06/18/2007 12:00AM

Amazin Blue's late rally takes Alberta Derby


CALGARY, Alberta - Amazin Blue came from last in Saturday's Alberta Derby to run down a stubborn Footprint in the final 70 yards and post a half-length triumph under steady encouragement from jockey Quincy Welch.

The victory in the $125,000 stakes came over a muddy surface that had favored front-runners most of the day. But Amazin Blue, a chestnut son of Marquetry invading from California, reversed the trend with a sweeping move down the backstretch to take the derby's 77th running.

"I had never been on him before, and knew off his form that he liked to make one big move," said Welch. "He relaxed for me and I just tried to find the best footing. The horse did the rest."

Owned by Vancouver businessman Pete Redekop, Amazin Blue covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.40 and paid $7.60. He is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and was saddled on Saturday by Hollendorfer's wife, Janet.

Footprint, at odds of nearly 18-1, had assumed command from the pacesetter Chief's Magic turning for home and appeared on his way to the upset with a clear advantage in midstretch.

Hastings shipper Ookashada went off as the favorite but flattened out to finish third.

The win was the third on the day for Welch and assured him of his sixth consecutive riding title. It was worth $75,000 for the winning connections.