09/14/2014 8:39PM

Alert Bay connects in British Columbia Derby

Four-Footed Fotos
Alert Bay, ridden by Rico Walcott, enables owner Peter Redekop to win the British Columbia Derby for the third straight year.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -  Alert Bay gave owner Peter Redekop an unprecedented third straight win in the Grade 3, $1500,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings on Sunday. He paid $5.10 as the clear favorite over Koffee Grinder,  who finished second in the 1 1/8-mile race that drew 10 horses.

With Rico Walcott aboard, Alert Bay broke sharply and Walcott was able to get him to relax behind Del Rio Harbor and Off the Top,  who were carving out honest interior fractions of 22.90 and 47.16 seconds. Alert Bay  started to move into serious contention on the stretch turn, and took control of the race at the top of the stretch. Finishing full of run,  he never looked threatened by Koffee Grinder, who made a strong late move while going four-wide. The final margin was two lengths. Del Rio Harbor held on well to finish a clear third.

“He broke on top but I could see the other two wanted to go so I eased him back off the pace,” said Walcott. “I could feel the pack behind me coming when I asked him to make his move. I felt like I had a lot of horse the whole way. I never looked back when he made the lead, but I was pretty confident and knew it was going to take a very good horse to beat him.”

Alert Bay is trained by Anita Bolton.

Last year , Walcott won the B.C. Derby with Title Contender, also trained by Bolton.  In 2012 trainer Craig MacPherson was Redekop’s trainer when he won the most prestigious race at Hasting with Second City.

Second City and Title Contender were bought just a few weeks prior their wins. Redekop purchased Alert Bay for $65,000 as a weanling out of the Keeneland all ages sale in 2012. The $85,500 he earned brought his total earnings to $325,800..

“All three wins were just as rewarding,” said Redekop. “Actually, we tried to sell Alert Bay as a yearling but we couldn’t get as much as we paid for him. So, we put him in training and found out he could run a bit.”

Alert Bay posted a final time of 1:49.12.