09/15/2009 11:00PM

Huitzilopochtli secures division title


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Huitzilopochtli wrapped up the local 2-year-old championship with another easy win in the $66,441 CTHS Sales Stakes at Hastings on Sunday.

With leading rider Fernando Perez in the irons, Huitzilopochtli was up close to an honest pace before taking control of the race at the quarter pole. After opening up a two-length lead at the top of the stretch, he drew off to win by a widening 4 1/2 lengths. Huitzilopochtli is undefeated in five starts and has won the last three stakes races for 2-year-olds at Hastings by a combined total of 20 1/2 lengths.

According to his trainer and owner, Juan Olmos, Huitzilopochtli came out of the race in excellent shape and will be pointed to the 1 1/16-mile $100,000 Ascot Graduation on Oct. 25, where he will be stretching out to a middle distance for the first time.

"I am very happy with him," Olmos said. "I will start giving him longer gallops to get him ready to go long. He's kicking the barn down, so I can't give him any time off."

Olmos also trains El Sinaloense, who was the local 2-year-old champ last year. El Sinaloense is pure speed and is strictly a sprinter. Although there are some similarities between the two, Olmos thinks Huitzilopochtli won't have any trouble stretching out.

"Like El Sinaloense he is a very intense horse when he is training in the mornings," Olmos said. "But he can rate and he seems to be more relaxed when he's running in a race."

Being a half-brother to Grade 3 Ballerina winner Grace for You, Huitzilopochtli also has the breeding to be a good horse going a route of ground.

It is possible that following the Ascot Huitzilopochtli will make his next start at Woodbine. Olmos has applied for and received 12 stalls there and is planning on running a split stable between Woodbine and Hastings next year.

"The purses there are so good, and they also have the infrastructure where you can do just about anything you want with your horses," he said. "You're limited to what you can do here. I'm having a great year here, but I would like to give it a try there. I have about 25 horses, so some will stay here. Huitzilopochtli should be able to compete at Woodbine, so he'll be with the ones I take there."

One obstacle in the way of Olmos making the move to Ontario is his wife, Elisa.

"She doesn't want to move until the kids are out of school," Olmos said. "It's still a project, so I just might be here with a full barn after all."

Clear to Canada eyes Jack Diamond Futurity

With Huitzilopochtli not eligible, Clear to Canada may have stamped himself as the favorite for the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity with a second-place finish in the Sales Stakes. Clear to Canada, trained by Terry Clyde, is a half-brother to El Sinaloense. He was a late scratch from last year's local CTHS yearling and summer sale when he became sick just before the sale. He was bred by his owner, Mike Anderson. Anderson is Clyde's common-law husband and her assistant.

"We haven't brought him back to the track yet, but he is bucking and playing in his pen at home, so he seems to have come out of the race in good shape," Anderson said. "He kind of teased us when he made the big sweeping move, but you don't mind losing to that kind of horse."

At the time, Anderson was disappointed he had to withdraw Clear to Canada from last year's sale. With the way El Sinaloense was dominating the local juveniles here, Anderson figured to get a decent price for Clear to Canada. The winner's share of the Jack Diamond Futurity will be more than $60,000, and if Clear to Canada wins, Anderson will also get added money as the breeder.

"It looks like it might all work out for the best," Anderson said.

Anderson sold a half-sister to Clear to Canada and El Sinaloense for $43,000 on Tuesday at the CTHS yearling and mixed sale.

Average holds steady at CTHS sale

Gross receipts for yearlings at the annual yearling and mixed sale held by the B.C. division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society on Tuesday was down by 18 percent compared to last year, but the average stayed about the same.

From 156 yearlings cataloged 87 were sold for a total of $968,700. Last year 188 were catalogued with 103 selling for a gross of $1,148,200. The average price for a yearling was roughly the same, $11,134 compared to $11,148 in 2008. The gross proceeds from all horses including broodmares, horses of racing age and weanlings, was also down, $1,004,100, compared to $1,158,400 last year. The average, however, was up marginally from $10,726 to $10,797.

The top priced yearling went to Bob Cheema who paid $70,000 for a filly by Regal Intention out of High On Believen. She is a half-sister to Dancing Allstar who was the champion 2-year-old filly in Canada in 2007. The leading buyer at the sale was Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. who shelled out $216,500 for 10 yearlings. The leading consigner was Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds, grossing $192,500 from 11 yearlings sold.