07/05/2013 2:03PM

Hastings: Supernaturel winner Miss Derek remains a work in progress


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Craig MacPherson is still trying to understand how Miss Derek was able to win the $50,000 Supernaturel after fighting her jockey Enrique Gonzalez just about every step of the way until a seam opened up at the top of the stretch.

“I didn’t think she had any chance, especially when about four horses went by her approaching the quarter pole,” MacPherson said. “I was feeling sorry for Enrique because she broke on top but we wanted him to try and rate her. It would have been interesting to see how she would have run if he let her run her own race.”

MacPherson expected Miss Derek to be a decent horse. On his advice, owner Chad Joe, who races under the stable name Copper Water Thoroughbred Company, purchased Miss Derek after she was claimed out of a $75,000 maiden race at Santa Anita on March 16. MacPherson wasn’t surprised when she won a maiden special weight race in her second start for him at Hastings.

He was expecting a better race from her when she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles against males in an allowance race June 15, but she faded after chasing a very fast pace. Bluegrass Pride, who won the race, also is trained by MacPherson.

“I thought she would run better,” MacPherson said. “She ran well going a mile and a sixteenth in Southern California and that was one of the reasons we claimed her. I know she was running against a strong field of colts and geldings, but I thought she would hang around longer than she did. Going into the Supernaturel, I just wasn’t sure how she was going to run.”

Coming out of the Supernaturel, MacPherson is wondering just how good she is. Obviously, Miss Derek needs to settle a lot more in her races in order for her to continue moving forward.

“She is definitely a work in progress,” MacPherson said.

Exercise rider Maurice Doyle will have a major role in how Miss Derek progresses. He helped trainer Terry Jordan develop True Metropolitan into a Canadian champion and is taking the same approach with Miss Derek.

“Give them a lot of love and feed them candy,” Doyle said. “She is coming around. When she first got here, she smoked around the track twice with her head in the air. Now she drops her head and goes around three times slow. I think she would have won by 10 if she had been able to find a seam earlier and been able to put her head down.”

Miss Derek isn’t eligible to the B.C. Cup Dogwood for British Columbia-bred 3-year-old fillies Aug. 5, and the Florida-bred daughter of Brother Derek could be heading to Edmonton, Alberta, for the $50,000 Northlands Oaks on July 27.

“I really don’t want to ship her across the mountains, and if the same horses were running at Emerald Downs it would be a slam dunk,” MacPherson said. “They have a pretty nice filly running at Emerald, though.”

It does make a lot of sense to avoid the undefeated Stopshoppingdebbie, who easily won the $50,000 Irish Day Handicap at Emerald by 6 3/4 lengths June 23.

MacPherson also is trying to figure out what to do with Bluegrass Pride, who overcame a rough beginning when he finished second to Shooting Jacket in the $50,000 Chris Loseth on the same card.

“It would have been nice to win the race, but I am very happy with the way he ran considering what happened at the start of the race,” MacPherson said. “He broke okay but then got wiped out when a couple of horses sandwiched him. I would really like to keep both of them here, but since they aren’t B.C.-breds there isn’t any place to run them. The best thing for them would be if some kind of allowance race would fill.”

Evelyn’s Dancer targets Emerald Distaff

According to trainer Troy Taylor, Evelyn’s Dancer came out of her win in the $50,000 Monashee in good shape and will make her next start in the $65,000 Emerald Distaff at Emerald Downs on Aug. 18.

Evelyn’s Dancer had completely dominated the older filly and mare division before finishing last in the $50,000 Vancouver Sun on June 9.

“She’s back to her old self,” Taylor said. “She just wasn’t herself in the Sun.”

Taylor wasn’t too disappointed with Major Dundee’s third-place finish in the Chris Loseth, but owner Glen Todd wasn’t impressed.

“I don’t think he’s good enough to win the B.C. Derby, so I just bought another 3-year-old,” Todd said.

The horse is Success Rate, who is coming off a 13 1/2-length win over a muddy track in a one-mile, first-level allowance race at Calder on June 28. He is flying to Seattle with Boston Bound this Monday. Boston Bound, a 2-year-old half-brother to Normandy Invasion, didn’t sell when Todd offered him in the recent Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2013 June sale of 2-year-olds and horses of racing age.

“I bought him back for $150,000,” said Todd, who paid $35,000 for him at Keeneland last year.