09/24/2010 12:32PM

Baze ships in to ride Cherokee Notion in B.C. Derby

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Four-Footed Fotos
Cherokee Notion wins the B.C. Cup Stellars Jay Handicap on Aug. 2 at Hastings. Jockey Russell Baze will ship in to Hastings to ride Cherokee Notion in Sunday’s Grade 3 British Columbia Derby.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby headlines a strong nine-race card that includes three supporting stakes Sunday at Hastings. The 1 1/8-mile derby drew 11 horses who will carry 126 pounds, and with Russell Baze riding, Cherokee Notion figures to be favored over his stablemate Prince Intent and Charterhill.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for the world’s all-time leading rider who was born in Vancouver in 1958. Baze, who currently sits second by just one win behind Ramon Dominguez in North America this year, has a mount in all four stakes races.

Cherokee Notion inherited the favorite’s role when Emerald Downs Derby winner Saratoga Boot and Don’twaitforme, who won the Richmond Derby Trial at Hastings, were late defections from the race Wednesday morning.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Cherokee Notion finished second in the Derby Trial and figures to move forward Sunday. Prior to his strong performance in the Trial, he had shipped to Northlands Park to run in the Canadian Derby but was forced to miss the race when he came down with a mild case of colic.

“He came out of the Trial in great shape and he should improve,” Taylor said. “Honestly, I think if Prince Intent breaks okay he’ll win the race.”

Prince Intent is coming off of a sharp win in the CTHS Sales Stakes on Aug. 25 and with his good tactical speed, he should get a nice trip from just off what figures to be a lively pace.

Prince Intent will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez.

Dave Wilson picks up the mount from Gutierrez on Charterhill and he could have a hard time working out a trip from the outside post. Trained by Craig MacPherson, Charterhill wasn’t on the derby radar until he finished second in a 1 1/16-mile $50,000 optional claimer on Sept. 11 won by Tommy Danzigger, a 4-year-old who won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby last year.

Distorted Dave, trained by John Sadler, should be heard from late, following a third in the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby.

Trainer Dino Condilenios has entered Crew Leader, Ain, and Smart Spending. Crew Leader had a rough trip in the Derby Trial and could be a live at what should be a big price. Ain finished a fast-closing second in the Emerald Derby and also made a late run to finish third in the Derby Trial. Smart Spending, a half-brother to Lawyer Ron, is coming off of a win in his debut Sept. 10.