09/15/2011 1:49PM

Hastings: Northern Causeway taking a break


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Northern Causeway will get a well-deserved rest after his gutsy win in the Grade 3, $200,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings last Sunday, according to owner Rozamund Barclay.

“We’re going to take him back to Golden Gate and see how he’s doing,” Barclay said. “It has been a busy month for him, and we just want to give him some time to make sure he’s OK.”

Northern Causeway shipped to Hastings with trainer Len Kazmerski in early August, and they had a successful stay in Canada, winning the Richmond Derby Trial on Aug. 14 as well as the derby last weekend.

In the B.C. Derby and the Trial it looked like Northern Causeway was going to get passed at the top of the stretch. Both times he dug in, however, and refused to let either Commander in the Trial or Jebrica in the derby get past him. His race in the derby was particularly impressive. A small horse who has won most of his races on or near the lead, Northern Causeway came from off the pace while carrying 126 pounds. Barclay had high praise for the ride by William Antongeorgi, who rode him perfectly.

“He’s a big horse in a little package,” Barclay said. “A lot of people were concerned when he wasn’t near the lead, but I knew they were going to be going pretty fast up front, and the rider rode him perfectly. Most riders would have wanted the short trip, but you can’t get a horse that size trapped, and he kept him out of trouble. He spent a lot of time looking at film, and I hope he gets the respect he deserves for such a great ride.”

Northern Causeway is undefeated in three races on dirt. He also won a $32,000 optional claiming race at Pleasanton before coming to Hastings. He is capable on other surfaces as well. He won on Tapeta, and in three races on grass he has two seconds, losing by a nose and a head in a couple of first-level allowance races at Golden Gate.

“We have a lot of options with him because it doesn’t matter what the surface is,” Barclay said. “He just doesn’t know how to say no.”

Jebrica targeting Golden Gate race

The connections of Jebrica are looking at a race at Golden Gate for his next start. Trained by Jim Penney, Jebrica is lightly raced and seems to be peaking with a sharp win in the Emerald Downs Derby on Aug. 14 and a strong performance in the B.C. Derby.

Assistant trainer Kay Cooper said with Noosa Beach being pointed to the race, the Grade 3, $100,000 Premiers at Hastings on Oct. 2 was out of the question.

“He is just a little 3-year-old, and we really don’t want to tackle Noosa Beach with him,” she said.

Cooper said Class Included will probably be making the trip back to Hastings for the Grade 3, $100,000 Ballerina. With Russell Baze aboard, Class Included was an impressive winner over Castinette Dancer in the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks.

“We haven’t put the tack on her yet, but she is bucking and squealing and seems to be doing fine,” Cooper said. “We checked with Russell’s agent, and he said he would try and clear the day for him.”

Castinette Dancer came out of the race in good shape and is a likely starter in the Ballerina, according to trainer Troy Taylor.

Ballerina might be next for Classic Alley Kat

Trainer Elizabeth Stolzenberg scored a nice double on derby day with wins by Herescomelucky in the colts and geldings division of the CTHS Sales Stakes and Classic Alley Kat in the Derby Bar and Grill Ladies Express.

Herescomelucky is being pointed to the $75,000 Ascot Graduation on Oct. 1. Stolzenberg is looking at giving Classic Alley Kat another try at a middle distance in the 1 1/8-mile Ballerina. In her first try going long, Classic Alley Kat set wicked fractions before finishing second to Wando Woman in the 1 1/16-mile Strawberry Morn.

“We are going to work on training her to go long, and if she seems to be doing OK we’ll probably give her a try in the Ballerina,” she said.

CTHS yearling sale sees big increase

The combination of fewer horses catalogued and a quality consignment resulted in a 23 percent in increase in the average yearling price at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s Yearling and Mixed Sale at the Thunderbird Show Park last Tuesday.

With 70 yearlings being sold for a total of $1,063,800, the $15,197 average was up substantially from last year, when 83 yearlings averaged $12,372. The median price also rose from $6,000 to $7,500.

Nick and Pauline Felicella spent $89,000 for the sales topper, an Ontario-bred filly by Cherokee Run out of Sweet Windsong. She was bred and consigned by Black Canyon Thoroughbreds. The Felicellas led all buyers by spending $287,000 for six yearlings. “It was a super sale,” sales manager Ralph Jesiak said. “Everyone is excited because it is looking like racing is starting to turn around in British Columbia.”