08/20/2014 12:37PM

Koffee Grinder faces two new challengers in Richmond Derby Trial

Four-Footed Fotos
Koffee Grinder's status as the top 3-year-old in western Canada will be tested in the Richmond Derby Trial.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A couple of new faces, Solemnly Swear and Tapicero, will find out how they stack up against Koffee Grinder when they run in the $50,000 Richmond Derby Trial at Hastings on Friday. The 1 1/16-mile race is the final local prep for the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby on Sept. 14.

Also on the seven-race card that begins at 7 p.m. Pacific is the Hong Kong Jockey Club for 3-year-old fillies. The 1 1/16-mile race had its $50,000 purse reduced to $30,000 when only four horses entered. All nomination fees were refunded, which makes the final prep for the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks, also Sept. 14, an allowance race. It goes as the first race, with the Derby Trial going as the second half of the early daily double.

In the Hong Kong Jockey Club, take your pick between Dawsellina, who will be the one they have to catch, and Ole’s Miss, who is coming off a win in the $50,000 Kent Handicap at Emerald Downs on July 19.

Koffee Grinder should be favored in the five-horse Derby Trial. He has dominated the local 3-year-old division and is arguably the best 3-year-old in Canada west of Ontario. He will get a serious test from Solemnly Swear, though.

Solemnly Swear is coming off a win for trainer David Jacobson in an optional $30,000 claiming race July 17 at Monmouth Park, where he received a 92 Beyer Speed Figure for the second straight race. Both races were at six furlongs, but three of his four wins came going a middle distance. In his last route attempt, he won a $50,000 optional claimer going a mile and 70 yards at Monmouth by more than 17 lengths.

[Hastings: Get PPs, watch Friday's card live]

He was bought privately by Glen Todd and Mark Dedomenico following his sharp win July 17 and transferred to trainer Troy Taylor. According to Taylor, Solemnly Swear arrived at Hastings on Aug. 6.

“He worked okay last Saturday, but I haven’t had him long enough to really know much about him,” said Taylor.

Richmond Derby Trial (race 2)


Solemnly Swear (Last 3 Beyers: 92-92-83)

◗ He looks like the main speed and could be gone if he breaks alertly from the inside post with Alex Bisono aboard. The 92 Beyers he posted in his last two races at Monmouth are the best in the field. Bisono was aboard for his six-furlong breeze in 1:13.60 last Saturday.

Koffee Grinder (Last 3 Beyers: 88-82-72)

◗ Trained by leading trainer Craig MacPherson, Koffee Grinder has dominated the local 3-year-olds and has enough tactical speed to stay in touch with Solemnly Swear. Richard Hamel rides.

Distillery (Last 3 Beyers: 75-72-66)

◗ He finished third to Koffee Grinder in the Chris Loseth in his first start at Hastings for MacPherson on July 1 and took a big step forward when he beat Grade 3 Canadian Derby runner-up Remembertobreathe in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race Aug. 3.

Tapicero (Last 3 Beyers: 64-77-80)

◗ Fifth to Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist in the Grade 2 Peter Pan, he will be making his first start for trainer Dino Condilenios after finishing a dull fourth in an optional $62,500 claiming race at Gulfstream Park on June 13.

“I think the long ship from the East Coast took a little bit out of him,” said Condilenios. “He was a bit lethargic when he first arrived, but he has really improved the past couple of weeks, and I think he’ll run a big race.”

◗ Formulator Fact: Over the past five years, Condilenios has a 35 percent strike rate with horses coming back from a layoff of between 61 and 180 days.