07/15/2011 1:49PM

Hastings: Don’twaitforme impresses in return

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Rob VanOverschot was pleased with the way Don’twaitforme ran and also how he came out of his comeback race last Sunday. It was a pretty impressive performance.

Making his first start since he won the Richmond Derby Trial on Sept. 10, Don’twaitforme broke with his head in the air but quickly recovered in a first-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs. Without the need of urging, he was put into a stalking position by jockey Amadeo Perez and looked very comfortable while going three wide around the first turn. He joined Silly Fella and Rocket Roan down the backstretch and, while still going three wide around the second turn, he started to take control of the race. He opened up a clear lead in midstretch, and Perez appeared to have a lot of horse left when he stopped the clock in a brisk 1:16.75.

Don’waitforme was arguably the top 3-year-old at Hastings last year and would have been the favorite for the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby but was kept out of the race due to an abscess that developed in his right front foot the week of the Derby. According to VanOverschot, he developed another abscess in his left front this spring.

“That was a good race for him,” a relieved VanOverschot said. “We had to take our time with him, but it was worth it. What I really liked about his race is that he was very relaxed. Last year, he was a bit head strong and he never really settled in any of his races. He was just galloping along this time. Our main goal all year has been to get him to relax, and he did it beautifully.”

Despite being hard to handle, Don’twaitforme compiled a solid 2-3-0 record from five starts as a 3-year-old. He carried his speed 1 1/16 miles in the Derby Trial and seemed to be just reaching his potential heading into the B.C. Derby when VanOverschot was forced to stop on him.

If his first start back is any indication, he is going to be a serious force in the older handicap division. His next race will be on B.C. Cup Day on Aug. 21 in either the Sprint or 1 1/8-mile Classic.

“He came out of the race in great shape,” VanOverschot said. “We will see how he trains in the next couple of weeks before we decide which race to go in. He is plenty fit, and since he relaxed so well, I’m not worried about bringing him back going long in the Classic.”

Almost Time still weighing options

Trainer Dino Condilenios was of the same mind regarding Almost Time. Last year, Almost Time romped by 4 3/4 lengths as the heavy favorite in the Sprint, and considering seven of his eight wins have come sprinting, it is a good bet he will be back to defend his title. He can also route, though, and two of his best Beyer Speed Figures were earned in the 1 1/16-mile John Longden and the B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay. He received a career-best 95 Beyer for his win in the Longden and a 91 when he finished second to Tommy Danzigger in the Stellar’s Jay in 2009. He also earned a 91 when he won a maiden special weight race going six furlongs as a 2-year-old in 2008.

In his latest start, he finished third to St Liams Halo and Crew Leader in the Lieutenant Governors going 1 1/16 miles on July 1.

Condilenios kept Almost Time out of the S.W. Randall Plate in order to have a fresh horse for B.C. Cup Day.

“I honestly haven’t made up my mind on which race we are going to run him in,” Condilenios said. “We’ll take a look and see how the races are shaping up and we’ll pick the easiest spot.”

End of the road for Wind Storm?

Trainer Dave Forster wasn’t sure if Wind Storm would be able to make it back to defend her title in the B.C. Cup Distaff. Wind Storm was considered mainly a sprinter until last year, when she won the 1 1/8-mile Distaff. She finished third when she took on males in the Sprint in 2009. Forster said age could be catching up to the classy mare who has compiled a 12-2-9 record from 29 starts for earnings of $287,084.

“She is 7 now and not many horses can reproduce the same kind of form at her age,” Forster said. “There are exceptions, but she is getting up there, and we aren’t going to push her. Who knows? She just might be coming to the end of her career.”

According to Forster, Wind Storm has had to deal with minor issues her whole career. One of her problems turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

“We had a deal to sell her for $65,000 to one of Terry Jordan’s clients, but she had a small problem with her stifle and they turned her down,” Forster said. “She’s won over $200,000 since then. She is all heart.”