05/07/2009 12:00AM

Mosqueira's rides earn high marks

Four-Footed Fotos
Ismael Mosqueira earns his first Hastings stakes victory aboard Seminole Brave.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Hard work is beginning to pay off for 23-year-old jockey Ismael Mosqueira. He began his career in Mexico City before he arrived at Hastings in 2007. Until recently, Mosqueira has had a hard time finding quality mounts.

Mosqueira opened up a few eyes with his patient ride in the $50,000 George Royal Stakes aboard Seminole Brave last Saturday. It was the first stakes win locally for Mosqueira.

Seminole Brave, who is trained by Mel Snow, was coming off of a front-running win in a $75,000 optional race on April 18. It appeared on paper that he could be the lone speed in the George Royal. Spaghetti Mouse, however, broke sharply and Mosqueira eased Seminole Brave into a stalking position.

"He rode a very good race," said Snow. "I gave him the options in the paddock. I told him 'You're the speed, but if someone else wants it, let him go and just sit there.' He made all the right choices."

Trainer Dino Condilenios, who is tied with Troy Taylor in the trainer standings with six wins, was also impressed with the rides Mosqueira gave a couple of horses in his barn.

Mosqueira brought Pop Artist from well off the pace to win a $50,000 optional race for Condilenios on April 26. Condilenios also gave Mosqueira a leg up on Great Legacy, who finished second in a maiden special weight race last Sunday. Great Legacy is easily the best-bred horse at Hastings. He is by Storm Cat, and his dam, Affluent, won four Grade 1 races and nearly $1.5 million. Great Legacy is her first foal.

"He rode two horses for me and he rode them to perfection," said Condilenios. "He has been helping me out in the mornings, and since nobody wanted to ride Pop Artist, I thought he deserved a shot. I'm sure I'll find a few more for him to ride."

Mosqueira is thrilled to be riding much better horses this year.

"When the horse helps you, you can do your job a hundred times better," said Mosqueira. "It's been tough, but I have some support now with big barns and I really appreciate it."

Despite winning only nine races at Hastings last year, Mosqueira never complained about the types of horses he was riding. He always has a smile on his face and it seems everyone in the Hastings backstretch is cheering for him - even Daryl Snow. Snow is the jockey agent for Fernando Perez and Dave Wilson. Snow took Perez off Seminole Brave to ride True Metropolitan, who finished second in the George Royal. He is also the brother of Mel Snow.

"I rode the right horse," said Snow. "And I couldn't be happier for Ismael and Mel. You can't help but like the kid, and with all the hard work he's put in, he certainly deserves it."

Mosqueira was hoping to ride Pop Artist in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province on Saturday.

"He's a really nice horse and I think he is good enough to be a stakes horse here," he said.

Condilenios said he is looking for another optional race for Pop Artist, or possibly a stakes race at Northlands.

Longden next up for Seminole Brave

Mel Snow said Seminole Brave came out of the George Royal in excellent shape and would likely make his next start in the $50,000 John Longden on June 6.

Spaghetti Mouse, Krazy Koffee, and True Metropolitan are all reportedly being pointed to the 1 1/16-mile Longden as well.

Holy Nova on target for Senate Appointee

Perez, who is the leading rider at the meet with 12 wins, may have missed an opportunity in the George Royal. Nonetheless, he made the right choice in riding Heaven on Hold, who won the $50,335 Brighouse Belles on Sunday. Heaven on Hold is trained by Troy Taylor.

Taylor has the enviable problem of training four older fillies and mares that are good enough to compete at the highest level at Hastings.

Holy Nova, a multiple stakes winner with $333,789 in earnings, is the best of the four. She is being pointed to the 6 1/2-furlong Senate Appointee on June 7.

Lady Raj finished last in the Brighouse Belles and Taylor said he won't sprint her again this year. Lady Raj won two middle-distance stakes at Hastings in 2008.

Summer Song is the only one of the four that isn't a stakes winner. She closed out 2008 with two wins in allowance races and Taylor has always been pretty high on her.

"I think she can be something special," said Taylor. "I don't know where they are all going to run next. We'll be looking at Northlands and Emerald Downs for some of them."

Littlemiss Alison may go out of town

Littlemiss Alison, who forced the pace before tiring to finish third behind Blue Sky Holiday in the Brighouse Belles, could make her next start at Northlands.

"She might be a notch below the stakes horses here," said her trainer, Greg Tracy. "She'll either try stakes horses at Northlands or we might run her back in a $50,000 optional race here."

Trainer John Snow was pleased with the way Blue Sky Holiday ran and will probably bring her back in the Senate Appointee. Blue Sky Holiday won the B.C. Oaks last year.

"I would rather run her long but there really isn't anywhere for her to go," said Snow.

Field size for some sprints increased

In an effort to increase handle, Hastings is increasing the maximum field size in races going 6 1/2 furlongs from 10 to 11 horses.

"Field size is king," said Paul Ryneveld, director of racing at Hastings. "For every starter you can get in a race it helps the handle and gives the horseplayer more opportunities. It also helps our horsemen, and since we have the horses, why not run them?"

Due to the size of the Hastings oval, slightly more than five furlongs, the maximum number of horses allowed in a race at Hastings is 12. Only in races carded at 1 1/8 miles or longer are 12 horses permitted to run.