08/15/2012 2:42PM

Hastings Park: Condilenios saddles trio in Richmond Derby Trial


Trainer Dino Condilenios thinks he has a horse good enough to contend in the Grade 3, $200,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings Sept. 9. He just isn’t sure which one of the three he has entered in the Richmond Derby Trial this Friday will emerge as the top 3-year-old in his barn. Stratify, Double It, and Three Point Play have a lot to prove going into the mile and a sixteenth co-feature that drew seven horses and goes as the third race. Sharing the spotlight with the Derby Trial is the $50,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club where Evelyn’s Dancer stands out in the 1 1 1/6-mile race that will serve as the final prep for the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks, also on Sept. 9.

All three horses from the Condilenios barn were part of a package Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. purchased from Darley Stable and are coupled in the wagering.

Going into the race, Condilenios seemed to be leaning in Three Point Play’s direction. Three Point Play rallied to win a $25,000 claiming sprint in his first start at Hastings and has the pedigree to improve going a middle distance. He is by Lemon Drop Kid, who won three Grade 1 races, including the Belmont Stakes. Three Point Play is the first foal of Bold Angel, who won two races, including the Sam Houston Oaks. In his only try going a mile and a sixteenth, he finished ninth in a first-level allowance on grass at Golden Gate prior to being sold.

“If I had to go out on a limb I would go with Three Point Play,” Condilenios said. “I was just really impressed by his last race. He was in a five-eighths of a mile drive and he just kept coming. It showed me he can run all day.”

Stratify might have the most raw talent, but according to Condilenios he is still a bit green. Stratify showed his lack of seasoning in his first start here June 22. He broke a bit flat footed and didn’t seem to be going anywhere despite strong urging from jockey Frank Fuentes. Nonetheless, he rallied and despite going extremely wide just missed in a $40,000 optional maiden claiming sprint. After a bit of schooling from Condilenios, Stratify broke on top and never looked back in a similar race July 21. Along with The Gov, Stratify owns the best Beyer Speed Figure at a mile and a sixteenth, a 77 he earned for his second-place finish in a maiden special weight race at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 13.

“In his first race here, he acted like he never had dirt thrown in his face,” Condilenios said. “I took him back to the gate before his second race because I wanted him to show more speed. He isn’t going to get away on his own in this race so I don’t know what to expect.”

A son of A.P. Indy, Stratify is the first foal out of the Grade 2 winner Burmilla.

Double It is also bred in the purple. He is by Bernardini and out of Grade 1 winner Victory Ride.

Double It won a $40,000 optional maiden race in his first start for Condilenios and is coming off a third behind High End Man in a first-level allowance race going a mile and a sixteenth July 21.

High End Man could be the one to beat, and his trainer, Pete Gregory, is pleased he drew post 6. High End Man broke from the rail in the B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay and got involved in a speed duel before tiring to finish third.

“I knew when he drew the rail he was in trouble,” said Gregory. “He should be able to sit just off The Gov this time.”

Wilo Kat rallied to finish second in the Stellar’s Jay, and if the timing were a little different he would probably be running in the Grade  3, mile and three-eighths Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on Aug. 25.

“I think he’ll run all day,” said his trainer John Snow. “I don’t know why the Canadian Derby is so close to our derby (15 days) because I would have loved to run him there.”

Snow is expecting a big effort and is looking forward to bringing Wilo Kat back going a mile and an eighth in the B.C. Derby.

◗ This Friday will mark the last Friday evening card at Hastings this year. The annual fair held at the Pacific National Exhibition begins next week, and the Hastings post times for Wednesday and Friday the next two weeks will be 3:20 p.m. Hastings is situated on the PNE grounds. The fair closes on Labor Day, Sept. 3, with a 1 p.m. post time for Hastings. After the fair, live racing will be held on Saturdays, Sundays, and Canadian Thanksgiving, Oct. 8. Including Friday, there are 19 days left at the meet, which ends Oct. 14.