07/04/2012 1:15PM

Hastings notes: Taylor Said sets sights on Longacres Mile

Four-Footed Fotos
Taylor Said is being pointed to the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Just how good Taylor Said is remains to be seen, but more could be known about that if all goes according to plan and he makes his next start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs on Aug. 19. There isn’t much doubt that he is the best older horse on the grounds at Hastings, and his owner, Glen Todd, is hoping he is good enough to win the most prestigious race for older horses in the Pacific Northwest.

“If he is good enough, he would earn as much from winning the Mile as he would winning five stakes here,” Todd said.

“Of course, he has to win the race,” piped in his trainer, Troy Taylor.

Taylor Said was impressive winning the $50,000 Lieutenant Governors’ on Monday. It was his third straight stakes win, and it was pretty clear he was going to win the race when he was in front by just a head at the top of the stretch. Both St Liams Halo and Northern Causeway were beginning to tire, but despite battling through pretty quick pretty fractions, Fernando Perez had a lot of horse left turning for home. Taylor Said did seem to tire when he drifted out a bit approaching the wire, but the race was long over by then.

Taylor Said was coming off a win in the 1  1/16-mile Sir Winston Churchill, where he was stretching out to a middle distance for the first time.

“He wasn’t as relaxed this time,” Perez said. “In the Churchill, he was relaxed the whole way, but Monday he was between horses and he never really settled. He is a pretty nice horse to be able to run like that and still have a lot left in the stretch.”

According to Todd and Taylor, it is going to be a project to get Taylor Said to the Longacres Mile. He is a happy horse at Hastings, but has been a bit of a bear when he has shipped to other tracks.

“We are going to have to devise a plan for him,” Todd said. “He just isn’t a good shipper. At least we have plenty of time to figure it out.”

The other option for Taylor Said is the $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic on Aug. 6, but it is hard to see the race filling if he entered it.

Todd and Taylor also won the $50,000 Chris Loseth for 3-year-olds with Devil in Disguise. Perez, who had the choice of mounts, rode Taylors Deal who finished second. He had no complaints about his choice, though.

“He could be the best horse I’ve ever ridden,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade him for anyone.”

The large crowd that turned out was thrilled Perez made the wrong choice. Local hero Mario Gutierrez rode the winner. Gutierrez received a loud ovation when he came to the paddock and was introduced on post parade. He gave Devil in Disguise a great ride. Gutierrez had Devil in Disguise in a stalking positing behind The Gov and Taylors Deal and when a hole opened up along the rail at the quarter pole, he didn’t hesitate in sending Devil in Disguise through it. He poked fun at himself after the race.

“I know I like to go wide, but I had a lot of horse and when the hole opened, he was happy to go through it,” Gutierrez said.

Following the race, Gutierrez was honored by Hastings with a statue of him wearing the silks of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another’s owner, Paul Reddam. The statue was later placed in the paddock, where it will remain.

Gutierrez will likely be back to ride at Hastings on B.C. Cup Day.

Devil in Disguise is on his way to Northlands Park, where he will make his next start in the $50,000 Count Lathum on Aug. 4. The Count Lathum is the final prep for the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby on Aug. 25.

“I want to send him there early, so he can be ready for the Canadian Derby,” Todd said. “Dennis Terry will be his trainer there.”

Todd also is sending Commander back to Northlands with Terry. Commander came off a long layoff to win the $50,000 Journal at Northlands on June 23.

The handle for the Canada Day holiday card was $952,249. That is more than a 50 percent increase over last year’s total of $629,822. The main reason for the huge increase is this year’s Monday card didn’t have many tracks to compete with, while last year’s Friday card had plenty of competition.

Spaghetti Mouse retired from racing

Spaghetti Mouse has been retired after finishing last in the Lieutenant Governors’. There will be a ceremony honoring him on B.C. Cup Day. Spaghetti Mouse, 10, will retire as the all-time leading B.C.-bred money earner with close to $950,000 in earnings.

He is owned by Nick and Pauline Felicella who bought him out of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Sale in 2003 for $18,000. His most important win came in the Grade 3 B.C. Derby in 2005.

He was originally trained by Gary Demorest, but moved to Ned Sams when Demorest died in 2007. Lenore Dubois has been his trainer since 2008.