09/12/2014 10:28AM

Alert Bay tries to notch third straight British Columbia Derby win for Redekop

Benoit & Associates
Alert Bay wins the Echo Eddie Stakes on April 5 at Santa Anita.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Alert Bay will try to give owner Peter Redekop an unprecedented third straight win in the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings on Sunday. Alert Bay figures to be a slight favorite over Koffee Grinder in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds that is scheduled for 5:13 p.m. Pacific. The Derby is the third leg of a $25,000-guaranteed pick four that begins with race 7. All 10 starters will carry 126 pounds.

Alert Bay will be making his first start for trainer Anita Bolton, who won the Derby for Redekop last year with Title Contender. Alert Bay is coming off a disappointing race in the $201,000 Real Good Deal Stakes for California-breds at Del Mar on Aug. 1. Sent off as the lukewarm favorite, he finished off the board for the first time in a career that includes a win in the $200,000 Echo Eddie at Santa Anita. He probably would have been right there with a better start. As it was, he broke a step slowly and then was slammed into by horses on both sides of him.

:: BRITISH COLUMBIA DERBY: Get PPs, watch Sunday’s card live

When Alert Bay broke out of the starting gate in his 6 1/2-furlong work in 1:18.80 at Hastings last Saturday, it looked like he had been shot out of a cannon.

“We knew he didn’t break that sharply in his last start, so he’s had some time at the starting gate here,” said Bolton. “We’re pretty happy with the way he burst out of there. He also seems to like the track, so I am expecting him to run a good race.”

Rico Walcott rides Alert Bay.


Alert Bay (Last 3 Beyers: 84-87-82)

◗ He’s versatile, with wins on turf, dirt, and Tapeta, so he should be okay in his first try going around three turns. He also has good tactical speed and figures to get a nice trip sitting just off what figures to be a reasonable pace.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: Over the past five years, Bolton has a 38 percent strike rate with new shooters.

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Koffee Grinder (Last 3 Beyers: 76-88-82)

◗ He was going to be the clear favorite until he lost a bit of luster when he was upset in the Richmond Derby Trial by Slice of Red on Aug. 22. He was more a victim of circumstances, however, as he got stuck behind a very slow pace.

◗ Trainer Craig MacPherson likes the way he is coming into the race.

“He seems to be on top of his game, and he should have a more honest pace to work with,” said MacPherson.

Del Rio Harbor (Last 3 Beyers: 79-84-85)

◗ He has looked good on the track since he arrived here with trainer Marshall Allen, and he could be the one they have to catch.

◗ Second in the Emerald Downs Derby in his last start, his speed could give him a slight edge over Mebossman, who edged him by a neck.

Mebossman (Last 3 Beyers: 79-81-75)

◗ He improved in his last two starts for trainer Frank Lucarelli but was sold privately following his win over Del Rio Harbor. New trainer Troy Taylor was pleased with how he arrived at Hastings this week.

“I don’t know much about him,” said Taylor. “But he arrived in terrific shape and has trained well over the track.”

Slice of Red (Last 3 Beyers: 80-61-70)

◗ Well bred and highly thought of from Day 1, he put it all together with his smart win in the Richmond Derby Trial.

◗ Trainer Robbie Anderson also entered Off the Top, who finished second in the B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay prior to going unplaced in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.

“They are both nice horses, but I would have to give the edge to Slice of Red right now,” said Anderson.