08/10/2013 3:42PM

Northlands Park: Full gate expected for Canadian Derby


Trainer Robertino Diodoro was pleased with the way Broadway Empire and Smart Promotion handled their final preps for the Grade  3, $200,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park. Both horses worked five furlongs Friday morning while preparing for the 1 3/8-mile Derby, which will be run Saturday.

A full field of 12 is expected to enter the derby Wednesday morning, with Broadway Empire the likely favorite.

Broadway Empire is coming off a dominating 7 1/4-length romp in the $51,000 Ky Alta going a mile at Northlands on July 6. He was ridden by Rico Walcott, who was also aboard for his bullet work in 1:01.20 Friday.

“He couldn’t be doing any better,” said Diodoro. “It was an easy work for him, and he galloped out strong.”

Fernando Perez was aboard for Smart Promotion’s move in 1:02.60. Smart Promotion is undefeated in three starts and was an impressive winner going 1 1/16 miles in the $52,000 Count Lathum on July 27.

Diodoro thinks Smart Promotion, a son of Smart Strike, should handle the distance.

“He just keeps improving, and I think he can run all day,” said Diodoro.

Reporting Star and Title Contender are scheduled to be on the same plane that leaves from Toronto late Tuesday and arrives in Edmonton on Wednesday morning.

Reporting Star is coming off a second-place finish in the $63,000 Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park on July 20. In his previous race he finished second to Verrazano in the Grade 3 Pegasus. Verrazano won the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell in his next start.

Reporting Star, who was trained by Kathleen O’Connell, was purchased by Chad Joe following the Jersey Derby and has been transferred to trainer Craig MacPherson.

Title Contender won the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on July 27 for trainer Wayne Catalano. Peter Redekop purchased him following the race, and Anita Bolton will be the trainer of record for the Canadian Derby. Bolton won’t make the trip to Edmonton from Vancouver, though. Instead, trainer Danny Williams will saddle this son of Pulpit.

Williams, a former jockey, could have mixed feelings watching the race. His son, Scott Williams, is slated to ride Shooting Jacket for trainer Dino Condilenios.

Shooting Jacket is coming off a win in the $50,000 Chris Loseth at Hastings on July 1.

For Cash, trained by Dale Greenwood, rallied to finish second behind Smart Promotion in the Count Lathum and could improve as a second-time Lasix user. His owners, Southview Ag 1998 Ltd., won the Canadian Derby last year with Toccetive.

Toccetive was trained by Joan Petrowski, who is expected to enter Risky Call.