06/13/2013 1:40PM

Hastings: MacPherson goes three deep in Saturday allowance feature


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Craig MacPherson is hoping to have the trifecta in a first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds Saturday at Hastings. MacPherson trains three of the six horses entered in the 1 1/16-mile feature that goes as race 3 on the seven-race card.

MacPherson had a hard time choosing which horse’s chances he likes best among Miss Derek, Bluegrass Pride, and I’m Not Gray, but he seemed to have a slight preference toward Bluegrass Pride.

A 3-year-old gelding by Bluegrass Cat, Bluegrass Pride couldn’t have been more impressive when he won a maiden special weight race going 1 1/16 miles May 26. He was trapped behind horses for the first six furlongs and flew home to win by 4 1/4 lengths when he moved outside of horses on the stretch turn.

“Getting stuck behind horses might have been just what he needed,” MacPherson said. “I liked the way he handled the situation and I’ve always thought he had a bright future.”

Richard Hamel picks up the mount from the suspended Fernando Perez.

I’m Not Gray rallied to finish third in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province on May 12 and finished fourth in a one-mile optional $80,000 claiming race at Santa Anita the only time he tried a middle distance. He was claimed out of the race by local owner Peter Redekop. MacPherson and Redekop teamed up to win the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby last year with Second City.

“He has the best Beyer Figures, and I don’t think he’ll have any trouble going a mile and a sixteenth,” MacPherson said.

Miss Derek also is coming off an impressive win in a maiden race for 3-year-old fillies May 12 and came back to work a best-of-the-day five furlongs in 59 seconds flat June 9. She was scratched out of an allowance race for fillies and mares last weekend when it was discovered she had been inadvertently given another horse’s feed tub that was being treated with medication.

“I would have preferred to run her with fillies, but I have been looking to stretch her out and this should set her up for the Supernaturel,” MacPherson said.

The $50,000 Supernaturel for 3-year-old fillies is one of four stakes scheduled for July 1.

Go for Guinness beat Bluegrass Pride in a maiden special weight race going 6 1/2 furlongs May 4 and came back with a bullet five-furlong work after finishing fifth in a first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up May 20. He is trained by Dave Forster.

Mark and Red Red Rose complete what appears to be a well-matched field.