08/01/2011 6:49PM

Assiniboia: Hammers Bullet captures Manitoba Derby


Hammers Bullet, prominent throughout, ran down the pacesetting Big Blue Caboose for a three-quarter-length victory in Monday's $75,000 Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs.

Trained by Clary Brinson, Hammers Bullet had checked in from Minnesota to finish third in the six-furlong Golden Boy and returned to capture the 1 1/16-mile Harry Jeffrey, which is the major local prep for the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby for 3-year-olds.

Big Blue Caboose, a 20-1 chance, had opened up a long lead early and battled to the wire when engaged by Hammers Bullet in the stretch.

Hammers Bullet, ridden by Mark Anderson, returned $12.80 and combined with the runner-up for a $199.90 exacta and a $138.80 quinella.

"He relaxed so good, behind the pace," said Anderson. "When I was ready to go, that's when he gave it to me.

"He just keeps digging and digging."

Gotatigerbythetail rallied from well back and looked like a winner turning for home but hung through the latter stages and finished third, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths for all the money at odds of 6-1.

Tannat also came from well back to end fourth at 20-1 in the field of nine with Pulgarcito, Flexiplus and O K Indy following in that order.

El Grayling, the even-money favorite, moved into contention around the first turn but had nothing left when the real running started and checked in eighth, beating only U R Burnin Daylite.

Graduation: Balooga Bull goes wire to wire

Balooga Bull, who had won his first start from off the pace, jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 3 1/2-length victory under jockey Anderson in the $25,000 Graduation.

Trained by Ardell Sayler, Balooga Bull was chased home by Gospel Gal and My Ponies Painted, the only two fillies in the seven-horse field for the 5 1/2-furlong Graduation.

Cowboy Luke, who had shipped in from Canterbury Park and was the 6-5 choice, was in touch early on the inside but came up empty and finished a well-beaten fifth.

Balooga Bull returned $9.90 as the second choice.

Assiniboia Oaks: Tourmaline romps

Tourmaline, invading from Canterbury Park for trainer Bernell Rhone, was a seven-length winner as the 1-2 choice in the one-mile, $50,000 Assiniboia Oaks.

Stalking the pace while four-wide in the field of five 3-year-old fillies, Tourmaline launched her bid around the final turn and took charge in midstretch before drawing off under Dean Butler.

Finally Flying, who dueled for the early lead, could not match strides with the winner late but was a solid second.

Jilleah, Paris By Night, and Little Widow Maker rounded out the order of finish.