05/22/2008 12:00AM

Peaceful Turzia targets Alberta Derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Troy Taylor admitted that he might have been taking a bit of a chance when he ran Peaceful Turzia in a $25,000 claiming race at Hastings on April 27. Peaceful Turzia easily won the race and Taylor brought him back to score an upset in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province Stakes at six furlongs last Sunday.

Taylor had haltered Peaceful Turzia for Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella out of a $25,000 claiming race at Golden Gate Fields in early January.

"I really like the way he had been training this spring," said Taylor. "But, he had finished third in the race we claimed him out of so I didn't think anyone would take him in his first start up here."

Peaceful Turzia won the claiming race so easily that Taylor was encouraged to try him against stakes horses in the Province. Despite the jump up in class, Taylor was confident when he left the paddock after saddling Peaceful Turzia last Sunday.

"I think he's going to win the race," Taylor said as he headed to the mutuel windows.

Taylor was rewarded with a $17.10 win price when Peaceful Turzia, with Fernando Perez aboard, got up in the final few strides to defeat Savo Island by a half-length.

According to Taylor, Todd and Kinsella claimed Peaceful Turzia because they thought he would be a better horse going a route of ground. If they turn out to be right, Peaceful Turzia could be a major player when he makes his next start in the 1 1/16-mile $125,000 Alberta Derby at Stampede Park on June 14.

"They liked his pedigree and they figured that he wouldn't have any trouble stretching out," said Taylor. "At least we know he can sprint. We'll see if he can go long when we go to Alberta. He certainly acts the part."

Another star in the Taylor barn, Sir Gallovic, made his 2008 debut Monday, and Taylor wasn't disappointed with his second-place finish in an allowance race. Sir Gallovic, who was the top 3-year-old at Hastings last year, was making his first start since he finished fifth in the Grade 3 All American Handicap at Golden Gate on Nov. 17.

"I'm not sure where he'll go next," said Taylor. "He seems to be okay but he came back a little tired and we'll see how he is in the next few days before making a decision on where we're headed with him."

Alberta Derby on Savo Island's slate

According to trainer Rob Gilker, Savo Island is also being pointed to the Alberta Derby. Similar to Peaceful Turzia, Savo Island was claimed out of a $32,000 claiming race at Golden Gate by Gilker last December on behalf of Leo and Norma Shaw.

Savo Island battled through honest fractions in the Province and Gilker was pleased with the way he held on to finish second.

"He showed a lot of perseverance to fight back in the stretch after it looked like he was done at the quarter pole," said Gilker. "He tried hard and that's what we were looking for."

Gilker won another race with a 3-year-old owned by the Shaws on the weekend. Cabron was a game winner over older horses in a 6 1/2-furlong first-level allowance race Monday. It was his second start since they claimed him for $25,000 last September. In his first start for his new connections, Cabron finished third in the Jack Diamond Futurity on Oct. 8.

According to Gilker, Cabron will be pointed to the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes on June 22.

"I was really pleased that he ran so well," said Gilker. "He almost died in the winter, something to do with his feet, but he trained really well all spring. He's a wonderful horse. I've never seen a horse as crooked as he is run this well. His ankles almost touch each other, but the main thing is that he moves them really fast."

Gilker is excited about training horses for the Shaws. They showed how serious they are about the game by claiming Bank Emblem for $50,000 Monday. Bank Emblem, who easily won the second-level optional $50,000 claimer, had won two straight races since he was claimed for $20,000 by Taylor for Todd and Kinsella at Golden Gate last November.