09/21/2006 11:00PM

Head Chopper has to deal with post 12


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Ok Nothanksforaskn and Head Chopper arrived here on the same flight from Toronto at 4 a.m. Friday. If the more than 2,000-mile journey from Woodbine to Hastings didn't wear them out, they will be very tough to beat in Sunday's Grade 3, $250,000 British Columbia Derby. The 1 1/8-mile derby drew 13 colts and geldings, with Luhuk's Dancer on the also-eligible list. All will carry 126 pounds.

Head Chopper would probably have been favored, but he drew post 12, so it's more likely that the K.K. Sangara-owned entry of Ok Nothanksforaskn and Seven Secrets will be the favorite.

Ok Nothanksforaskn, trained by Lorne Richards, will likely be the one they'll have to catch. A Kentucky-bred colt by Thunder Gulch, Ok Nothanksforaskn comes off a dead heat with Royal Challenger in an allowance race on Polytrack at Woodbine Sept. 8.

Emma-Jayne Wilson will ride.

If Ok Nothanksforaskn doesn't handle the trip very well, Seven Secrets is more than capable of picking up the slack. Trained by Harold Barroby, Seven Secrets is coming off a sharp two-length win in the Richmond Derby Trial here Sept. 3. He has tactical speed and should get a good trip behind what could be a quick pace.

"He's been improving all year," said Barroby. "He's a big, strong colt and he couldn't be coming into the derby any better."

Barroby has also entered Mighty Cahill, who is coming off a fast-closing third in the $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on Aug. 26.

Justin Stein will need to use all of his skills to avoid a wide trip aboard Head Chopper. Trained by Steve Owens, Head Chopper finished a very good second to older horses in the $125,000 Elgin Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 4 and has the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure in the field.

Trainer Dino Condilenios is expecting a good effort from The Visualiser, who set the pace in the Canadian Derby and held on well to finish second.

Emerald Downs invader Raise the Bluff would appreciate a quick pace. He came from well back to win the Emerald Downs BC Derby on Sept. 4 and is the only horse in the field with a win at the distance.

o Supporting the derby card is the $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill, which features a matchup between Spaghetti Mouse and True Metropolitan, the top older horses in B.C. and Alberta, respectively.