06/30/2012 12:41PM

Hastings: Taylor-Todd team formidable in Chris Loseth and Lieutenant Governors'


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Troy Taylor and owner Glen Todd appear to have a lock on both stakes races at Hastings on Monday. The nine-race Canada Day card begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific, and the Taylor-Todd team has the top two choices entered in both stakes – the $50,000 Chris Loseth for 3-year-olds and the $50,000 Lieutenant Governors’ for 3-year-olds and up. Both races will be contested around three turns at 1 1/16 miles.

It is tough to separate Taylors Deal and Devil in Disguise in the Loseth, which drew six horses and goes as race 4. The Lieutenant Governors’ attracted seven horses, and Taylor Said figures to be a strong favorite over his stablemate St Liams Halo.

The presence of Mario Gutierrez is expected to enhance the size of the crowd. Gutierrez, who gained international fame by winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness aboard I’ll Have Another, will ride Devil in Disguise and St Liams Halo. Todd and Taylor have been mentors to Gutierrez since he arrived at Hastings in 2006.

Taylors Deal hasn’t raced since he won a six-furlong allowance race on opening day, April 14, but he has been working impressively leading up to the Loseth. Prior to his win opening day, he rallied to beat a very good Makors Finale in the 1 1/16-mile, $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby on Feb. 12. Makors Finale has won the last two stakes races for 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs.

Taylors Deal won the Turf Paradise Derby coming off a win in the $35,000 Lost in the Fog Juvenile going 6 1/2 furlongs on Dec. 26. His win in the derby proved a couple of things – he can fire fresh and he is capable of handling a middle distance.

Fernando Perez, who had his choice of mounts, will ride Taylors Deal.

It had to be a tough call for Perez. He was aboard Devil in Disguise when the Kentucky-bred scored an easy 4 1/2-length win despite getting stopped at the quarter pole going 1 1/16 miles in the $50,000 River Rock Casino on June 2. Gutierrez rode Devil in Disguise to a fifth-place finish on the turf in the Grade 3 Generous at Hollywood Park last Nov. 27.

“Both Mario and Fernando think Taylors Deal is the best horse,” Taylor said.

The Gov, trained by Phil Hall, set the pace before tiring to finish second in the River Rock. He figures to improve in his second try going around three turns.

Wilo Kat rallied to win a $50,000 optional claiming race when he stretched out for the first time and should be heard from late.

Lieutenant Governors’: Taylor Said looks strong

Taylor Said, a half-brother to Taylors Deal, looks formidable in the Lieutenant Governors’. A 4-year-old gelding by Stephanotis, Taylor Said has easily won his last three starts.

He scored a front-running win in a six-furlong, $40,000 optional claimer at Golden Gate on Feb. 24 and then showed a new dimension when he came from a stalking position to win the $50,000 John Longden 6000 here May 6. Until then, his connections viewed him as strictly a sprinter. Because he proved he could rate, he was given a shot going 1 1/16 miles in the $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill on June 3, and he broke on top and never looked threatened while beating St Liams Halo by two lengths.

“He certainly surprised us,” Taylor said.

St Liams Halo is looking for his first win since he won the Lieutenant Governors’ last year.

Senor Rojo finished third behind the Taylor duo in both the Londgen and Churchill and could round out the trifecta again. Trained by Dave Forster, Senor Rojo might want a little more distance, though. His last win came going 1 3/8 miles in the $75,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands Park on Aug. 20.

The new kid in town is Iscar, who was part of an 11-horse package Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. recently bought from the Darley Stable.

Trained by Dino Condilenios, Iscar is coming off a win in a $30,000 conditional claiming race at Belmont on May 23.

“Troy’s pair are going to be tough to beat,” Condilenios said. “I would rather run him in a $50,000 optional race, but they aren’t filling. He has trained well since he arrived here, so we’ll give him a shot and see how he fits.”

Leading rider Amadeo Perez rides Iscar.

Spaghetti Mouse, Three Wood, and Northern Causeway round out the field.

◗ There is a pick four with a $25,000-guaranteed pool on the final four races of the Monday card.