09/11/2014 2:36PM

Condilenios expecting more from Tapicero in British Columbia Derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Dino Condilenios is looking for a better effort from Tapicero when he runs in the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings Sunday.

Tapicero figures to be a decent price in the 1 1/8-mile race that drew 10 horses. In his first start for Condilenios, he finished last in the Richmond Derby Trial. It is easy to toss the race, though. He showed a good closing kick in most of his races at Calder, but after he broke poorly and was gathering himself at the back of the pack in the Derby Trial, the leaders walked through a half-mile in a tepid 49.57 seconds. When the tote board posted the six-furlong time of 1:14.42, Condilenios knew the race was over.

“His race looks bad on paper, but considering the poor start and how slow they were going up front, it wasn’t surprising he wasn’t able to make much of an impact.”

:: BRITISH COLUMBIA DERBY DAY: Watch Sunday’s card live

Prior to arriving at Hastings, Tapicero did most of his racing in Florida for trainer Mario Morales. He was headed in a positive direction when he won a maiden special weight race at Calder on March 21, and then a month later he romped by 7 3/4 lengths going a mile and 70 yards in a $16,000 optional-claiming race for 3-year-olds and up, again at Calder.

He was thrown to the wolves in his next start in the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont, however, and not surprisingly they chewed him up. The winner, Tonalist, went from there to winning the Grade 1 Belmont. Irish You Well, who finished third, won his next two starts including the $105,000 Long Branch at Monmouth.

Following a dull effort in a $62,500 optional-claiming race for 3-year-olds and up in June at Gulfstream, Tapicero was sold privately to Swift Thoroughbreds and moved to Hastings.

“I think the trip from the East Coast took a little out of him,” said Condilenios. “He has certainly improved since he got here, and I think he’s really moved forward since he ran.”

Condilenios was especially pleased with the way he galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 after working five furlongs in 1:00.20 last Friday.
“He really picked it up at the end of the work,” said Condilenios. “It’s obviously a good field, but I really like my horse.”

Sabrina in British Columbia Oaks

Condilenios is also looking for a good effort from Sabrina in the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks. She will be a big price in her first try at a middle distance in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks.

She was also trained by Morales and arrived with Tapicero in late July. In her last start in Florida she won a $25,000 maiden-claiming race going five furlongs at Gulfstream. In her only start for Condilenios, she set a decent pace and held on well to finish third in a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs.

“She’s not really ready to go a mile and an eighth the way I would like her to be,” said Condilenios. “But she is training extremely well right now, and seems to be as honest as they come.”

Sabrina has the pedigree to get the distance. She is the first foal out of La Raine of Terror who was stakes-placed and won going 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

Sabrina has a lot of speed in a race chock-full of it.

“I don’t really want to see her on the lead, and she ran pretty well coming off the pace in a couple of her races on turf,” said Condilenios. “Hopefully she can settle into a stalking position and finish.”

She has the right trainer for the daunting task at hand. According to DRF Formulator, over the past five years Condilenios has a 24 percent strike rate with horses stretching out to a middle distance for the first time.

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