09/05/2007 11:00PM

Wrong horse, right place


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - When trainer Troy Taylor and owners Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella hatched their plans for last Monday's S.W. Randall Plate at Hastings with their two-horse entry, they envisioned Winter Warning setting a fast pace to help set up a strong late run by Act of God.

It didn't quite work out that way, but due to a heady ride by apprentice Fernando Perez aboard Winter Warning, they still got the money.

Winter Warning, who paid $33.30 to win, did break sharply and was in front for the first quarter-mile. Act of God, however, had other things on his mind. Despite Mario Gutierrez doing everything possible to restrain him, Act of God bulled his way to the front and it looked like a speed duel was going to develop between the two stablemates.

Perez, however, managed to ease Winter Warning off the pace, and when he asked him to run approaching the quarter pole, he had plenty of horse. Winter Warning took control on the stretch turn and increased his margin to 1 3/4 lengths over Shacane, who made a strong late move to finish second. Final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.61.

"That was really a shock," said Taylor. "When Act of God went by him I thought he was dead. He was supposed to be in front and Act of God was supposedly going to make one big run. When Act of God took off I thought they were both in big trouble."

Taylor had nothing but praise for the quick actions of Perez.

"Here's a kid that's just an apprentice and he didn't panic when he had every right to," said Taylor. "He did a great job. He's going to be a good little rider."

Taylor wasn't sure what he was going to do about Act of God.

"Really, he's a much better horse than Winter Warning," he said. "He just doesn't want to rate right now and I'm not sure what to do about that. We're going to have to try something different, though."

According to Taylor, who will turn 76 on Tuesday, it was the best weekend in his long career as a trainer. He won 6 of the 7 races in which he entered horses, and moved to the top of the trainer standings at Hastings.

Taylor also won the Richmond Derby Trial on Sunday with Sir Gallovic, who stamped himself as the favorite for the Grade 3, $250,000 British Columbia Breeders' Cup Derby on Sept. 23.

With Gutierrez aboard, Sir Gallovic ($2.70) forced an honest pace set by Taylor's Route, and after taking the lead just past the three-eighths pole, he cruised to a seven-length win over Long Journey. The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.23.

"Everyone expected him to win and so it wasn't a surprise like Winter Warning," said Taylor. "He's doing really well right now and we're certainly planning on running him in the B.C. Derby."

As for Winter Warning, Taylor said he would probably make his next start in the Sir Winston Churchill on Sept. 23.

"Only if it's not muddy," said Taylor. "Look at his form this year. He wins and then runs out of the money on a wet track. Wins again, and he runs out again. He just hates a wet track and he even fights with the gate crew when it's wet."

Spaghetti Mouse, who was the even-money favorite in the Randall, was a bit rank early and finished fifth. According to his trainer, Ned Sams, Spaghetti Mouse also bled and will be turned out.

"We're going to freshen him up so we're going to miss the Churchill," said Sams. "We'll see how he's doing before deciding if we want to bring him back for the Premiers or not."

Jordan keen on Dancing Allstar

Trainer Terry Jordan was correct in his analysis of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes when he talked about his filly Alpine Garden prior to the race and said, "I don't think they're going to beat her."

After her three-quarter-length win over Pat of Gold last Saturday, Alpine Garden will head into the Grade 3, $125,000 B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks on Sept. 22 on a three-race win streak.

Jordan also likes his chances with Dancing Allstar in the fillies division of the CTHS Sales Stakes on Saturday.

Dancing Allstar has blazing speed, and after winning a 3 1/2-furlong maiden race in her debut at Hastings she was shipped to Woodbine, where she won the My Dear Stakes while setting a track record for five furlongs that has since been broken.

Dancing Allstar has finished second in her last two starts, but she was facing tougher horses than she will meet in the CTHS Stakes. She lost by a nose to Bear Holiday in the six-furlong Colin Stakes on July 21. Bear Holiday came back to win the Silver Deputy on Aug. 25 and is considered the leading 2-year-old colt in Canada.

In the Ontario Debutante, Dancing Allstar showed she can rate, but after taking a three-length lead into the stretch, she tired late and finished second to Officer Cherri. Officer Cherri is a Kentucky-bred filly by Officer who comes out of the powerful Mark Case barn.

"I don't know why people are knocking her," said Jordan of Dancing Allstar. "Those were exceptional horses that beat her. Any horse that can get a half-mile in 44 seconds as a 2-year-old is a very nice horse. I just have to figure out a way to get them to put the wire at the half-mile pole."