08/21/2010 7:50PM

No Hesitation takes Canadian Derby at Northlands

Northlands Park
No Hesitation wins the Canadian Derby at Northlands Park under jockey Rico Walcott.

EDMONTON, Alberta – No Hesitation left no doubt he is the top 3-year-old in Western Canada with a convincing win over Kara’s Orientation in the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park Saturday. The race was marred by a three-horse spill on the third turn.

No Hesitation broke sharply under Rico Walcott and he appeared to want the early lead in the 1 3/8-mile race. Walcott had other ideas, however, and took a big hold while easing No Hesitation into a stalking position behind Ranger Heartley and Gold Medallion.

Kara’s Orentation, with Emile Ramsammy aboard, forced Walcott’s hand when he moved up to engage the leaders after a mile. No Hesitation, responding to Walcott’s urging, opened up a 1 ½-length lead at the top of the stretch and maintained his margin to the wire.

“When he came out of the gate it was hard to get him settled,” said Walcott. “I didn’t want him to go too fast early and I just kept pulling on him until he finally settled. When Kara’s Orientation came up to him I could see his jockey was riding pretty hard and I knew I had a lot of horse left. When I asked him he took off and I rode him all the way to the wire.”

Distorted Dave made a late run to finish third, 11 lengths behind Kara’s Orientation.

Trained by Jim Meyaard, No Hesitation was sent off as the favorite in the 10-horse field and paid $4.70. The final time was 2:23.40.
No Hesitation, owned by Barb Side, earned $180,000.

Three horses went down in a spill on the third turn.

Professor Pollard, with Anthony Salgado aboard, started a chain reaction when he clipped heels with Gold Medallion. Dyna Stroll, with Mario Gutierrez riding, and Stachys both fell over Professor Pollard.

Derek Bell, who rode Stachys, said they almost escaped the fallen horse.

“I saw it coming and tried to get him to jump,” said Bell. “He just about made it.”

All three horses walked off on their own volition and all three riders appeared not to be seriously hurt, although Gutierrez was complaining of a sore chest and took off of Ganbei in the $75,000 Speed to Spare.

Meyaard and Walcott also teamed up to win the $75,000 City of Edmonton Distaff with Alywyn, who paid $16.50 in the nine-horse field.
Alywn came from off the pace to edge longshot Lemon Pepper by a neck in the 1 1/16-mile race. Kaweah Princess finished another neck back in third.

The favorite, La Rocca, never got involved, finishing eighth.

Final time was 11:46.80.

Double Shuffle takes Speed to Spare

Double Shuffle proved his upset win over True Metropolitan in the R.J. Speers at Assiniboia Downs was no fluke when he won the $75,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands Park Saturday.

Jockey Vicky Baze called her winning ride in the 1 3/8-mile race “easy breezy.”

Sitting in seventh early, Double Shuffle moved up to fifth at the six-furlong mark and took over the lead after a mile. He opened up a 2 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch and was never seriously threatened while posting a 1 1/2-length decision over Cool Ventura. Andiotis, the 5-2 favorite, finished another length behind in third.

“He breezes along so comfortably that he makes the rider feel very confident,” said Baze. “Every time you hang a bridle on him you know you can count on him.”

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Double Shuffle paid $16.80.

The final time was 2:21.60.