08/05/2008 11:00PM

Hoverson faces Derby choice


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The $250,000 B.C. Derby on Sept. 20 is still more than a month away. Nonetheless, it came into sharp focus with a couple of very strong performances by 3-year-olds Monday on B.C. Cup Day.

Krazy Koffee, trained by Cindy Krasner, did nothing to diminish his reputation by easily winning the $50,000 Stellar's Jay. Coming from well off the pace, Krazy Koffee easily moved into contention at the quarter pole, and by the time he was in full gear going around the stretch turn, it was pretty clear who was going to win the 1 1/16-mile race. It was his third straight win at the distance, and he appears to be getting better with each race. He was ridden by Chad Hoverson, who was very impressed with the performance.

"It's hard to say just how good he really is," Hoverson said. "He's done only what he needs to do so far."

Hoverson also rode Texas Wildcatter for the first time. Trained by Troy Taylor, Texas Wildcatter came close to upsetting the top older horse in the province, Spaghetti Mouse, in the $110,894 Classic. It was Texas Wildcatter's first start since he finished fifth behind Pyro in the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 14. Throw in the fact that Spaghetti Mouse is a multiple graded stakes winner, and it was hard not to be excited by Texas Wildcatter's gritty performance. Hoverson certainly was.

"I was very impressed," Hoverson said. "He's very manageable and he has a lot of talent."

Hoverson has some time to decide which horse he is going to ride in the B.C. Derby. According to their connections, Krazy Koffee is going to remain at Hastings to run in the Richmond Derby Trial on Aug. 31, and Texas Wildcatter is headed to Alberta for the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby on Aug. 23.

"They are both pretty nice horses," Hoverson said. "Texas Wildcatter is obviously more experienced, and Krazy Koffee has done only what he has to do. I don't know how much more he has to give, but it could be quite a bit."

Texas Wildcatter received a 92 Beyer Speed Figure, and Krazy Koffee was given an 85.

Glen Todd, one of the owners of Texas Wildcatter, thinks he would have won the race if he hadn't been off for so long.

"We only went into the Classic because we wanted to get a race into him before he ran in the Canadian Derby," Todd said. "We were obviously very pleased with the race, and he came out of it in great shape."

Texas Wildcatter will likely be heavily favored in the Canadian Derby. Along with his strong performance against older horses in the Classic, his credentials include a nose lose to Visionaire in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct last March.

Krasner doubles up in Debutante

It was a great day for Krasner. She also won the Debutante with P. S. Good N Ready. With Hoverson aboard, P. S. Good N Ready cruised to a 4 3/4-length win over Shel B Quick. Krasner also was very pleased with Krazy Koffee.

"It was probably the best race he's run yet," Krasner said. "Hopefully, he'll get even better. He's going to need to. Texas Wildcatter was pretty impressive against open company."

Krasner said she was going to give P. S. Good N Ready some time off and point her to the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity on Sept. 4.

Spaghetti Mouse eyes Randall Plate

Female trainers won four of the seven stakes races on B.C. Cup Day. In addition to Krasner's double, Barb Heads saddled heavily favored Remarkable Miss in the Dogwood.

The star of the day, Spaghetti Mouse, is trained by Lenore DaPonte.

With his win in the Classic, Spaghetti Mouse became the all-time leading B.C.-bred money winner, with earnings of $812,120, surpassing Delta Colleen, whose record stood at $810,798.

Spaghetti Mouse has become a real favorite with the fans at Hastings. He received a large ovation from the estimated crowd of 10,000 when he came back to be unsaddled. When it was announced that there was a trainer's claim of foul, there was a strong chorus of boos.

DaPonte credits the artful ride by Pedro Alvarado for Spaghetti Mouse's win in the Classic.

"It was probably the best ride Pedro has given all year," she said. "He asked him for speed in order to make sure Winter Warning didn't get away on his own. Then he did a masterful job of easing him off the lead and making sure he had clear sailing the rest of the way."

Spaghetti Mouse will probably make his next start in the $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate on Sept. 1.

"As long as they don't give him too much weight," DaPonte said. "He carried 125 pounds in the Classic, and we're starting to get to the point where weight becomes a serious issue."

DaPonte said Spaghetti Mouse's next major goal is the $100,000 Premiers on Oct. 12. The Premiers is run under scale-weight conditions, and Spaghetti Mouse will carry 126 pounds. Three-year-olds get in with 121 pounds.