07/07/2005 11:00PM

Bound to Be M V P's potential wows trainer


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - With good reason, trainer Brian Giesbrecht is very high on Bound to Be M V P. A 2-year-old Washington-bred, Bound to Be M V P figures to be a short-priced favorite in the Ladnesian Stakes at Hastings on Sunday.

"I think he's the best horse I've ever been around," said Giesbrecht.

That's high praise, considering Giesbrecht was the assistant trainer in 2002 and the head trainer in 2003 for Elana d'Amour. She was the local horse of the year in 2002, won the Grade 3 Breeders' Cup B.C. Oaks, and retired with earnings of more than $300,000.

Here's how Giesbrecht compares Bound to Be M V P to Elana d'Amour. "I'm pretty sure he's better than the mare," he said.

Bound to Be M V P put on quite a show in his debut. He dumped his jockey, Dave Wilson, in the post parade and then ran all the way around the track before being caught. Because of his antics he developed a reputation as a high-strung horse.

"That's not the case at all," said Giesbrecht. "He just got spooked by another horse leaving the paddock. Until then he had acted like a real professional. He's actually very mature for a 2-year-old."

Usually when a horse gets loose and runs as far as Bound to Be M V P did, the stewards will order the animal to be scratched.

"I was certainly concerned that he would be scratched and I told Davie to get back on him right away and get him out there," said Giesbrecht. "He really didn't run very hard when he got loose. He just sort of galloped around and he actually stopped a couple of times. He was fine and he was easy to catch because he just walked up to me."

Hastings steward Wayne Russell agreed.

"Of course we had the vet look at him as well," he said. "But really, he was just playing out there and we didn't think the jaunt around the track took too much out of him."

It was obviously the right decision as Bound to Be M V P went on to win by an easy 3 1/4 lengths despite breaking awkwardly.

"That race really told me a lot about him," said Giesbrecht. "He's over 16 hands and horses that big aren't usually as athletic as he is. I knew he was going to be a good horse when he stretched out to two turns, but to run as well as he did going 3 1/2 furlongs really surprised me."

Giesbrecht was correct about Bound to Be M V P being a good horse at six furlongs. He was an easy winner of a $50,000 optional race June 26, and if he comes close to repeating that performance Sunday, he will be very tough to beat.

According to Giesbrecht, Bound to Be M V P could be headed south after he runs in the Ladnesian.

"I hope not but his owners are thinking of shipping him to California," he said. "He's a Washington-bred but he's not eligible to the 2-year-old series at Emerald. They sent him to me because they really like the surface at Hastings."

Red's Memories using Ladnesian as prep

Trainer Craig MacPherson is hoping for a good showing in the Ladnesian by Red's Memories. A homebred son of Alfaari, Red's Memories was a game winner in his lone start, battling the length of the stretch to beat Mastorino by a head.

"I know this is a tough spot with Brian's horse in the race, but my horse is training well and this should help set him up for B.C. Cup Day," said MacPherson.

The B.C. Cup Nursery, run at 6 1/2 furlongs, is scheduled for Aug. 1 here.

MacPherson turned out Red's Memories for a couple of weeks after he won his debut.

"I wanted to give him a mental breather more than anything," MacPherson said. "This has been our plan all along. I was looking at B.C. Cup Day as the main goal from Day 1."

Usually the Jack Diamond Futurity for colts and the Sadie Diamond Futurity for fillies, both run in October this year, are the major goals for 2-year-old B.C.-breds at Hastings. But not for Red's Memories.

"I'm not sure what happened but a payment was missed so he won't be able to run in the futurity," said MacPherson. "There's lot of other races to choose from, though."

Notis Otis back in serious training

Notis Otis, last year's Jack Diamond Futurity winner and local 2-year-old champ, had his first workout since recovering from a near-fatal illness this spring.

"He breezed three furlongs at the farm last Sunday," said trainer Tracy McCarthy. "He will work a half-mile at Hastings this weekend. We will see how wet it is before we decide which day he will work."

* Dr. Fred Spohn, 79, an owner and breeder, died last week. Spohn was the owner of Clearbrook Stock Farm and had 47 horses in training. He was also a breeder and stood multiple stakes winner Baron De Vaux, a third-place finisher in the Belmont Stakes.