09/14/2012 1:25PM

Hastings: Ballerina the target of two top fillies


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Grade 3, $100,000 Ballerina is shaping up to be a great matchup between two talented fillies, Evelyn’s Dancer and Class Included. The 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares will share the spotlight with the Grade 3 Premiers for 3-year-olds and up on Canadian Thanksgiving at Hastings, Monday, Oct. 8.

They put on quite a show in their respective races last Sunday. Evelyn’s Dancer completely dominated the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks with Mario Gutierrez aboard. She broke on top and after being pressed through a fast opening quarter in 22.70 seconds, Gutierrez managed to slow her down a bit, and it was pretty clear she was in complete control of the situation after posting a six-furlong time of 1:12.22. She drew off to win the 1 1/8-mile race by 5 1/4 lengths in 1:50.68. It was her fourth straight stakes win at Hastings, and she earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 87.

Trainer Troy Taylor was pleased with the way she came out of the race and was looking forward to the Ballerina.

“She just keeps getting better and better,” Taylor said. “She can be a bit headstrong, but Mario did a great job of getting her to relax. She obviously has a lot of talent. Penney’s horse is a pretty nice filly, too, so it should be one heck of a race.”

Class Included, based at Emerald Downs with trainer Jim Penney, was just as impressive winning her third stakes in a row in the $50,000 Delta Colleen. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred stalked Terlani and P.S. Touchdown who were dueling though quick fractions before engaging the leaders at the quarter pole. She quickly opened up a clear lead on the stretch turn and was never threatened while posting a final time of 1:50.47. She received an 88 Beyer, which also was the highest in her career. She was ridden by William Antongeorgi.

Penney’s assistant trainer, Key Cooper, was pleased with how she came out of the race.

“I just felt her legs, and they feel great,” Cooper said. “She is being hand-grazed at the farm and is very relaxed. We’re planning on coming back for the Ballerina.”

Last year, Class Included won the B.C. Oaks and was upset by Orchid’s Silver in the Ballerina. She has never been worse than second in 15 starts, and seven of her nine wins have come in stakes races.

It depends on who else shows up as to how the race will unfold. Evelyn’s Dancer has won from a stalking position, but in her last few races she has wanted the lead and has the ability to set fast fractions and keep rolling.

Class Included has good tactical speed and won’t be far behind. She got a perfect trip behind Terlani and P.S. Touchdown, and she could have the edge if Evelyn’s Dancer gets pressured early and can’t settle.

“It should be the race of the year,” said Glen Todd, owner of Evelyn’s Dancer.

Second City eyes Oklahoma, Indiana derbies

The connections of B.C. Derby winner Second City are looking at the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sept. 30 or the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby on Oct. 6 as possibilities for his next start.

Second City is owned by Peter Redekop. Brian Anderson, who acts as Redekop’s racing consultant, said they were seriously considering the races.

“Peter doesn’t want to run him against older horses, so we are trying to figure out transportation to either Oklahoma or Indiana,” Anderson said. “We know wherever he goes it is going to be tough. But after what he did, he deserves a shot.”

Second City had never gone farther than seven furlongs and had never been behind a horse in three starts prior to the derby. The regally bred gelding overcame a poor start and after trailing the field he rallied to win going away.

Second City looked the picture of health when he galloped at Hastings on Thursday morning.

“I usually give them a few more days off after a race like that, but he is just full of himself,” trainer Craig MacPherson said.

According to Anderson, Richard Hamel will retain the mount on Second City.

Book of 81 yearlings for CTHS sale

A total of 81 yearlings have been cataloged at the Alberta Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Sale at Northlands Park this Sunday. The mixed sale is being held in Hall B at the Expo Center. The sale begins at 1 p.m. Mountain.

Prospective buyers will want to get there early and stay late.

Hip No. 1 is a colt by Borrego who won the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and earned more than $2,052,090. The bay colt is a half-brother to Raylene who won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands and the Grade 3 British Columbia Oaks at Hastings. She retired with 16 wins and earnings of $799,945.

The last yearling cataloged, Hip No. 81, is a yearling filly by Desperately. The chestnut filly is out of One Hundred Plus, which makes her a half-sister to Teagues Fight, who was the champion older horse in Alberta twice. Teagues Fight won 15 races and earned more than $600,000.