08/31/2006 11:00PM

11 in Trial seek spot in derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - There is a lot at stake for most of the 11 3-year-old colts and geldings that have been entered in the 1 1/16-mile Richmond Derby Trial at Hastings Sunday. The $50,000 purse is secondary to the automatic berth that the winner receives into the $250,000 British Columbia Derby Sept 24.

Preference for the derby is based on money earned in a horse's 3-year-old season. Seven Secrets has the most earnings this year in the Trial field, $51,211, and last year that would have been enough to get him in the derby field.

A horse that might not necessarily be favored but has a very good chance of winning is Luhuk's Dancer. Trained by Toni Cloutier, Luhuk's Dancer finished a troubled third behind He's Quite a Guy and Seven Secrets in the B.C. Cup Stellar's Jay Aug. 7. Luhuk's Dancer has very good speed and drew the rail, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Pedro Alvarado put him right on the lead.

He's Quite a Guy beat Seven Secrets by a head in the Stellar's Jay. A five-pound weight shift in favor of Seven Secrets could give him the edge in the Trial, though. Also, Seven Secrets took a funny step approaching the sixteenth pole, which could have cost him the win in the Stellar's Jay.

Parkhimonbroadway and Bound to Be M V P have performed well against much tougher company, but they're both winless this year.