09/11/2002 11:00PM

Tails of the Crypt is coming


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Bud and Jackie Reynolds, who race their horses under the name Jam Jar Racing Stable, have the kind of problem that most people in Thoroughbred horse racing would love to have. They have two very good 3-year-olds, Shaws Creek and Tails of the Crypt, and the Reynoldses really don't want to run them against each other.

It will cost them about $20,000 to keep them apart, but their trainer, John Ross, thinks it's worth the gamble to fly Tails of the Crypt from Ontario to Hastings Park to take a shot at the $200,000 Grade 2 British Columbia Derby on Sept. 21. Shaws Creek will start in the Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.

Tails of the Crypt has solid credentials. He won the Display Handicap at Woodbine last year and finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby this March. His last victory came in the $125,000 Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine on June 8, and he finished a fast-closing second in a non-winners of four allowance race going the B.C. Derby distance of nine furlongs at Fort Erie on Aug. 27.

"He's leaving for Vancouver today," Ross said by phone Thursday, "and that will give him over a week to get comfortable out there.

"I've never been out west, but I've watched a lot of your races on the computer, and it looks like a nice track. I'm really looking forward to coming out, and Tails of the Crypt is doing really well right now, so he should run pretty tough."

Work will tell for Salt Grinder

Salt Grinder is one of the 16 horses nominated to the derby, and he is likely to ship up from Emerald if his work scheduled for Friday goes well. "If he works good, we're coming," said his trainer, Kay Cooper.

Salt Grinder won the Klondike Stakes at Hastings on June 2 and has been battling a very tough Flying Notes all season at Emerald. He finished second to Flying Notes in both the Seattle Slew and Tacoma handicaps before beating him in the Washington Owners Breeders' Cup on Aug. 11. He then finished fifth in Flying Notes's tremendous win in 1:45.40 in the 1 1/8-mile Emerald Downs Derby on Sept. 2.

Local hopes in the B.C. Derby will rest on Shacane and Silver Donn, who finished a nose apart in the Richmond Derby Trial on Sept. 1. Shacane was getting six pounds from Silver Donn, though.

The British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks winner, Elana d'Amour, is also a possibility. "She came out of her race in great shape, but we haven't completely made up our mind," said her trainer, Joe Apperloo. "We might go in the Ballerina instead." The Ballerina is Oct. 6.

Lady Shari came out of the Oaks in good shape despite a rough trip, said her trainer, David Cotey. Lady Shari was heavily favored in the Oaks but had one of the worst trips imaginable. She broke in the air at the start and then got slammed into the rail at the five-eighths pole when Blue Moon Special ducked in, causing Sweet Monarch to take up sharply and knock Lady Shari sideways. Lady Shari was lucky to stay on her feet and never fully recovered. "That's racing," said Cotey.

In last year's British Columbia Derby, Cotey also had bad luck at Hastings, as his Stage Classic left the starting gate a step slowly.

Sale shows economic rebound

Last Tuesday's yearling and mixed sale held by the British Columbia division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society was a big success according to Dixie Jacobson, president of the CTHS.

"The numbers were up, but more importantly the atmosphere was fabulous," she said. "It was great to see people that hadn't participated the last couple of years buy horses, and it was a big sign that the industry is headed in the right direction."

Kim Hart paid $44,000 for the sale-topper, a yearling filly by Stephanotis out of Refrigerette. Ninety-six yearlings were sold for a total of $849,400. Last year, 88 sold for $619,400. The average price of $8,848 was up nearly 26 percent over last year's average of $7,039.