09/03/2001 12:00AM

Former claimer Paladdie hits B.C. big time


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Now that the monster trucks are gone and the Pacific National Exhibition is over, it's time to get down to serious business at Hastings Park. In the next six weeks close to a million dollars in stakes money is up for grabs.

The biggest prize is the $200,000 B.C. Derby on Sept. 29. Paladdie, who races for Canada West Ranches, earned a spot in the Derby with a solid 3 1/4-length win over Keyron in the $37,765 Richmond Derby Trial on Sunday. Paladdie began the year as a maiden running for $15,000 and it took him seven starts before he finally won. He started to come around with a 3 3/4-length win over $25,000 claimers Aug. 1 and followed that up with a good third in the Mr. Prime Minister, despite an extremely wide trip.

"I liked him today," said trainer Harold Barroby. "He had a dreadful trip in the Mr. Prime Minister and he showed me a lot by finishing as strong as he did."

With I'm Free skipping the Trial to run in the Emerald Derby next weekend, his usual rider Mark Patzer was available and Barroby was happy to get him. "He's riding super right now," he said. "He gave my horse a perfect ride."

Barroby also trains Thurston, who finished third in the Canadian Derby and is scheduled to start in the Emerald Derby. He was also eligible to be claimed for $15,000 earlier in the meet.

"I'm not exactly sure what it is, but both he and Paladdie seem to have blossomed lately," said Barroby. "A lot of my horses have been coming around lately and I can't complain about the timing of it."

With Patzer committed to ride I'm Free in the B.C. Derby, Barroby wasn't sure who he could get to ride Paladdie. He was hoping to get leading rider David Wilson but for now Wilson's agent, Herb Ollive, was keeping his options open.

Kathy Bremner had a hard time securing a rider for Inish Glora in the B.C. Oaks this coming weekend and she's opted to ship Jake Barton in from Woodbine. Barton has been riding full time in Ontario since last fall.

"I've been spun a couple of times and since I couldn't get the rider I wanted for her I thought I'd bring in Jake," said Bremner. "He knows the track well and if she ends up going out to Ontario for some of those rich Ontario-bred stakes, he'll get to ride her back there."

Inish Glora is coming off of an excellent second in the Washington Oaks and it's surprising that Bremner would have such a hard time finding someone to ride what appears to be a very live horse.

Rivera wins his first at Hastings

Apprentice jockey Jose Rivera Jr. won his first race at Hastings Park aboard Designated Todrive on Sunday, and it was the first win in a long time for both horse and rider. Rivera hadn't ridden a race since he was injured in a spill at Churchill Downs in 1999, and 1991 Jack Diamond Futurity winner Designated Todrive hadn't won a race since 1995.

Rivera, who is from Puerto Rico, shipped his tack here from Woodbine last week because he couldn't get permission to ride at Woodbine. "They needed riders out here so it was easy to get my papers," said Rivera. "I'd like to go back to Woodbine someday, but until then I'm happy to be in Vancouver."

Rivera was galloping horses in Florida and was encouraged to come to Canada to ride by trainer Laurie Silvera. He had ridden in Puerto Rico before moving to the United States but his win on Designated Todrive was just his third official win in North America. It looks like there will be more to come if his patient ride aboard the 12-year-old gelding is any indication of his ability.