05/18/2012 11:57AM

Hastings: Jockey change may be plus for Tarue Grit


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Tarue Grit might be worth taking a stab at when he runs in a claiming race Sunday at Hastings. The $17,500 conditional claiming race for 3-year-olds and up going 6 1/2 furlongs drew nine horses and goes race six on the seven-race card that begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Lenore Dubois, Tarue Grit is coming off a fifth-place finish in a similar race, and his current form doesn’t stand out.

What makes Tarue Grit intriguing is the jockey change to Fernando Perez. Clearly, Dave Wilson would have retained the mount if he wasn’t injured in a spill two weeks ago. After all, Wilson was aboard for Tarue Grit’s only win last year and there was nothing wrong with his rides in Tarue Grit’s first two races this year.

But the move to Perez could be a sign Tarue Grit is ready to roll. Dubois and Perez have teamed three times this year and are perfect. Perez rode Peace Bear when he won a $5,000 claiming race April 21 and also when Dubois moved him up to win a $12,500 claiming race May 6. Perez won with Skopa when Dubois dropped her into a $7,500 conditional claiming race May 12.

Roses for Ben has the best recent race, and it came in his first start this year. Trained by Daryl Stewart, Roses for Ben rallied to finish second in the same race Tarue Grit ran in May 5. There should be an honest pace for Roses for Ben to work with, and he figures to move forward with a race behind him.

Dilwyn dueled with Tarue Grit and held on well to finish third. He also figures to improve in his second start at the meet for trainer Harold Barroby.

Friday card to be rescheduled

The average field size at Hastings this year is a respectable 7.7 starters per race. In order to try and maintain the healthy number, management at Hastings and the two groups that represent local horsemen, the Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, have agreed to reschedule next Friday’s card.

“We just don’t have enough horses here to run four days in one week, so we all agreed to reschedule the day later in the year,” said Dave Milburn who is currently on the HBPA board and is running unopposed for president in an election that will take place May 29.