07/12/2013 2:02PM

Hastings: Tracy's 2-year-olds always dangerous


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The past five years, trainer Greg Tracy has won with 29 percent of his 2-year-olds running in stakes races and last year he won every stakes race for 2-year-old fillies at Northlands Park. It makes a lot of sense to take a close look at the Tracy trainee Western Heritage when he runs in the $50,000 New Westminster Stakes for 2-year-old colts at geldings at Hastings on Sunday.

The New Westminster drew seven horses and goes as the sixth race. Also on the seven-race card is the $50,000 Boulevard Casino for 2-year-old fillies (race 4). Both races will be contested over 6 1/2 furlongs.

Typically, Tracy had Western Heritage ready to roll for a maiden special weight race going 3 1/2 furlongs here June 16. Breaking alertly with Northland’s leading rider Rico Walcott aboard, Western Heritage dueled with his stablemate Holiday Babe briefly, but started to edge clear at the top of the stretch and drew off to win by 2 3/4 lengths. A filly, Holiday Babe came back to beat colts and geldings in a maiden special weight race going six furlongs by 5 1/2 lengths July 6.

Tracy said Holiday Babe would make her next start in the $50,000 Princess Margaret at Northlands on July 27. Walcott is returning to Hastings to ride Western Heritage on Sunday.

“I thought Western Heritage ran a good race and when Holiday Babe came back and won the way she did it kind of verified it,” said Tracy. “All along it seemed like he was one of the better 2-year-olds we had. He’s well-bred so he should run out.”

Western Heritage is by Preakness and Belmont winner Afleet Alex. His dam is Cecilia’s Crown, who won four races and placed in the Grade 3 Debutante. Among his siblings are Grade 3-placed Capital Attraction and multiple stakes winner Princess Cecilia.

Tracy credits his success with 2-year-olds to the work he put in as a Quarter Horse trainer when he first got involved in the racing business.

“I learned a long time ago that you don’t have to have the fastest horse to win a race with a 2-year-old,” he said. “But if you spend the time and break them properly, they would win just because they were better prepared.”

Tracy’s 2-year-olds don’t usually show up with flashy works the first time they run.

“I’ve learned that it is better to give them a lot of slow controlled works instead of fast ones,” he said. “If they work fast you have to give them more time between works.”

His babies are always well-schooled at the starting gate and Tracy also likes to give them a lot of time being pony-schooled in order to make them comfortable around horses.

“I see a lot of babies come to the paddock that shy away from their pony,” said Tracy. “If they are afraid of a pony they probably won’t want to go past another horse when they are running. It also helps that I have a lot of 2-year-olds. I can pair them up according to their ability so they can get something out of their works. If you put a fast one with a slow one neither of them is going to get anything out of it.”

Tracy also said he thinks he has the best people getting on their backs at both Hastings and Northlands.

Kim Kozak, a trainer and an exercise rider for Tracy, said it was really all about the hard work Tracy puts in getting them ready to come to the track.

“He breaks them himself and they are without a doubt the best-schooled 2-year-olds I have ever been on,” she said.

Tracy’s record speaks for itself and if Western Heritage gets beat it won’t be because he wasn’t properly prepared.

Deviance looks like the main threat and could go off as the favorite. He is the only horse in the field with a race going around two turns and it was a good one. Trained by Troy Taylor, Deviance finished second going 3 1/2 furlongs in his debut May 20 but went right to the front and never looked back in a quickly run maiden special race going six furlongs June 21.

He is trained by Troy Taylor who won the New Westminster in 2011 with Herescomelucky and last year with Bridge Jumper.

Herbie D may pass up B.C. Cup Classic

Trainer Rob Gilker is seriously considering skipping the $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic on Aug.  5 with Herbie D and is viewing the $50,000 Mount Rainier at Emerald Downs as a possible final prep for the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald on Aug. 18. Last year, trainer Troy Taylor won the Classic and the Longacres Mile with Taylor Said.

“Every horse is different and coming back in 13 days seems like a lot to ask of him,” said Gilker. “It’s regrettable because I would love to showcase him on B.C. Cup Day.”

Gosailgom likely for B.C. Cup Distaff

Gosailgom who is coming off a front-running win in the one-mile, $48,000 Boeing Stakes at Emerald last Sunday is being pointed to the B.C. Cup Distaff.

“She came out of the race in great shape,” said her trainer, Robbie Anderson. “Next stop B.C. Cup Day but she loves it in Seattle so we’ll probably take her back to Emerald for the Emerald Distaff.”

The $65,000 Emerald Distaff is the same day as the Longacres Mile.