10/08/2010 1:31PM

Trick of the North gunning for Premier's repeat

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Trick of the North/Redekop BC Cup Classic
Trick of the North wins the Redekop BC Cup Classic Handicap

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Does 9-year-old Trick of the North still have what it takes to win the Grade 3, $100,000 Premier’s for the second year in a row? We’ll find out when he runs in the 1 3/8-mile feature at Hastings on Sunday.

Last year Trick of the North came from off the pace to edge heavily favored Teide in a five-horse field. A deep closer, Trick of the North will have to weave his way around or through a much deeper field that includes Grade 3 winners Tommy Danzigger, Assesement, and Spaghetti Mouse. The lone 3-year-old in the 12-horse field is British Columbia Derby runner-up Crew Leader.

In his only win this year, Trick of the North took advantage of a fast pace to win the B.C. Classic. In his next two starts he got stuck behind moderate fractions in the Speed to Spare at Northlands Park and the Sir Winston Churchill at Hastings. Trainer Barbara Heads is hoping for an honest pace.

“He is coming up to the race in excellent shape but he will need something to run at,” she said. “A big field always helps. There should be somebody going early and hopefully they’ll be spread out when it’s time for him to make his move.”

Amadeo Perez will ride Trick of the North for the first time.

Tommy Danzigger will certainly be among the leaders early. Trained by Rob Gilker, Tommy Danzigger led at every call when he won the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park last year. He also used his good speed to win a $50,000 optional race at Hastings on Sept. 11. It was his first win of the year, and from the looks of his exceptional six-furlong work in 1:10.60 seconds Sept.  30 with exercise rider Vicky Gilker aboard, he could be peaking at the right time.

Emerald Downs-based Assessment also appears to be thriving at the moment. Trained by Howard Belvoir, Assessment earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91 for his easy win in a one-mile allowance race at Emerald on Sept. 19. Winner of the 2009 Grade 3 Longacres Mile, Assessment has never won a race longer than 1 1/8 miles, and all nine of his wins have been at Emerald Downs.

Spaghetti Mouse has a second and third in three tries in the Premier’s. The all-time money winning B.C.-bred with $937,687, Spaghetti Mouse would be less than $3,000 shy of the $1 million mark if he pulled off an upset.