10/01/2010 11:53AM

Taylor, MacPherson duel for trainer's title


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The trainers’ race at Hastings has heated up in recent weeks and what seemed like an insurmountable margin has shrunk to just a two-win lead for Troy Taylor over Craig MacPherson. Taylor should have the edge with Sage Gold in Sunday’s feature, but MacPherson certainly has a shot to win the $7,500 claiming race with Jump Pass.

The 6 1/2-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up drew nine horses and will go as race 6 on a seven-race card that begins at 1:40 p.m.

Sage Gold figures to be a solid favorite to win his second straight race for Taylor, who claimed him on behalf of Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella for $12,500 on Aug. 7. In his first start for his new connections, Sage Gold scored a game win over Pop Artist in a $12,500 claiming sprint Sept. 17.

Sage Gold held the lead after the first quarter-mile, but Pop Artist went to the front going down the backstretch. Following a heated duel, Sage Gold edged clear in midstretch to win by a length.

Jump Pass will be making his first start for MacPherson, who is subbing for trainer Monica Russell. Russell, who owns Jump Pass, is setting up shop at Turf Paradise. She left Jump Pass with MacPherson. Jump Pass came from a stalking position to edge Snow Moon in a $7,500 claiming race Sept. 18 and has enough tactical speed to stay in touch with Sage Gold early.