09/07/2012 12:50PM

Hastings: Taylors Deal in peak form for British Columbia Derby

Coady Photography
Taylors Deal heads a potent three-horse entry that figures to go favored in the British Columbia Derby.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Six stakes totaling $600,000 will be offered Sunday on the richest card ever held at Hastings, which includes the jewel of the meet, the Grade 3, $200,000 British Columbia Derby.

Trainer Tim McCanna, who is shipping Italian Boy from Emerald Downs to run in the 1 1/8-mile feature, summed up how the B.C. Derby looks on paper.

“That is one of the toughest derby fields I’ve seen up there in a long time,” said McCanna.

Thirteen horses were entered but only 12 will be permitted to start. They will all carry 126 pounds.

Post time for the B.C. Derby is 5:10 p.m. Pacific. The BC Derby will be the third leg of a $25,000-guaranteed pick four.

The Glen Todd-owned and Troy Taylor-trained entry of Devil in Disguise, Taylors Deal, and Hoist will be the betting favorite. 

Taylors Deal, who won the $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby in February, is coming off an impressive win in the B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay on Aug. 6.

Mario Gutierrez had his choice of the three mounts and chose Taylors Deal.

Taylor said he thinks Gutierrez made the right choice.

“I just think Taylors Deal is coming up to the race in perfect condition,” said Taylor. “The other two are doing well, but he is just on top of his game right now.”

The race should also set up for Taylors Deal, who can be positioned anywhere Gutierrez chooses.

Hoist, a private purchase by Todd, will have to be sent hard leaving from the 12-hole to avoid going wide in the first of three turns over Hastings five-eighths of a mile track. He is coming off a front-running win in a 1 1/8-mile, first-level allowance race that was washed off the turf at Saratoga on Aug. 11. He was previously trained by Dominic Galluscio.

The most intriguing horse in the field is undefeated Second City. He is impeccably bred, being by Distorted Humor out of the Grade 1-winning mare Sis City, and has won his three starts at Penn National and Charles Town by a combined 22 1/2 lengths for trainer Stephanie Beattie. Second City was purchased privately by local owner Peter Redekop following his win in a first-level allowance race going seven furlongs at Charles Town on Aug. 5 and romped by 6 1/2 lengths in a second-level allowance race in his first start for Redekop at Charles Town on Aug. 25.

Redekop’s trainer at Hastings, Craig MacPherson, said Second City handled the ship from West Virginia well. Jockey Richard Hamel was impressed when he worked him three furlongs in 35.20 seconds at Hastings on Thursday.

“I liked the way he gave me a couple of more gears when I asked him for it,” said Hamel. “I just hope he finds the same gears after he’s gone a mile.”

Italian Boy forced a quick pace and held on well to finish second in the Emerald Downs Derby on Aug. 12. He drew post 3 and McCanna thinks the inside post may force his hand.

“He can stalk but we’ll probably have to send him a bit from there,” he said. “He’s a hard-trying horse and he isn’t big so he should handle the turns. It looks like a great race and it should be a fun trip.”

D’honorable One finished third as the favorite in the Emerald Downs Derby. Trainer Blaine Wright is hoping for a better trip than D’honorable One had in that race.

“He got stuck on the rail and he just doesn’t like being behind horses down there,” said Wright. “Hopefully he’ll be able to sit in a stalking position outside.”

Dougs Buddy led for all but the last couple of jumps in the 1 3/8-mile, Grade 3 Canadian Derby on Aug. 25.

High End Man will try to give trainer Pete Gregory his third B.C. Derby win. He was an easy winner of the Richmond Derby Trial on Aug. 17 in near track-record time.