08/17/2011 1:45PM

Northlands Park: Canadian Derby favorites side-by-side


A full field of 12 horses was entered for Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park. The 1 3/8-mile race for 3-year-olds is the richest race in western Canada and this year’s edition appears to be a wide-open event.

The two likely favorites, Line Change and Inhisglory, will break next to each other.

Trainer Craig MacPherson had first choice in the derby draw held Wednesday and he opted for post 3 for Inisglory, who has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

Line Change, who will break from post 4, could very well be the public choice on Saturday. Trained by Terry Jordan, Line Change has won four races on dirt, including the $75,000 Floor Show at Delaware Park June 13. He is coming off a dull effort over Polytrack at Woodbine in a $20,000 starter race July 24 but Jordan says to throw the race out.

“He hates the Poly,” said Jordan. “He has trained exceptionally over the training track at Woodbine and I expect he will handle the Northlands surface just fine. “

Hastings-based Pedro Alvarado will ride Line Change. Alvarado won the Canadian Derby with Tommy Danzigger in 2009 and Alabama Rain in 2005.

Inhisglory is the most accomplished horse in the field with four stakes wins, including the Count Lathum in his last start at Northlands.

MacPherson also entered Tommy D’Horsey, who seems to be creating a buzz at Northlands. He has started only three times and he was an impressive winner of a maiden special weight race at Northlands July 30.

“My main concern is that he might not have enough seasoning,” said MacPherson. “He should run all day and he is training very well here, though.”

MacPherson chose post 11 for Tommy D’Horsey. He said it was his lucky number and it was the number he wore playing hockey.

Local hopes rest with Freedoms Traveller, who lost the 1 1/16-mile Count Lathum to Inhisglory by a nose. Freedoms Traveller’s trainer, Lianne Knechtel, is confident the son of Peacenfreedom will thrive going around the four turns.

“Everything by his sire runs all day,” she said. “The least of my concerns is the distance.”

Manitoba Derby winner Hammers Bullet will be looking for his third straight stakes win.

Northern Indy, third in the $50,000 Seattle Slew at Emerald Downs July 17, and The Acid Test, who will be running on dirt for the first time, appear to be the other serious contenders.