08/21/2009 11:00PM

Tommy Danzigger surprises in Canadian Derby


EDMONTON, Alberta - Hastings-based Tommy Danzigger scored an upset Saturday in the at Northlands Park.

With Pedro Alvarado aboard, Tommy Danzigger ($19.30) broke sharply and stalked Theglow for the first quarter-mile, before taking the lead after a half-mile. He held a three-length lead over Scorewithcater after a mile, and his margin diminished to a length by the time they hit the top of the stretch. Alvarado had saved plenty of horse, however, and Tommy Danzigger was pulling away at the finish of the 1 3/8-mile race that is the premier event at the Northlands meet. The final margin was 1 1/2 lengths over Scorewithcater. It Happened Again made a late move to finish third, seven lengths in front of the lukewarm favorite, Stylish Citizen.

Tommy Danzigger looked comfortable setting fractions of 49.80 seconds, 1:16.20, and 1.42.40 for a mile. Final time for the race was 2:23.00.

"He broke real well, and I knew that the horse that broke on top hadn't faced the kind of horses he was running against today, so I just let him go for the first part," Alvarado said. "Once I made the lead, I had a lot of horse the whole way and I kept looking back waiting for another horse to come after him. Finally, I just turned him loose, and he really took off."

Trainer Robert Gilker was concerned when he led Tommy Danzigger over to the paddock prior to the race.

"He acted like a real idiot coming over," Gilker said. "I thought he might have blown the race, but he really settled down once he got on the track."

Tommy Danzigger earned $180,000 for owner Ted Smith.

Jim McAleney said a poor start didn t help Stylish Citizen, who was racing on dirt for the first time.

"Horses from the outside came down on him and he never felt comfortable getting kickback thrown in his face," McAleney said.

Jockey Rickey Walcott said Scorewithcater ran an even race and didn't have any excuses.

* In the supporting feature, heavily favored Summer Song ($3.30) scored an impressive four-length win over Tankika in the . With Mario Gutierrez aboard, Summer Song went five wide around the second turn and was still good enough to dominate the race.

Summer Song is trained by Alan May. Final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1.47.40.