05/24/2012 1:52PM

Hastings: Overvalued comes back strong in Brighouse Belles

Four-Footed Fotos
Overvalued holds off Burnin’ Britches to win the Brighouse Belles.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Overvalued is being pointed to the $50,000 Vancouver Sun on June 17 after she redeemed herself with a game win over Burnin’ Britches in the Brighouse Belles last Monday.

What a difference one race makes. Overvalued, trained by Tracy McCarthy, was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in an allowance race April in her first start of the year, and she was facing most of the horses she ran against Monday. After setting a moderate pace, she surprisingly stopped. McCarthy reported Overvalued bled and that she was going to do everything she could to prevent it from happening again. Overvalued also looked like the only real speed in the field Monday, so it was a bit surprising she paid $37.40.

McCarthy was hoping for a good effort, but like most people betting the race, she had her concerns about how Overvalued would come back after bleeding.

“You just never know how they are going to run after something like that,” McCarthy said. “But I was also confident because when she came back after her last race, she wasn’t stressed or anything like that. We knew something went wrong, and after we scoped her, we knew what it was. The best thing about her is she is sound and feels good about herself. It was very gratifying, because we had hoped we had done everything right. It was also a bit of a relief to see her run like that.”

Overvalued looked like she might be beat at the top of the stretch when Burnin’ Britches wrestled the lead away from her, but under a strong ride by Enrique Gonzalez, she dug in and fought back to win by a neck.

Gonzalez took over the mount from an injured Dave Wilson. It was his first stakes win at Hastings. Gonzalez didn’t arrive at Hastings until the meet was a few weeks old, and he has made a strong impression, particularly with Chris Loseth, McCarthy’s husband. Loseth is the all-time leading rider at Hastings. He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2007.

“The first time I saw him on a horse he sat very tight on it,” Loseth said. “He’s the perfect size and he’s strong. I was impressed with the way he rode Overvalued down the lane, hitting her left handed and being real strong with her. He is going to win a lot of races here.”

Overvalued paid $23.40 to show, and the prices on Burnin’ Britches, $14.60, and Notoriously, $12.40, also were enhanced when the heavily favored three-horse Troy Taylor-trained entry of Castinette Dancer, Caged Mistress, and Dashing Daisy finished fifth, sixth, and eighth.

Greg Tracy, trainer of Burnin’ Britches and Notoriously, said one of them would head to Northlands Park to point to the $50,000 Wild Rose on June 24.

“I want to keep them apart,” Tracy said.

Tracy also said Claresmiezie would make her next start in the Chariot Chaser at Northlands on June 17. She was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the $50,000 Ross McLeod last Saturday, but after dueling with Vinoterra through extremely fast fractions of 21.68 seconds and 44.48, she tired to finish fifth in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies.

“The race was hard on her, and it took her a few days to recover,” Tracy said. “We’re going to go back to work on getting her to come from off the pace. She also will be facing easier company at Northlands.”

It was Claresmiezie’s first loss in Western Canada.

The winner of the McLeod, Our Eleanor, is being pointed to the $50,000 River Rock Casino, where she will be stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

She also won an allowance race in her first start at Hastings for trainer Craig MacPherson on May 5. With leading rider Amadeo Perez aboard, Our Eleanor came from well off the pace to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Evelyn’s Dancer.

“They set her up pretty good, but she is versatile and would have been closer if they hadn’t been going as fast,” MacPherson said. “Her versatility is one of the reasons I think she’ll be able to long. She also has the right temperament.”

Hamel taking time off from saddle

Richard Hamel, the leading rider at Hastings in 2010-11, is taking some time off to evaluate if he will be able to continue riding.

According to trainer Charlene Miller, his common-law wife, Hamel has been riding through excruciating pain caused by the lack of cartilage in his knees.

“He is really hurting,” Miller said. “We have heard of some procedures that might help, but for now he needs to take some time off.”

Hamel is third in the standings at the current meet with 14 wins.