09/09/2010 12:29PM

Hastings allowance attracts classy group


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Grade 3 winners Tommy Danzigger and Spaghetti Mouse stand out in a money allowance race that will serve as Saturday’s feature at Hastings.

Charterhill, a 3-year-old hoping to land a spot in the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby Sept. 26, adds luster to the 1 1/16-mile race, which drew five horses. There will be a special first post of 4:40 p.m. Saturday.

Tommy Danzigger, trained by Robert Gilker, is looking for his first win since he won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park last year. He was turned out for the remainder of 2009 after finishing seventh in the B.C. Derby, and in three starts this year his best finish is a second behind Teide in the 6 1/2-furlong George Royal.

Following the George Royal, Tommy Danzigger got involved in a speed duel with Teide in the 1 1/16-mile John Londgen June 6 and finished last. He came out of the race with an undisclosed injury and this will be his first start back.

Tommy Danzigger likes to be in front early and he figures to be a sharp horse in his first start in over three months. Charterhill also has excellent speed and it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds.

“When the gates open, the gates open, and we don’t know what the riders have in mind,” said Gilker. “We know what my horse brings to the table. He’s is doing really well right now and I am excited about getting him back to the races.”

Pedro Alvarado rides Tommy Danzigger.

Trainer Craig MacPherson would have preferred to run Charterhill in the Richmond Derby Trial on Monday, won by Don’twaitforme. Charterhill wasn’t nominated, however, and MacPherson opted for this much tougher spot. Charterhill is coming off of two front-running wins in $50,000 optional sprints against 3-year-olds. He worked an exceptional mile in 1:38.20 Sept. 4, and if he runs well Saturday, MacPherson will point him to the B.C. Derby.

“It is going to be a rider’s race,” said MacPherson. “Charterhill seems to be manageable, but the toughest part will be taking him from those 44 halves and telling him to go 48.”

Mario Gutierrez picks up the mount from Dave Wilson, who is sticking with Spaghetti Mouse.

Spaghetti Mouse drew the outside post and he could get a perfect stalking trip if a duel develops between Tommy Danzigger and Charterhill. In his last start, Spaghetti Mouse finished second behind Trick of the North in the $55,000 B.C. Cup Classic after dueling with Krazy Koffee through quick fractions.