08/04/2009 11:00PM

Krazy Koffee seizes pace advantage


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - According to trainer Cindy Krasner, Krazy Koffee came out of his win in the $110,920 B.C. Cup Classic on Monday in great shape and will be pointed to the $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate on Sept. 7. The Randall will be one of five stakes races on Labor Day, and many of the horses that ran in the seven stakes on Monday will be running back on the holiday.

The B.C. Cup Classic was the first win for Krazy Koffee since he beat Wink at the Girls in the Grade 3 B.C. Derby last September.

"It was good for his confidence," Krasner said. "He ran a hard race but he came back very sharp, and it did a lot for his psyche."

Krazy Koffee has won all of his races by making one big late run. With the track favoring speed, Krazy Koffee figured to be up against it, especially with Spaghetti Mouse in the field. However, when Spaghetti Mouse scratched on post parade, there really wasn't any proven speed horses left in the field. Jockey Dave Wilson can read a Racing Form, and he realized the race had changed completely. He put Krazy Koffee into the race right from the start.

"He made it easy for me because he broke so sharply," Wilson said. "I had a lot of horse the whole way, and he really responded when I asked him to run."

Spaghetti Mouse also is being pointed to the Randall. Trainer Lenore Daponte said a stone bruise on the frog of the horse's foot was the reason jockey Pedro Alvarado scratched him on post parade.

"He was fine the morning of the race," she said. "He passed the vet inspection and also he did a walk around the track with Robert Skelly aboard. He didn't show any signs of stress walking over to the paddock. It's something that doesn't show up until some weight is put on. Pedro said he felt it right away and he did the right thing by scratching him. It's just a minor thing, and he should be back in training in a week or so."

Stellar's Jay top pair eye Canadian Derby

The Classic was the featured event on Monday, but in terms of future implications the Stellar's Jay for 3-year-olds was the most important race.

Tommy Danzigger set fast fractions and then held off Almost Time to win the 1 1/16-mile Stellar's Jay by two lengths in an excellent time of 1:43.35. Almost Time was nine lengths clear of third-place finisher Captain Rouge. Tommy Danzigger and Almost Time could meet again in the $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on Aug. 22.

The 1 3/8-mile distance of the Canadian Derby is a big issue for both horses, especially Almost Time, who was stretching out to a middle distance for the first time. He also was coming into the Stellar's Jay off of a more than two-month layoff.

"Considering everything, he ran a big race," said Almost Time's trainer, Dino Condilenios. "He proved he could go long and now we just have to make up our minds if we want to keep him here or run in the Canadian Derby."

If Almost Time stays at Hastings, his next start will be in the Richmond Derby Trial on Sept. 7. That race serves as the final prep for the Grade 3 B.C. Derby on Sept. 27.

Trainer Robert Gilker gave credit to Alvarado for his ride aboard Tommy Danzigger. There is a short run to the first turn, and Alvarado hustled Tommy Danzigger to the lead from post 10. Once he made the lead, he never looked back.

"Pedro won the race in the first 50 yards," Gilker said. "He got him out there and then he helped him relax. The track had a strong speed bias, and Pedro took advantage of the conditions."

Gilker plans to nominate Tommy Danzigger to the Canadian Derby and the Richmond Derby Trial.

"Almost Time was coming up to us going a mile and a sixteenth, so the extra distance is something we have to think about," Gilker said. "You can't set those kind of fractions going a mile and three-eighths. It's just a completely different type of race."

Purses face 8 percent cut starting Saturday

Beginning Saturday, Hastings will cut its purses by 8 percent. A total of $500,000 will be taken off the table: $250,000 to overnight purses and $250,000 off of stakes.

The most significant cut comes to the Grade 3 B.C. Derby. It goes from being a race worth $300,000-added to $250,000-guaranteed. Last year, the total purse came to $320,000.

According to Raj Mutti, general manager at Hastings, total live handle is down by approximately 12 percent. Mutti said a virus that struck the backstretch earlier in the meet prevented many horses from running, which resulted in reduced field size and handle.

"We had good momentum early in the meet, but when the virus hit it really hurt our live handle," Mutti said. "Field size is king. People just don't want to bet on short fields, and we just couldn't keep our momentum going."

Hastings also had to cancel a Friday card due to the virus.

* Trainer Tom Longstaff reported that Dancewithavixen was euthanized last week. Dancewithavixen won the B.C. Debutante and went on to dominate the local 3-year-old filly division in 2004. She won six stakes, including a win over older fillies and mares in the Grade 3 Ballerina. In all, she won 12 races from 24 starts and earned $496,039.