05/03/2013 1:37PM

Hastings: Taylor, Todd loading up for British Columbia Derby assault

Four-Footed Fotos
Bridge Jumper, who won the $48,000 New Westminster as a 2-year-old, might be trainer Troy Taylor and owner Glen Todd's best candidate for the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Troy Taylor and owner Glen Todd have won just about every important race in the Pacific Northwest, including the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, which they won last year with Taylor Said. But the one race they haven’t won is the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby, scheduled for Sept. 8.

Taylor obviously would be happy to win the most important race at Hastings, but Todd has been obsessed with it ever since he jumped back into racing full time in 2004. They will get a good idea of where they stand with a couple of their 3-year-olds when Bridge Jumper and Glenco Kid run in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province at Hastings next Sunday.

Last year, Todd ran three horses in the 1 1/8-mile race, and they finished second, third, and fourth. He is taking no prisoners this year and has what he considers seven quality 3-year-olds in training.

“I’m still looking for more,” Todd said. “There is a long way to go. I think I have a nice group of 3-year-olds, but a lot can happen between now and Sept. 8.”

One of Todd’s recent purchases, Carving, is running in an allowance race at Emerald Downs on Sunday. Carving was good enough to win the $100,000 Real Quiet going 1 1/16 miles at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 10.

Despite Carving’s strong credentials, Todd thinks the best of the bunch is Bridge Jumper, who, along with Glenco Kid, will run in the Coleman. Todd might be a bit prejudicial toward Bridge Jumper because he bred the son of Storm Victory.

Bridge Jumper’s dam, Never Late Early, wasn’t much of a racehorse. Her only win came in a bottom-level maiden race at Hastings, but she is a good example of why Taylor has been Todd’s trainer since 1963 and was inducted into the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2010.

Never Late Early was partially owned by Hastings track announcer Dan Jukich, and he recalled her first win. In her first nine starts, she finished third just once for trainer Ed Brunson. After Brunson had a heart attack, Taylor took over her training. In her two starts leading up to her first race for Taylor, she was been beaten a combined 42 lengths.

“It just showed how good Troy is,” Jukich said. “It was funny, too. Glen was just starting to get back into the business in a big way, and he had a bunch of horses he had claimed from Southern California. Because of the claiming rules back then, they couldn’t run here unless it was in a stakes race. He wasn’t winning many races, and because of the sizeable investment he was making, management at Hastings was concerned that Troy might not be the right trainer for him.

“I had known Troy for years and told them not to worry. When Never Late Early won her first start for Troy and paid over $45, I walked out of the announcer’s booth and ran into one of the managers. I remember saying to him, ‘That, my friend, is who Troy Taylor is.’ ”

Bridge Jumper won both of his starts as a 2-year-old, including the $48,000 New Westminster. In both races, he went right to the front and never looked back.

Todd thinks Bridge Jumper can rate.

“He’s obviously very fast, but he’s also manageable,” Todd said. “I am looking forward to seeing him run next weekend.”

Dance the Wind eyes Strawberry Morn

Trainer Carl Lausten was happy with the way Dance the Wind came out of her win in a conditional allowance race last Sunday, and she probably will make her next start in the $50,000 Strawberry Morn on May 20. Dance the Wind was an honest 3-year-old filly for Lausten and owners Clive and Linda Lytle last year. She only won a single race, but she was stakes placed four times, including a second in the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks behind Evelyn’s Dancer.

“I would rather run her in an allowance race, but I doubt if anything is going to fill,” Lausten said. “She deserves a shot. She ran great last year, but she was just a victim of one horse she couldn’t outrun.”

That would be Evelyn’s Dancer, who was an easy winner of the Brighouse Belles last Saturday and is expected to run in the Strawberry Morn.

“She’ll be a handful, but hopefully we’ve improved enough to give her a run for her money,” Lausten said. “Our filly can sprint, but she’s a much better horse going a route of ground.”

Dance the Wind likely will get her first chance to stretch out this year in the 1 1/16-mile Vancouver Sun on June 9.

◗ Trainer Dino Condilenios reported that Shrug came out of his hard-fought win over Devil in Disguise in the $50,000 George Royal in excellent shape and will be pointed to the $50,000 John Longden 6000 on May 20.