Updated on 09/18/2011 1:08AM

Halo Steven best in British Columbia Derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Halo Steven, who is trained by Barb Heads, displayed tremendous courage in winning the Grade 3 $348,500 at Hastings Sunday.

With Pedro Alvarado aboard, Halo Steven battled with Ok Nothanksforaskn through sprint like fractions of 22.27, 45.35 and 1:10.08 and then held off a late bid by Head Chopper to win by a nose while posting a final time for the 1 1-8 miles of 1:49.96. In a four horse photo, Ok Nothanksforaskin finished third, a neck behind Head Chopper and a neck in front of Emerald Derby winner Raise the Bluff.

The win in the derby was the fourth stakes win of the year for Halo Steven but he was coming off of a disappointing effort in the Canadian Derby where he was pulled up after a mile.

"He just kept going today," said Alvarado. "He got behind a couple of horses in his last race and just kind of gave up."

"I've never had a horse with this much heart," said Heads. "He's never been one-hundred percent and for him to win like this is tremendous. When I was looking at the fractions I was wondering who we were setting the race up for."

According to Justin Stein, Head Chopper might have won the race if Stein hadn't dropped his whip at the sixteenth-pole.

"He had a perfect trip and I don't know if it made a difference or not when I dropped the whip because he never stopped running," he said. "I would have liked to have it but maybe it just wasnit meant to be."

Halo Steven paid $16.00 to win and he earned $189,600 for his owners Marta Racing Ventures.

In the supporting feature True Metropolitan beat Spaghetti Mouse by a length in the $55,265 Sir Winston Churchill Handicap. The 1 1-8 miles Churchill was basically a match race between True Metropolitan and Spaghetti Mouse who was the 6-5 favorite.

Trained by Terry Jordan and ridden by Quincy Welch, True Metropolitan paid $6.00. Final time for the race was 1:48.75.