05/11/2012 1:16PM

Hastings: Gutierrez, Spaghetti Mouse should draw large crowd


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A large crowd is expected at Hastings Sunday when Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez will hold a noon press conference and then a meet-and-greet with fans on the tarmac in front of the winner’s circle at 1 p.m.

Gutierrez, 25, came to Hastings as an apprentice in 2006 and was the leading rider here in 2007 and 2008. He said he is coming to Vancouver to thank people for the support they have given him throughout his career.

On the track at Hastings Sunday, Spaghetti Mouse will continue his quest to become the first British Columbia-bred to earn $1 million. Trained by Lenore Dubois, Spaghetti Mouse is just over $50,000 shy of the mark with $948,386 in earnings. Being a 10—year-old, his chances of reaching the milestone are diminishing. Last year he didn’t win from six starts and banked just $10,700. His main goal for the year will be the $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic, a race he has won twice.

Spaghetti Mouse has been the most popular horse at Hastings since he won the 2005 Grade 3 British Columbia Derby and he figures to be one of the favorites in a $50,000 optional race that drew seven horses. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint goes as the seventh race.

Spaghetti Mouse has looked sharp while preparing for his first start of the year.

“He is doing very well and we’re going to try and avoid the top horses as much as we can until the Classic where he can run with B.C.-breds,” said Dubois.

Chad Hoverson rides Spaghetti Mouse.

Heavenly Chorus figures to be favored. Trained by Greg Tracy, Heavenly Chorus is coming off a third-place finish behind Almost Time and Jump Up and Kissme in the $50,000 George Royal on April 15. It was his first start since he finished fifth in a $40,000 optional claiming race at Northlands Park last Aug. 20, and Tracy has excellent stats with horses returning for a second start following a layoff of 180 days or more.

The God of Reign, trained by Rick Terry, runs well fresh and could be dangerous if he breaks alertly from his inside post. This will be his first start outside of New Mexico where he compiled a 3-2-1 record from 9 starts running in statebred races at Zia Park, Ruidoso Downs, and Sunland Park.

Inhisglory is looking for his first win since he nosed-out Grade 3 Canadian Derby winner Freedoms Traveller in the Count Latham Stakes at Northlands Park last July 30.