08/02/2012 1:36PM

Hastings: Few willing to face Taylor Said in B.C. Cup Classic


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Troy Taylor and owner Glen Todd said they will grudgingly accept the 128 pounds assigned to Taylor Said in the $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic at Hastings.

The Classic headlines six stakes races restricted to British Columbia-breds that make up the bulk of the B.C. Cup Day Card on Monday. B.C. Cup Day has been the largest day in terms of attendance and handle since its inception in 1995.

“We’re going to run,” said Todd. “But when was the last time a horse around here carried 128 pounds?”

Not that long ago, actually. In 2007, Monashee carried 130 pounds when she won the Delta Colleen. It was her 10th stakes race in a row and she must have felt like she was carrying a feather when she won the Grade 3 Ballerina in her next start carrying the scale weight of 123 pounds.

Taylor Said doesn’t have the same credentials as Monashee but he is certainly a deserving highweight. He has dominated the local handicap division and the rest of the possible starters appear to be overmatched.

He has never won going 1 1/8 miles, though, and not that long ago Taylor and Todd thought Taylor Said was just a sprinter. He changed their minds when he won the John Longden 6000. Taylor Said was forced to steady early and after seemingly being comfortable sitting behind horses, he rallied to win the 6 1/2-furlong race. In his next two starts, both going 1 1/16 miles, he did rate, but he was on the lead in both the Sir Winston Churchill and the Lieutenant Governors’. The combination of 128 pounds and the presence of the speedy and gutsy Tommy Danzigger help make the Classic a much more compelling race than it looks on paper.

Tommy Danzigger is the only graded stakes winner in the field and he has just one way of going. He likes to be in front and any horse that wants to go with him will pay a price. He carried his speed to win the Grade 3, Canadian Derby going 1 3/8 miles in 2009, and while he has been running in claiming races this year, Tommy Danzigger is a very sharp horse right now. Taylor and Todd are aware Taylor Said needs to avoid getting in a duel with Tommy Danzigger. Fernando Perez will have the task of harnessing Taylor Said’s considerable speed.

“He proved he can rate in the Longden,” said Taylor. “He has really matured lately and I think Fernando will be able to put him wherever he wants.”

The Classic will have the shortest field on B.C. Cup Day. Thursday morning there were just four horses confirmed to enter. Along with Taylor Said and Tommy Danzigger, Jump Up and Kiss Me and Stormy Canuck are definite. Sitting on the fence are Silly Fella and Ganbei. Silly Fella is owned by Nick and Pauline Felicella and trained by Lenore Dubois. They are also the connections of Spaghetti Mouse, who is the all-time leading B.C.-bred money earner. Spaghetti Mouse was retired this year and is going to be honored before the Classic.

If the Classic doesn’t fill Todd said Taylor Said would instead be pointed to the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs on Aug. 19. It is also conceivable Taylor Said would run in the Mile if he does go in the Classic and the race isn’t too hard on him.

It would be unprecedented if the Classic is called off, and nobody would be more disappointed than Roy and Dixie Jacobson, the owners and breeders of Stormy Canuck. Dixie Jacobson was the president of the Canadian Thoroughbred Society-B.C. Division for eight years.

Clearly Stormy Canuck wouldn’t be running if Monday was just another day at the races. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in an optional $35,000 claiming race July 29 and he likes to be involved early. He is trained by the Jacobson’s son-in-law Mark Cloutier.

“I know how much my in-laws support B.C. breeding and especially B.C. Cup Day,” said Cloutier. “Stormy Canuck came out of his last race in great shape and with all the speed in the race we’re going to take the blinkers off and see if he can rate. I don’t know if he can win the race but he’ll still pick up a nice check if he hits the board. Really, we just want to help make it another great B.C. Cup Day.”