08/11/2011 1:07PM

Hastings: Riboletto trying to live up to pedigree


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Riboletto isn’t going to live up to the high expectations Aaron and Marie Jones had when they bred his $1.5 million multiple Grade 1-winning dam Riboletta to Unbridled’s Song. Nonetheless, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred is starting to reap rewards for John Kim and Jesse Morrison, who claimed him for $12,500 out of his last start in 2009.

Riboletto has an excellent chance of winning his second race in a row when he runs in a $35,000 optional claiming race at Hastings Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile feature drew seven horses, including Grade 3 winners Trick of the North and Tommy Danzigger.

Riboletto has improved dramatically for trainer John Morrison this year. He finished second in a $3,000 nonwinners-of-three claimer in his final start of 2010, but in his first start at the current meet he ran away and hid from Dee’s Victor in a $12,500 claiming race for nonwinners of two. He came back with another big effort, finishing second to a very tough Cherokee Tear in a $5,000 starter race May 21. Stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in a $35,000 optional race July 8, Riboletto ran a strange race. He broke sharply with apprentice Marlo Dunn riding and she had him sitting second after the first quarter mile. It looked like he was done when he dropped back to last, but he made a surprising late move along to rail to edge Majestically by a neck.

Richard Hamel picks up the mount from Dunn, who rides Seminole Brave for trainer Mel Snow.

Seminole Brave hasn’t had success going a middle distance, but he has come close and he is clearly the one they will have to get past. A sprint stakes winner, Seminole Brave is a sharp horse right now. In his last three races, all sprints at this level, he won on June 4, finished third by a neck July 2, and was second to Bonboni July 24.

The expected fast pace could play into the hands of Trick of the North. Trained by Barbara Heads, Trick of the North came from last to finish a fast-closing second in the $50,000 1 1/8-mile B.C. Cup Classic Aug. 1.

Tommy Danzigger, seventh in the Classic after stalking a fast pace, is looking for his first win of the year.

Silly Fella steps up in class after an easy win in a first-level allowance July 30.

Lornefivehundred figures to be part of the pace and Swiss Arrogant is taking a big step up in class.