09/06/2012 1:54PM

Hastings: Stormy Bob should get nice set-up on Gutierrez bobblehead day


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – An honest pace could help Stormy Bob when he runs in a $15,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds at Hastings Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile race drew nine horses and appears to be a wide-open event.

Post time for the first of nine races is 1:50 p.m. Pacific. Hastings will be giving away Mario Gutierrez bobblehead dolls to the first 1,000 people that purchase a program. Gutierrez, who achieved fame when he won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness aboard I’ll Have Another, rides three horses on the card.

Stormy Bob trailed in the field during the early stages when he won a similar race Aug. 10, and with plenty of speed signed on for Saturday’s race it should set up nicely for him. Trained by Dave Milburn, Stormy Bob paid $33.90 for his win, partly because he was coming off a third-place finish in a $4,000 claiming race for nonwinners of two for 3-year-olds and up July 27. He had also never won on dirt and in his only other start at Hastings he finished a nonthreatening fifth in a $12,500 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds.

Enrique Gonzalez picks up the mount from Pedro Alvarado, who is serving a one-day suspension for careless riding away from the starting gate.

Deputy’s Command is an interesting possibility at what should be a decent price. Trained by Phil Hall, Deputy’s Command has been knocking heads with much tougher and he will appreciate the class relief. He is looking for the second win in his 13-race career and he didn’t hit the board in either of his two tries going around three turns. Nonetheless, in both of his route attempts he was running against the top 3-year-olds on the grounds and this will be the first time he has been eligible to be claimed since he finished third in a $30,000 optional maiden claiming race last September. He also gets in light with leading apprentice Marlo Dunn riding.

Royal Victor led for every step of the way except the last one when Stormy Bob beat him Aug. 10. He came back with another good race, finishing a close fourth for the same price going 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 29.

Sartorialist, who won the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity, beat Royal Victor by a half-length in a 1 1/16-mile $15,000 claiming race July 20, but comes into the race off a couple of slow works.

Lord Henry won’t mind the move to a route following an even effort in the same race Royal Victor exits.