08/17/2013 9:07PM

Northlands: Broadway Empire far too strong for Canadian Derby foes

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Ryan Haynes
Broadway Empire coasts home an easy winner under Rico Walcott in the Canadian Derby.

Broadway Empire left little doubt that he is the best 3-year-old in western Canada with a three-length win over Reporting Star in the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on Saturday.

He paid $5 as the heavy favorite in the 12-horse field of 3-year-olds going 1 3/8 miles.

With leading rider Rico Walcott aboard, Broadway Empire, a son of Belmont winner Empire Maker, broke from post 11 and after moving to the rail heading into the first turn he was content to sit in fourth behind a fast pace set by Success Rate. Broadway Empire started to move into contention after six furlongs and took complete control of the race with slightly more than three furlongs to go. He took a seven-length lead into the stretch and, according to Walcott, he had a lot of horse left at the finish. Shooting Jacket rallied to finish third. The final time over a track rated sloppy was 2:19.60.

“He broke from the outside so I was hoping to get him over to the rail and get him to relax behind horses,” said Walcott. “He felt great, and when I asked him to run heading to the quarter pole he just ran away from them. I looked back and saw how far we were in front and eased up on him in the stretch. There was a lot more left if I needed it.”

Trainer Robertino Diodoro said he was looking at the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby on Sept. 8 as a possible next start for Broadway Empire.

Broadway Empire earned $120,000, bringing his career total from 5 starts to $171,304. He was bought privately last winter for $25,000 by Bob Butz, Randy Howg, and Rick Running Rabbit.