ($3.30) ran away and hid from a three-and-up Maiden Special Weight field in Sunday’s third race. She won by 7 lengths and it could have been more if jockey Pedro Alvarado had done anything other than deliver a perfunctory tap and then take in the view as they cruised down the lane on their way to 6 furlongs in 1:10.65.
The winner was always in control and appeared to be an altogether different kind of horse, but Rockport Dancer and Anasazi Lass get credit for not getting discouraged while chasing the winner through a half-mile in 45.29 and soldiering on to run second and third respectively while the winner disappeared into the distance.
Meg Giry is a Kentucky bred by way of Ontario where she appears to have been purchased privately by owners Nick and Pauline Felicella. Anita Bolton trains her.
Jockey Marklee Buchanan’s second consecutive riding double came on Cowie Creek ($13.70) in the second race for owner/trainer Randy Hudson and in the last aboard Charming Silver ($29.70) for owners Cole Bradsen and Whitehouse Stable and trainer Jodie Rawson.
Pedro Alvarado won the third with the maiden Meg Giry, as previously mentioned, as well as the fourth on Mighty Fraser ($3.50) for owner/trainer Mike Anderson and owner Terry Clyde.
Jockey Richard Hamel racked up a double with Modern in the George Royal and Cowboy Commander ($5.80) in the fifth for trainer Phil Hall, who won two on the weekend, and Lindsay Racing Stables.
Trainer Dino Condilenios and Swift Thoroughbreds won three times on the weekend and jockey Marklee Buchanan won four. They are your leaders after Week One.
Nine of the 15 races run on the weekend were won wire-to-wire. Five races were won by horses that were second or third after the first quarter. Only Rather Beautiful did any real closing to win and the fact that she came from well back against a speed bias makes her performance in the Brighouse Belles all the more worth noting.