09/01/2012 11:53AM

Hastings: Herbie D lays over field in Derby Bar and Grill Express


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Two $50,000 sprint stakes will be featured at Hastings on Monday, and one of the six-furlong races has a heavy favorite, while the other is wide open.

Herbie D is a standout in the Derby Bar and Grill Express for 3-year-olds and up, which drew five horses and goes as the fourth race. In the Derby Bar and Grill Ladies Express, it is hard to separate the leading contenders among the seven fillies and mares entered.

Post time for the nine-race Labor Day card is 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

Herbie D took a while to make it back to the races after he won the CTHS Sales Stakes as a 3-year-old last October, but he has been a monster in both of his starts this year. Trained by Rob Gilker, Herbie D dueled through extreme fractions and never stopped running while winning a $40,000 optional claiming race July 14. His final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:15.22, just off Torque Converter’s track record of 1:15 set in 1996.

Herbie D was even more impressive when he came back in a similar race Aug. 12. He broke sharply, but leading rider Amadeo Perez eased him just behind Time Machine for the first half-mile. When Perez gave Herbie D his cue, he immediately responded and took complete control of the race. Once again he posted a quick final time of 1:15.43.

Gilker likes the way Herbie D is coming into the race.

“He came out of his first race so well that we probably would have given him a shot in the Longacres Mile if the race here didn’t fill,” Gilker said. “We’re glad the way it worked out, though, and he really couldn’t be doing any better.”

Under the allowance conditions of the race, Herbie D will carry 119 pounds, five less then he packed in his easy win in Aug. 12.

Burnin Britches could round out the exacta if he can avoid getting in a duel with Time Machine.

Time Machine will be the one they have to catch, and he might be more settled with the blinkers coming off.

Tracy pair tough in Ladies Express

When asked which of his entrants he prefers in the Ladies Express, trainer Greg Tracy had a hard time choosing between Claresmiezie and Burnin’ Britches.

“I guess Clare,” he said. “But they are both doing very well right now.”

Claresmiezie is the only 3-year-old in the field, and she is coming off a 7 3/4-length win in the one-mile $50,000 Assiniboia Downs Oaks at Assiniboia Downs on Aug. 6. Despite her strong performance, Tracy decided to pass on the 1 1/8-mile $100,000 British Columbia Oaks on Sept. 9 for Monday’s race.

“She came home pretty slow, so we’ll keep her sprinting for now,” he said.

Burnin’ Britches hasn’t raced since she won a $40,000 optional claiming sprint July 15, but she runs well fresh and could get a nice trip from just off what could be a hotly contested duel between Overvalued and Claresmiezie.

Overvalued shouldn’t mind the move back to a sprint after finishing second to Heidi Maria going 1 1/16 miles in the $50,000 Mademoiselle at Northlands Park on Aug. 6. She was being pointed to the City of Edmonton Distaff at Northlands on Aug. 25, but didn’t make the race because of a sore foot.

Trainer Tracy McCarthy was pleased with Overvalued’s four-furlong move here in 48.80 seconds last Wednesday and is expecting another solid performance from the consistent 4-year-old filly, who has compiled a 4-4-4 record from 14 starts. Three of her wins have been in stakes races.

Tierra Del Feugo looks like a serious threat from off the pace.