05/27/2011 12:50PM

Hastings: MacPherson has high hopes for Inhisgllory in Rock Casino


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Craig MacPherson is pleased with the way Inhisglory is developing and is looking forward to running the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred in the $50,000 River Rock Casino next Sunday at Hastings.

Inhisglory made his first start for MacPherson in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province on May 7 and proved he could handle sloppy conditions, which could be important considering the track is located in the middle of a temperate rain forest. Actually, most of the forest is gone but the rain has been incessant this spring and there doesn’t appear to be much relief in the near future. He also showed that he fits right in with the local 3-year-old stakes horses.

Coming from last in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint with Richard Hamel aboard, Inhisglory began to pick up horses at the quarter pole and then finished full of run while going four-wide to get up for second behind Emerald Downs invader Couldabenthewhisky. It was just his second start on dirt. He began his career with a win in a maiden special weight race over Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs last June. After finishing last in a first-level allowance race at Woodbine on Nov. 20, Inhisglory won back-to-back races on Polytrack at Turfway. One of his wins came in the $50,000 Turfway Park Prevue. Prior to coming to Hastings, he finished fourth in the Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds.

“I’m very happy with the way he is coming along,” said MacPherson. “I think he learned a lot from the experience. He was pretty green for the first three-eighths of the race and then he settled in and ran his race. He should move forward off of that.”

MacPherson brought Inhisglory back to work an easy five furlongs in 1:02.80 on May 21 with Hamel in the irons.

“He seems happy and he is training really well. I expect him to run a good race,” said MacPherson.

Inhisglory has never gone longer than 6 1/2 furlongs but MacPherson is optimistic he will be successful when he stretches out to a middle distance, probably in the 1 1/16-mile Chris Loseth on July 1.

“He acts like he’ll go long and we’re certainly looking forward to stretching him out,” he said.

Inhisglory is out of an unraced mare and his only sibling, Lucky to Be Me, won three races, two at a flat mile. He is by Pure Prize, who won the Grade 2, 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway.

MacPherson reluctant to run Belle Evangeline so soon

MacPherson is also looking at longer races for Belle Evangeline, whom he nominated to the $50,000 Emerald Downs for 3-year-old fillies next Saturday. He was up in the air about running her, though. She is coming off a second place finish in a first-level optional $50,000 claimer on May 14 and finished third in the Boulevard Casino on May 1.

“I don’t want to start banging her back every two weeks,” said MacPherson. “She wants to go long anyway.”

Belle Evangeline had raced exclusively on turf at Fair Grounds before running in the Boulevard Casino. All three of her races were at one mile and her lone win came when she debuted in a $30,000 maiden race in January.

Espitia back where he first started

Jockey Jorge Espitia is hoping to build on a decent start to the meet. He arrived at Hastings just prior to the opening and he has won 4 races from 30 mounts. Espitia, 35, has been riding in New Mexico for the past four years but he knows Hastings well, winning 111 races between 2004 and 2006. He was the leading apprentice here in 2004 with 45 wins. In his career, he has won 240 races for earnings of $3.9 million.

“I am glad to be back at Hastings and want to give it a real good shot here,” said Espitia. “In New Mexico you have to have the backing of a big barn and the barn I was riding for is starting to dissolve horses. I could have stayed there but I wouldn’t have been riding too many live horses.”

Trainer Barbara Heads is planning on giving Espitia live mounts. They teamed up to win the 2005 Jack Diamond Futurity with Sungold Wonder.

“I am really happy he is back riding here,” said Heads. “He has won a lot of races for me and he gave a great ride on Sungold Wonder when he won the Futurity. He is also the nicest person you will ever meet and nobody works harder. Hopefully he’ll get a break here and start picking up better mounts.”