07/25/2012 2:20PM

Hastings: High End Man earns shot at B.C. Cup Stellar's Jay


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Pete Gregory said High End Man’s convincing win in a first-level allowance race last Saturday earned him a spot in the $50,000 Stellar’s Jay for B.C.-bred 3-year-olds on B.C. Cup Day, Aug. 6.

With leading rider Amadeo Perez aboard, High End Man broke sharply and Perez immediately eased him into a stalking position behind Timeless Storm, who was carving out honest fractions in the 1 1/16-mile race. Perez appeared to have a lot of horse the whole way, and when he asked High End Man to go after Timeless Storm just past the quarter pole, the race was over. High End Man held a half-length lead at the top of the stretch and widened his margin to six lengths while being hand-ridden. Perez appeared to have a lot of horse left at the finish.

It was High End Man’s third start this year and fourth overall. He was an impressive winner of a $40,000 optional maiden sprint May 27 and he lost by a nose to Wilo Kat when Gregory stretched him out to a 1 1/16 miles in a $50,000 optional race June 17.

“It was a great race for him and luckily he came back in good shape,” said Gregory. “I was a little concerned when he came back, because he was cut up on one of his back legs. It looks like he got hit on the hock going into the first turn, and I think the leg must have been moving forward at the time because the cuts are all superficial. Amadeo didn’t even know that it happened. If the leg had been moving backwards or sitting straight up it would have been really ugly.”

Gregory thinks High End Man has the demeanor to be a good horse.

“He slept a full two hours before the race,” said Gregory. “He sleeps so much that I think he might still be growing. He doesn’t seem to have any nerves, and that is a really good thing for a horse. If they get too wound up they have nothing left for the fight.”

The Stellar’s Jay will be a good test for High End Man, and Gregory is looking forward to the challenge. There should be an honest pace with Timeless Storm running back. Plus trainer Phil Hall is looking at running either The Gov or Unquiet, and they both have good speed. Taylor’s Deal will be the heavy favorite if he runs, but it probably depends on how much weight he is assigned. Taylor’s Deal is also nominated to the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on Aug. 4, but his owner, Glen Todd, said if Hansen runs Taylor’s Deal won’t, and all indications are that Hansen is headed there.

“I don’t know about Taylor’s Deal, but I hope all the speed goes,” said Gregory. “High End Man has a high cruising speed, and obviously he can rate. I don’t think he would like it if the rider had to take a big hold of him, though. He has such a long stride that he would probably hit himself if he was gathered up too much.”

High End Man is by Joey Franco, who won the Grade 1 Triple Bend Breeders’ Cup Handicap going seven furlongs and the one-mile Grade 2 Del Mar Breeders’ Cup Handicap. Gregory said High End Man takes after his sire.

“Joey Franco had a lot of speed, but he really wanted to sit just behind a horse and then attack him,” said Gregory. “High End Man is the same way. He’s really just getting started and he improves every time we run him.”

Dashing Daisy back in form

Dashing Daisy is also heading to B.C. Cup Day with confidence. She is the defending champion of the B.C. Cup Distaff but had struggled this year for trainer Troy Taylor. She didn’t hit the board in her first four starts at the meet, but the way she won a $25,000 claiming race going 1 1/16 miles last Sunday she appears to be back on top of her game. Last year she won a $25,000 claiming sprint before reeling off wins in the Distaff and Delta Colleen. She also finished third in the Grade 3, Ballerina.

“That looked like the old Daisy,” said Taylor. “She is really starting to come around now, and the timing couldn’t be better.”

Beato departs

Jockey agent Gord Rumble reported that Inoel Beato has gone to Philadelphia to ride at Parx.

Beato arrived after the meet was well underway and won 13 races from 123 mounts for earnings of $250,253.

“The large purses at Parx had a lot to do with the move,” said Rumble. “Plus they race four days a week all year, and there are quite a few other tracks nearby.”