09/07/2006 11:00PM

Undersecretary may yet emulate his siblings

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainers Robbie Anderson and Dino Condilenios think they have horses good enough to run in the Grade 3, $250,000 British Columbia Derby. The bad news for both trainers is that their horses are longshots just to get into the derby. Preference for the derby is determined by how much money horses have earned this year, and both Undersecretary and Scots Pine are probably not going to get in, with just over $32,000 banked so far.

A win in Sunday's third race at Hastings, a 1 1/16-mile $75,000 optional claiming race, would certainly go a long way in helping their chances, but not necessarily guarantee that they would get in the derby.

Undersecretary, trained by Anderson, will likely be favored. He is coming off an impressive 3 1/4-length win over Halo's Storm in a $50,000 optional claiming route Aug. 27. It was just his sixth career start and second time going a middle distance. Considering his breeding, Undersecretary appears to have unlimited potential.

His dam, Sophie J, won seven stakes, including the Ballerina, as a 3-year-old in 1995. Sophie J has also been very successful as a broodmare. She has had three previous foals, all winners, including stakes winners Regal Red and Commodore Craig.

Regal Red ran only 10 times, but she won six stakes races and usually dominated her opponents. Commodore Craig, a full brother to Undersecretary, is a two-time stakes winner with $293,108 in earnings, Commodore Craig has hit the board in 32 of his 38 starts. On top of his two stakes wins, he has finished either second or third 16 times in added-money events. Sophie J's other foal, B.C. West, has won seven races and more than $200,000.

Like his siblings, Undersecretary appears to have plenty of talent. It has just taken him a bit longer to put it all together.

"He's the biggest of all of Sophie J's foals, and I think he has a big future," said Anderson, who trained all three of her previous foals. "We knew he had the talent, and it's just taken a long time for him to figure it out. He's really starting to come around now, though."

Anderson liked the way Undersecretary moved forward the second time he tried a middle distance and thinks the homebred, a son of Vying Victor, could be a factor if he happened to make it into the B.C. Derby.

"He got too far out of it the first time he went long, and it wasn't surprising he tired after making a sustained five-furlong move," he said. "He was in a better spot earlier the second time, and he really responded when it mattered."

Scots Pine, a son of Forestry, set the pace before tiring to finish last in the same race Undersecretary won, but Condilenios is still high on him.

"He had been off since May, and he badly needed the race," he said. "I'm confident he'll run a much better race Sunday."

Scots Pine's lone win came in a maiden special weight race at Aqueduct in February, but his biggest claim to fame is a third-place finish to this year's Belmont winner, Jazil, in an Aqueduct maiden race last December. If he moves forward off his comeback race, he could be very dangerous.

Sale preview on Monday

The local division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society is holding its annual yearling and mixed sale at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley this Tuesday. To get an early look at the 227 yearlings that are being offered in the sale, potential buyers are invited to attend the yearling parade that will be held Monday beginning at 1 p.m.

Hip No. 126 is certainly going to attract some attention. A chestnut filly by Finality out of Excited Angel, she is a half-sister to Excited Miss.

With her easy win in the Hong Kong Jockey Club last weekend, Excited Miss will likely be the odds-on choice in the upcoming Grade 3, $150,000 Breeders' Cup B.C. Oaks.

This is the first crop of yearlings by Finality, a Grade 2 stakes winner. Finality is well-represented with 17 foals, the most of any sire in the sale.

Hip No. 98 is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Yougottawanna, who has earned $671,099. A chestnut, the colt for sale is by Hold That Tiger, who was a champion 2-year-old in Europe.

A total of 257 horses are being offered at the sale.