09/13/2012 2:33PM

Hastings: Second City in fine shape with next start uncertain

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If Second City stays at Hastings, his next start will be in the Premiers on Oct. 8.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Craig MacPherson reported that Second City came out of his win over Devil in Disguise in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby last Sunday in excellent shape but wasn’t sure where Second City would make his next start.

Second City is owned by Peter Redekop, who bought the sales topper at the local Canadian Thoroughbred and Horse Society yearling and mixed sale last Tuesday. Redekop shelled out $118,000 for a half-brother to Grade 3 Premiers winner Trick of the North. If Second City stays at Hastings, his next start will be in the Premiers on Oct. 8.

“We still haven’t had a discussion about where he is going to start next,” said MacPherson. “We’ve been pretty busy with the sale, and we just haven’t gotten around to talking about Second City yet.”

MacPherson was happy to relive his first win in the premier race at Hastings.

“No matter what camp you were in, it was an impressive performance,” said MacPherson. “He is going to have a big future.”

Second City went into the race undefeated in three starts, and in all three of his races at Penn National and Charles Town he went to the front and widened. MacPherson and Redekop were in a state of shock when he got wiped out coming out of the gate and was last after the first quarter-mile. He was ridden by Richard Hamel.

“He did things he had never done before, and he did it impressively,” said MacPherson. “The one thing I did know going in is that he had a good mouth and was responsive to whoever was riding him. I think if he didn’t get off to such a poor start that Richard would have been able to ease him off the pace if he thought they were going too fast.”

Hamel deserves a lot of credit for Second City’s win. He didn’t panic after he was forced back to last, and he timed his move so that he didn’t have to go too wide around the stretch turn.

“It might not have seemed like I didn’t panic, but I was panicking inside,” said Hamel. “My first thought was this is not where I want to be and this is going to be tough to explain to Craig and Peter. I could see they were going pretty fast up front, so I just waited and waited. They were fanned six wide at the quarter pole so I waited a bit longer until they started to displace a bit. He was full of momentum and I could see he was going a lot faster than the rest of them, so I wasn’t worried about going four wide. Once he started rolling I was pretty sure he was going to win.”

It was Hamel’s third win in the derby, and he compared Second City to Fancy As, who went on to beat older horses in the Premiers for trainer Red Smith in 2001. Hamel also won with Majesticality in 2010.

“It’s not that Fancy As and Second City go faster than other horses, it’s more like they reach for more ground,” said Hamel. “They both have huge strides.”

Hamel, 43, thought his career might be over because of recurring pain in his knees in May. After successful surgery he came back riding as well as ever in late July. He closed out Sunday’s card with a win in the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity aboard I Want to Dust Her.

“To be able to win the derby and Sadie Diamond Futurity in back-to-back races is the highlight of my career,” he said. “Considering where I was a couple of months ago this is all pretty remarkable.”

Todd takes rap for Hoist’s defeat

Trainer Troy Taylor said Devil in Disguise would be turned out for the rest of the year. Taylor also trained the third- and fourth-place finishers, Hoist and Taylors Deal. All three are owned by Glen Todd.

“Hoist came out of the race in great shape so we’ll point him towards the Premiers,” said Taylor. “The other two have done enough this year, so we’ll give them a break.”

Todd blamed himself for not winning the derby with Hoist, who forced the fast early pace and held on well to finish third. He was ridden by Enrique Gonzalez.

“I’m not taking anything away from Second City, but I made a mistake when I told Rico to send Hoist to the front,” said Todd. “That wasn’t our original plan, but when Italian Boy flipped in the paddock and was scratched I didn’t think they would be going as fast as they did.”

Todd may have been disappointed in the outcome, but it didn’t stop him from dreaming of winning the race in the future.

“Troy and I are headed to Kentucky to hopefully buy the 2014 B.C. Derby winner,” he said, referring to the Keeneland September yearling sale, which runs through next week.

Gonzalez headed home

Gonzalez, who won the S.W. Randall Plate for Todd and Taylor with Commander, has headed home to Mexico for the rest of the year.

“I miss my family,” he said. “I really enjoy riding here, though, and will be back next spring.”

Gonzalez was virtually unknown when he arrived at Hastings for the third week of the meet, but he made an immediate impression and will leave as the third leading rider with 40 wins and $714,724 in earnings.