05/11/2012 2:52PM

Hastings notes: Taylor Said shows new dimension in John Longden 6000 Stakes win

Four-Footed Fotos
Taylor Said earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the John Longden 6000 Stakes.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Taylor Said showed his trainer Troy Taylor a new dimension when he came from a stalking position with Fernando Perez aboard to win the $50,000 John Longden 6000 last Sunday. It wasn’t by design, though. Taylor expected the speedy 4-year-old to be the one everyone was chasing in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up.

“I was surprised because he has so much speed,” Taylor said. “This might change our plans with him. We always thought he was just a sprinter, but now we’re not so sure. Fernando was impressed and thinks he’ll go long.”

The next stakes race for older horses at Hastings is the 1 1/16-mile Sir Winston Churchill on June 3.

“We’re going to take a look at it,” Taylor said, referring to the Churchill. “We didn’t think his half-brother Taylors Deal would go long, and he fooled us when he won the Turf Paradise Derby this year.”

Taylor Said received a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for his 4 1/2-length win over his stablemate St Liams Halo, who was voted the top older horse in the province last year. Triple-digit Beyers are a rare commodity at Hastings. In the new millennium, just two horses prior to Taylor Said – Quiet Cash in 2005 and Teide in 2009 – equalled the century mark.

A 4-year-old gelding, Taylor Said is lightly raced and could have a bright future. He showed a lot of potential when he easily won his debut as a 2-year-old in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race in 2010, but didn’t make his next start until Sept. 11, 2011, when he faced older horses and almost won the $50,000 Express. He led for all but the last few jumps before Bonboni caught him.

Taylor Said came into the Longden off an easy front-running win in a $40,000 starter race at Golden Gate on Feb. 24. In total, he has raced six times, winning half of his starts.

“It has been just one setback after another,” owner Glen Todd said. “He’s had a staff infection, EPM, or possum disease [equine protozoal myeloencephalitis], and when he was at Santa Anita, he got loose and hurt himself when the big wind storm hit in December. He also lost his marbles a bit when we ran him there the first time.”

Todd added that Taylor Said is a happy and sound horse now, and Todd plans on keeping him at Hastings for the foreseeable future.

“He loves it here,” Todd said. “He’s happy to just stand at the gap for 20 minutes before he trains. He isn’t going anywhere.”

Clear the Runway eyes River Rock Casino

Trainer Greg Tracy said he was pleased with the way Clear the Runway came out of his win in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province for 3-year-olds on May 5 and that the horse would be pointed to the 1 1/16-mile River Rock Casino on June 2. Clear the Runway came from a stalking position to wear down Unquiet, who had set the pace.

“That was a nice win for him,” Tracy said. “I liked the way he settled behind the speed.”

Next Saturday, Tracy is planning on running Claresmieze in the $50,000 Ross McLeod for 3-year-old fillies, where she will be a heavy favorite. She has dominated all four of her races in Western Canada and just toyed with her rivals in her first start as a 3-year-old in an allowance race here April 15. She had a slow five-furlong work in 1:04.40 on May 6, but Tracy loved the way she did it.

“She doesn’t need to do much, and I cut back her blinkers a bit so she can see if a horse is coming to her,” Tracy said. “The main goal is to try and get her to relax enough to go long.”

Tracy said if everything went well in the River Rock Casino, Claresmieze would stay at Hastings and run in the 1/16-mile Emerald Downs on June 10.

Wilson sidelined with broken ribs

Dave Wilson will be out indefinitely after being injured in a spill last Sunday. Wilson was riding Desperate, who was on the lead in the 11-horse field, when she broke down and fell on the stretch turn.

According to his agent, Trapper Barroby, Wilson broke six ribs and has a bruised lung.

“He was in good spirits when he was released from the hospital on Thursday,” Barroby said. “He isn’t supposed to do anything for six weeks, so it will be a while before he’s back riding.”

A total of five riders came off their mounts in the spill, but only Wilson was seriously injured. Two horses, Desperate and Icecap, had to euthanized.