09/16/2008 11:00PM

Fear No Evil will lead way in derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The field for the Grade 3, $250,000 British Columbia Derby on Sunday is shaping up, and the one thing that is crystal clear is that there will be a very fast pace.

The speedsters Wink at the Girls and Fear No Evil appear to have just one way of going. According to trainer Frank Lucarelli, any horse that wants the lead is going to have to deal with Fear No Evil

"He is going to the front," Lucarelli said. "We have tried to rate him in the past, but it just didn't work out."

Fear No Evil, who is coming off a third-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Emerald Downs Derby on Sept. 1, led every step of the way when he won the $75,000 Seattle Slew Handicap on Aug. 3. That was his second straight front-running win at Emerald. He also won a $22,500 allowance race July 19.

"He ran a good race in the derby," Lucarelli said. "It might have been a bit far for him. He set pretty fast fractions and he was staggering a bit in the stretch."

The B.C. Derby is also at 1 1/8 miles, but Lucarelli thinks the track configuration at Hastings, where they will go around three turns in the derby, will help Fear No Evil's chances.

"He's a big horse but he loves running on the turns," Lucarelli said. "It seems like he wants to open up on every turn, and I think he'll love going around the turns up there."

Fear No Evil arrived at Hastings on Tuesday and jogged Wednesday. According to his exercise rider, Juan Huerta, Fear No Evil seems to be comfortable in his new surroundings. Huerta also is Lucarelli's assistant trainer, and he will saddle the horse Sunday. Lucarelli will be at Keeneland.

"He hit the ground really good and he seems to be happy to be here," Huerta said. "He looked around a bit when he jogged, but he always does that, and tomorrow we'll gallop him a little harder. Sometimes he gets a little excited, and we'll try and keep him as calm as we can. Right now, he seems pretty relaxed."

Lucarelli re-emphasized that there are no options with Fear No Evil and that if another horse wants to run with him, they will be doing so at their own peril.

"We have a better chance of going fast on the lead, and if another horses tries to run with us there's not much we can do about it," he said. "Other horses that have tried have finished behind us."

Bears Home Run to B.C. Derby

Because of all of the speed in the field, trainer Dale Greenwood is opting to run Bears Home Run in the derby instead of Bears Tiger. He is shipping both horses from Alberta and indicated that Bears Tiger will run in the $50,000 Derby Consolation.

Bears Home Run is undefeated, but he will be taking a substantial jump in class. He won a maiden special weight race July 24 and then knocked off two conditional races. In his last start, he won a $40,000 optional claiming race going one mile at Northlands Park on Aug. 23. In all three of his starts, he was sent off as the favorite.

"The reason for the late start is that he got sick in early April," Greenwood said. "We were thinking of running him in the Canadian Derby, but it seemed like it was asking a bit too much of him. We gave him a good work, and he'll be a fresh horse for the derby."

Greenwood ran Bears Tiger in the Canadian Derby, and he forced the pace before tiring to finish fifth in the 1 3/8-mile race.

"Bears Home Run can rate, and Bears Tiger is more of a speed horse," Greenwood said. "The way the race shapes up, it makes more sense to go with Bears Home Run."

Greenwood also is bringing Broken Hearted from Northlands to run in the Grade 3, $125,000 B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks on Saturday. The Oaks drew eight horses and will go as the eighth race. It will be the first half of the newly instituted B.C. Oaks-B. C. Derby double. The B.C. Derby is slated to go as the ninth race Sunday.

Broken Hearted won the Northlands Oaks on July 19 and then finished third behind Lecturing Lynn in the $100,000 Sonoma Handicap on Aug. 9. Lecturing Lynn, who finished fourth in the Northlands Oaks, has been installed as the morning-line favorite by track oddsmaker Mike Heads for the B.C. Oaks.

"She beat Lecturing Lynn before, so hopefully she can do it again," Greenwood said.

Broken Hearted, Bears Tiger, and Bears Home Run are owned by Bear Stables Ltd. They claimed Broken Hearted out of a winning race at Laurel for $25,000 in March. She has won 6 races from 11 starts, for earnings of $106,390. She has only finished out of the money once.

Walker returns to saddle

Jockey Mark Walker returned to riding last weekend for the first time in two years. Walker, 51, had been suspended after he was arrested on sexual-assault charges in 2006. According to his lawyer, David Milburn, Walker was not convicted of the charges. Walker recently had his license reinstated.

"I feel great and I am happy to be back riding," Walker said. "My timing is good, and I am looking forward to winning some races."

Walker was the leading rider at Hastings in 1989, and he is fifth in the all-time list of stakes-winning riders in British Columbia, with 83 stakes wins.