05/01/2008 11:00PM

Taylor, 76, doing too well to retire


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - When many people reach their 70s, they take a long and serious look at retiring. At 76, retirement seems to be the furthest thing from trainer Troy Taylor's mind. Instead, he is gearing up to be the leading trainer at Hastings for the second year in a row.

Taylor led the standings with 46 wins from 137 starters in 2007, the second time in his long career that he was the leading trainer here. The last time was in 1963, 45 years ago.

"I don't know if the time between made a difference or not," said Taylor. "But it felt pretty good winning the title last year."

Taylor doesn't show any signs of resting on his laurels. He is off to a strong start at the meet with 3 wins from his first 8 starters and has a barn loaded with proven horses and potential stars. He has more horses in his stable than at any time in his career and has to be considered an odds-on favorite to repeat.

It doesn't hurt that his main clients are Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella. Todd and Kinsella have deep pockets and restocked their barn this year. They are hopeful that one of their recent purchases, Valdero, is a B.C. Derby candidate.

Valdero began his career with trainer Todd Pletcher and will make his first start for Taylor in Sunday's seventh race, a first-level optional $50,000 claiming race at six furlongs

"He was in very good hands back there," said Taylor. "He wasn't good enough to be a Kentucky Derby horse so he became available after he ran a poor race in his last start."

Taylor was referring to Valdero's 11th-place finish in a statebred entry-level allowance race on turf at Gulfstream Park on March 1.

Taylor likes the way Valdero is coming into Sunday's sprint and is pleased with his five-furlong bullet work in 1:01.20 on April 30.

"He is just a little thing and the long ship might have taken something out of him because he really didn't impress me when he first got here," said Taylor. "He looked a lot better in his last work and I think he could be all right."

Taylor had similar understated remarks about Sir Gallovic when he arrived here as an unproven 3-year-old last year. Sir Gallovic went on to become the top 3-year-old in the province and was good enough to beat Canada's champion older horse, True Metropolitan, in the Grade 3 Premiers.

According to Taylor, Sir Gallovic should be ready to run soon. Sir Gallovic was given some time off following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 All American Handicap at Golden Gate on Nov. 17.

"He got a little sick on us after his last start," said Taylor. "He appears to be coming around now, though."

Taylor could have the top older female at Hastings in Holy Nova.

A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Pure Prize, Holy Nova was purchased by Todd and Kinsella after winning an entry-level optional $75,000 claiming race at Belmont last July. She didn't make it back to the races until October and really hasn't run a bad race since arriving here from New York.

Holy Nova has won 3 of her last 5 starts and ran well to finish third in a stakes at Golden Gate on Jan. 1. She was given some time off after a rough trip in an allowance at Golden Gate on Jan 24.

Holy Nova figures to be favored when she runs in the $50,000 Brighouse Belles next Saturday.

Despite the heavy work load, Taylor appears to be enjoying himself.

"I can't complain," he said. "I have a nice group of horses to work with and Glen and Patrick are as good as it gets when it comes to owners. A little more golf would be nice, though."

Taylor was a scratch golfer when he was younger, and when his back isn't bothering him he can still post a decent score. Taylor is usually one of the best players in an annual tournament between horsemen at Emerald Downs and Hastings that he helps organize every year as well. Retire? Not likely.

High hopes for Right Honorable

Trainer Robbie Anderson is hopeful that Right Honorable, who makes his 2008 debut in the same race as Valdero, will be at least as good as some of his siblings.

Right Honorable is a full brother to $327,502 stakes winner Commodore Craig. He is also a half-brother to Regal Red. A daughter of On Target, Regal Red won 6 stakes from just 10 starts for earnings of $188,487.

"I think he's going to turn out to be a decent 3-year-old," said Anderson. "He has certainly done everything right this year. He would have done more as a 2-year-old but he hurt himself when he got cast in his stall."

Right Honorable won a maiden special weight by 4 1/2 lengths in his third and final start last year.