09/22/2009 11:00PM

Tommy Danzigger tops field of 9 in B.C. Derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Nine 3-year-olds were entered Wednesday morning for Sunday's Grade 3, $275,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings. Post positions were to be chosen under a double draw system at a dinner honoring the participants Thursday evening.

Tommy Danzigger, winner of the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park, heads the locally based horses who will be trying to hold off five horses shipping in for the premier race at Hastings. Tommy Danzigger, trained by Rob Gilker, won the B.C. Cup Stellar's Jay in is previous start and is the leading money earner in the race with $322,446.

Making the longest trip is Jersey Town, who is coming off of a second-place finish in the $65,000 Restoration Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park on Sept. 2. Trained on the East Coast by Barclay Tagg, Jersey Town earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in a one-mile and 70 yards first-level allowance race at Monmouth in his previous start, the highest in the field. He will race for local trainer Barbara Heads, who has named 62-year-old Alan Cuthbertson to ride.

"We wanted a rider with experience on a bullring, and Alan certainly knows this track well," Heads said. "He is a very smart rider and he's had a lot of success riding for Chuck in Winnipeg."

Heads was referring to Jersey Town's owner-breeder, Chuck Fipke.

The first two finishers in the Emerald Downs Derby, Winning Machine and Rooster City, have been entered.

Trained by Doris Harwood, Winning Machine beat Rooster City by a head in the Emerald Derby and also by the same margin in the $50,000 Tacoma Handicap.

Rooster City, trained by Tim McCanna, has been stakes placed four times but is still eligible for an entry-level allowance race.

Noosa Beach and Quinalt also will make the trip from Emerald.

* La Rocca could end up being favored in Saturday's $125,000 British Columbia Oaks that drew eight horses. Trained by Terry Jordan, La Rocca is coming off an easy win over Ochoa in the $75,000 Sonoma Handicap at Northlands Park on Aug. 23.

Ochoa also has been entered. Trained by Floyd Arthur, Ochoa came back to easily win a $40,000 optional race Sept. 6.

Tierra Del Feugo is the top local filly, winning the last three stakes for sophomore fillies here.