08/07/2013 1:58PM

Hastings: Go for Guinness plans quick return for Canadian Derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Dave Forster was impressed enough by Go for Guinness’s 6 1/4-length win over Mark in the B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay on Monday that he is planning to bring him back in just 12 days to run in the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby on Aug. 17 at Northlands Park.

Go for Guinness finally lived up to the potential he had shown in his two previous route attempts, where he was just a bit too much on the muscle early and failed to finish the way he did in the Stellar’s Jay.

He was ridden by Amadeo Perez, who had him sitting just off a very fast pace set by S R Rocketman in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds. He moved up to take over the lead at about the three-furlong marker and after repelling a bid by Ruby’s Victory, he drew off in the stretch while posting a very fast final time of 1:43.10.

“We took the blinkers off of him the race before to try and get him to relax and finish,” Forster said. “He’s finally starting to get the idea.”

Go for Guinness was bouncing around Forster’s barn Wednesday, and the veteran trainer wasn’t too concerned about bringing him back in less than two weeks for the 1  3/8-mile Canadian Derby.

“He had been off for five weeks heading into the Stellar’s Jay, and it looks like he came back in excellent shape,” Forster said. “He’s still a fresh horse, so bringing him back that quickly shouldn’t bother him.”

Forster also pointed to Go for Guinness’s breeding as a reason to give him a shot in the richest race in Western Canada.

His sire, Rosberg, won the Grade 3 Premiers going 1 3/8 miles at Hastings. This is Rosberg’s first crop of 3-year-olds. Go for Guinness is the first foal out of the unraced mare Irish Day Dancer, whose dam is Make Contact, a horse Forster trained that won six stakes and earned $281,161. Make Contact also finished second in the Grade 3 Ballerina as a 3-year-old behind Magic Code, another Forster-trained horse.

“The horse that finished second also is by Rosberg, and it looks like he is going to be a good sire,” Forster said. “Make Contact won the Belle Roberts at Emerald Downs going a mile and an eighth, and she was just a tiny thing. Go for Guinness is a big horse, and if he can relax, he should be able to run all day. It looks like he came out of the race in good shape, and if he continues to improve this week, we’re going to the Canadian Derby.”

Change in plans pays off for Brass and Gold

Following Brass and Gold’s upset win in $75,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and up, trainer Barbara Heads was laughing about jockey Scott Williams not listening to her pre-race instructions.

“It was a great ride,” she said in the winner’s circle. “He did exactly what I told him not to do.”

Heads had told Williams to keep Brass and Gold away from what figured to be a brisk pace. Instead, Williams had Brass and Gold within striking range while saving ground along the rail. When the rail opened up at the top of the stretch, Brass and Gold burst through and took control in midstretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

It was a tremendous training job by Heads. Brass and Gold was coming off a two-month layoff with only three sprints at the meet.

“Because he had been off for so long, I was worried about him doing too much early,” Heads said. “But you can’t fight the horse or he displaces. Scotty did exactly the right thing by letting him run his race.”

Brass and Gold came close to not running in the Classic. Heads had him entered in a conditional allowance a couple of weeks ago but decided to pull him out and instead aim for the Classic.

“I knew it was a pretty wide-open race, and he had been training so well for a long time,” she said.

Brass and Gold figures to move forward following his sharp win, and Heads is eying the Grade 3, $100,000 Premiers on Oct. 14 as his ultimate goal for the year.

Gutierrez gets stakes win on return trip

One of the highlights of the day for the local fans was Mario Gutierrez winning the Dogwood aboard Tempered Steel. Gutierrez timed his move perfectly to win the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.

The fan response to Gutierrez’s riding at Hastings was really more important than his textbook ride. There is a genuine love affair that goes both ways. Gutierrez, who had a strong meet at Betfair Hollywood Park and is continuing to win races on a regular basis at Del Mar, was touched by the reception he received. He was a top rider here before he became famous as the rider of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another.

“It was absolutely beautiful,” Gutierrez said. “The people in Vancouver are so great to me. I was getting nervous before the races and I was really happy that I could win a race.”