07/15/2017 8:38PM

Trooper John tunes up for Canadian Derby with Count Lathum romp

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Trooper John left no doubt he will be a force to be reckoned with in the Grade 3, $150,000 Canadian Derby by taking a blowout win in $50,000 Count Lathum for 3-year-olds at Northlands Park on Saturday.

He paid $5.40.

The 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby is on Aug. 19, and Trooper John couldn’t have been more impressive winning the final local prep for the most prestigious race in Alberta with a 9 1/2-romp over Double Bear in the 1 1/16-mile race.

With Keishan Balgobin aboard, Trooper John broke alertly from post 5 and quickly moved to the rail, where he dueled with Double Bear and Fall at Last through a half-mile in 47.18 seconds. He opened a four-length lead at the six-furlong mark, and was in control the rest of the way. Double Bear finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Real Quality, who came from a stalking position.

The final time was 1:44.28.

In two previous starts this year, Trooper John came from well back to win the $53,000 Ky Alta and $48,000 Western Canada.

“I didn’t want him to get too far back this time,” Balgobin said. “He broke well, and since he was on the lead I just went on with him.”

Trooper John is trained by Tim Rycroft and owned by Riversedge Racing Stables.

It was the fifth straight stakes win for the Pennsylvania-bred son of Colonel John, who has career earnings of $150,980.

Northlands Oaks

Earlier on the card, Ruffenuff paid $7.30 for her 2 3/4-length win over Saveitforarainyday in the $53,552 Northlands Oaks.

Running without blinkers for the first time, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Dialed In went to the front and never looked back in the one-mile race.

Saveitforarainyday chased her the whole way and Anstrum, who was sent off as the favorite, couldn’t make up any ground from a stalking position while finishing third.

The final time was 1: 39.22.

Ruffenuff is trained by Greg Tracy and owned by Don Danard and Curtis Landry.