06/18/2006 11:00PM

Halo Steven wire to wire in derby

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CALGARY, Alberta - Last Saturday's $125,000 Alberta Derby here at Stampede Park belonged to Hastings invader Halo Steven.

Halo Steven ($6.60) assumed command immediately under Pedro Alvarado in the 1 1/16-mile stakes and repulsed all challengers.

"He was on the bit all the way," said Alvarado, the leading rider at Hastings. "He's a very kind horse who will respond when asked. After he broke sharply I was able to let him settle on the lead, and we even got a breather in the run down the backstretch."

The win was the fourth stakes tally of the meet for Vancouver-based trainer Terry Jordan and by far the richest for Halo Steven, who earned $78,750 after being clocked in 1:43.60.

Halo Steven was the best of the 11 3-year-olds on this day, but local runners Bell n' Gone and Teagues Fight gained a measure of redemption after failing to handle a sloppy surface here in the May 27 Hoofprint on My Heart. Bell n' Gone pressed the pace throughout but fell 1 1/2 lengths shy of the winner in second. Teagues Flight was caught three wide in the early going but ran on well for third.

Bear Character turned in an even effort after being well positioned on the rail and finished fourth.

* Jockey Quincy Welch provided an upset on Sunday, the meet's closing day, aboard Gabe's Prospect ($12.30), who rallied to capture the Penny Ridge.