08/04/2004 12:00AM

Redemption for Simard


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Jockey Real Simard found himself in the spotlight here Monday after his victory aboard Royalty Boy in the 56th running of $100,000 Manitoba Derby.

This was the second win in the Manitoba Derby for the Alberta-based Simard, who won the 1999 Derby aboard A Fleets Dancer. Simard finished second in last year's derby on favorite Taiaslew.

Royalty Boy and Simard stalked a three-horse pace battle among 2-5 favorite Shanghied, Skipper, and Albarino en route to victory.

"I wasn't sure if any of the field would break out with Shanghied, but it worked out right away," said Simard.

"I could tell right away there was a couple going with him, so I said, 'This will be nice, just sit there in the garden spot right behind the leaders,' and I made my move wide on the turn.

"Last year I came and wasn't as happy when Hero's Pleasure beat me and Taiaslew, but this year I guess I kind of redeemed myself."

Trained by Bruce Phelan and owned by the partnership of Derrick Antingham, Donald Propp, and Brian Gromoff, Royalty Boy was recording his third win and first stakes score in a nine-race career. The $60,000 winner's share of the Manitoba Derby increased his lifetime earning to $121,273.

Royalty Boy's next start will likely be the Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on Aug. 28, with a trip to the British Columbia Derby on Sept. 26 at Hastings likely after that.

* The Derby was not the only stakes victory on the day for Simard, who picked up the call on victorious Northern Affair in the Wheat City when scheduled rider Jerry Pruitt was injured earlier on the program.