09/30/2010 12:06PM

Majesticality may try Premiers


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Barbara Heads was pleased with the way Majesticality came out of his upset win in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby last Sunday and is considering running him in the Grade 3, $100,000 Premiers Oct. 10.

A 40-1 longshot, Majesticality had one horse beatn after six furlongs before he made a strong late move with Richard Hamel aboard to edge Crew Leader. He wasn’t an overlay. His only previous win came in a $30,000 maiden race June 19, and his best finish in four subsequent starts before the B.C. Derby was a third behind Cherokee Notion in the restricted B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay.

Compare that form with Spaghetti Mouse’s record when he paid $85.60 as a huge overlay in the 2005 derby. Spaghetti Mouse was coming off of a second-place finish in the Richmond Derby Trial and he had won the Burnaby earlier in the year.

A couple of things contributed to Majesticality’s win. The track was rated sloppy but it could have been labeled greasy as a lot of horses had a hard time getting a hold of it all day. It was also one of the weakest derby fields in recent years. There were only three stakes winners in the field, and the Beyer Speed Figure of 75 that Majesticality received was far below what it usually takes to win the Grade 3 race. Last year, Winning Machine earned a Beyer Figure of 89 for his one-length win over Jersey Town.

Nonetheless, Majesticality was a deserving winner, and his best races could be ahead of him. He overcame a poor start and had to go at least four wide around the stretch turn.

It was the second B.C. Derby win for both Heads and Hamel. Heads won the 2007 derby with Halo Steven, and Hamel rode Fancy As to wins in the derby and Premiers in 2001.

If Majesticality does run in the Premiers it will be his last race of the year.

“He’s doing great, and there is a good chance we will run him in the Premiers,” said Heads. “If not we’ll just turn him out.”

Heads has a knack for pulling off upsets in big races. Last year she won the Premiers with 16-1 longshot Trick of the North. Heads said Trick of the North, third in the Sir Winston Churchill Sunday, would be back to defend his title.

“He ran a good race in the Churchill but there just wasn’t any pace in the race,” said Heads. “Hopefully he’ll have something to run at in the Premiers.”

Foster threesome have plans laid out

Trainer Dave Forster said Senor Rojo, who beat Spaghetti Mouse in the Churchill, would run in the Premiers. Forster also nominated Wind Storm and Otero to the Grade 3, $100,000 Ballerina, which runs next Saturday. Wind Storm has won four races in a row, and she was cutting back to a sprint when she easily won the six-furlong Derby Bar and Grill Ladies Express last Saturday. Otero finished fourth after setting the pace in the British Columbia Oaks, also on Saturday.

“All three ran good races,” said Forster. “We really didn’t want Otero on the lead in the Oaks, but she broke on top, and what are you going to do?”

According to trainer Cindy Krasner, Wando Woman, second in the Oaks, and P. S. Touch Down, second in the Delta Colleen, are both being pointed to the Ballerina. Both horses are late-developers, particularly P. S. Touch Down, whose lone win came in a $20,000 maiden claiming race July 24. She made heavily favored Summer Song go all out to beat her by a neck in the Delta Colleen. Summer Song is a multiple stakes winner with $256,628 in earnings.

“She has really come around,” said Krasner, referring to P. S. Touch Down. “That was a pretty nice horse that had to go all out to beat her.”

According to trainer Troy Taylor, Summer Song will also be running in the Ballerina, where she figures to be the favorite. Taylor also reported that Holy Nova, who won the Ballerina last year, has been retired and will be bred in Kentucky next year. She goes to the breeding shed as a Grade 3 winner with $508,463 in earnings.

Cherokee Notion, who finished third as the favorite in the B.C. Derb,y and Prince Intent, eighth, will need some time to recover from injuries received over the rough track.

“They are both heading to Pegasus Training Center in Washington for some R and R,” said Taylor.

Schedule gets financial adjustment

Because of an overpayment of purses, there have been some changes made to the final five days of racing.

This weekend only seven races have been carded each day; the Ballerina has been reduced by $20,000 to $100,000 and the final leg of the Marathon Series has been canceled. Also the 13 percent bonus for B.C.-breds has been eliminated in the Ballerina and Premiers.

No decision has been made on how many races will be carded for the final three days of racing next weekend.