A large crowd attended at Hastings Racecourse on BC Day. They were festive and wagered copiously. The all sources handle was $1.138 million and those on the premises bet $300K. Jockey Richard Hamel won three races Antonio Reyes rode two winners. Trainer Dino Condilenios won two as did trainer Glen Todd. Swift Thoroughbreds won a couple as did North American Thoroughbred Horse Company. Two horses that made their last start in $16,000 claiming races won stakes on the card. How is that for a double? Mario Gutierrez put in a guest appearance and won a stake.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Weight may stop a freight train but it did not derail Daz Lin Dawn ($2.60) in a race that had no show betting, perhaps to keep the bridge-jumpers from cleaning up with large show bets. A sound decision. If anyone was thinking that her last race was nowhere as good as the three before, and therefore she might be vulnerable, well forget it. This win was emphatic, she was giving 11 pounds to the runner-up, Babys Got Track, and the show horse, Yukon Belle, was getting 10 pounds. None of that mattered.
Daz Lin Dawn broke well enough for rider Richard Hamel to occupy a spot on the rail early, just back of Good Luck to You. She and Hamel joined that one coming out of the first turn and used her as a yardstick as to when to make the move, something Hamel did just after they had gone six furlongs and from there it was over and done. She widened on the turn, lengthened in the lane, and on a smoky afternoon at historic old Hastings, she was, in the immortal words of the late Chuck Berry, gone, like a cool breeze.
JDP Holdings Ltd., Nancy Betts and Delton Stable own her. Nancy Betts trains her. Daz Lin Dawn is a star.
The Sir Winston Churchill Derby Trial
It was bombs away in the Churchill as Hunters Appeal ($74.30) provided the largest price of the day as he upset A. P. Zona who had appeared to be a good thing coming into the race and was odds-on. It was not to be as Hunters Appeal was being ridden by Sahin Civaci like he was the best horse in the race and he proved to be. A. P. Zona closed for second without threatening the winner while Driller was well back in third. Final time for the mile-and-sixteenth was 1:44.84.
It must be said that A. P. Zona was giving the winner 10 pounds and if they meet in the Derby it will be even up at 126 pounds. However, it must also be said that Hunters Appeal galloped out like a horse that will run farther. He did not gallop out like a horse that ran third in a $16,000 claimer in his previous start, although he did. He may not be in for 16K again any time soon.
Hunters Appeal, a son of Successful Appeal, was bred in BC by Demetrick Racing. He is owned by Mohamad Khan and is trained by James brown.
The Hard Rock Casino
Rebounding from a trip to Seattle where things went wrong from the start, My Aunt Mo ($3.10) lived up to her heavy favorite role with a 3 length over a field of eight other two-year-old fillies in the Hard Rock. Mario Gutierrez shipped in to see his old haunts and ride a few horses, one of those being My Aunt Mo, and he got her home with style and grace, not to mention ease. Astarte closed from well back to be second and Sonoma did the same thing to be third. Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:18.88.
My Aunt Mo cruised along behind the leaders before moving to the outside going down the backstretch and asserting her superiority. She won as she pleased for Gutierrez. My Aunt Mo is by Uncle Mo, the leading third-crop sire who stood for $150,000 in 2017. The Illinois bred filly cost $85,000 at Keeneland last year and it is starting to look like money well spent. She is owned by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and trained by Glen Todd.
The Pacific Custom Brokers Distaff
It was bombs away again in the Distaff as Notis the Jewel ($24.80) stepped up from a strong win in a $16,000 claiming race to annex her first stakes win in her first venture into stakes company. Notis the Jewel came from last by a lot to be in front by enough after a mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:45.05. Sailingforthesun finished second after briefly looking like a winner at the head of the lane and Storm Stalker ground out a determined third. Kerron Khelaman rode the winner and rode her well.
The task was made considerably easier with the post-parade scratch of the overwhelming favorite and likely winner Snuggles, but there was nothing cheap or flukey about the way Notis the Jewel won the race. She launched a long run going down the backside and sustained it to get past Sailingforthesun who was not keen on letting her by and her three-quarters of a length margin at the wire understates the quality of the race she ran.
Notis the Jewel was bred in BC by the late Len Fielding. Appropriately, even if by coincidence, the sixth race on the card was named after Len Fielding. The four-year-old daughter of Stephanotis is owned and trained by Bill McLaren.
The Pacific Custom Brokers Classic
After running second and third the last two years, Modern ($6.30) won the Classic for his first win at a mile-and-an-eighth in 5 tries. It was an unusually run and unfortunate race that saw a riderless horse come down to the wire inside the winner while distracting Richard Hamel who, along with everyone one else, was trying to figure out what had happened and what was going on. The result was a four-horse photo that Modern was lucky to win, having disappated a comfortable lead late in the proceedings and winning by an ever-shrinking nose. Neveradoubt was second, a neck better than Venetian Mask in third who was a head better than an unlucky Don’t Hold Me Back. It was the third win of the day for Hamel.
Modern is owned by Swift Thoroughbreds and trained by Dino Condilenios.
The BC Cup Marathon
The Marathon Series really gets underway with this mile-and-three-eighths event and it was won by What Goes Around ($13.50). What Goes Around, who won at a mile-and-a-half at Hastings in 2015, was one of a few in the race that had actually demonstrated a proclivity for distance. Antonio Reyes rode the winner for what probably seemed like a long time, 2:20.53 to be exact, but the others took longer, although the winner’s stablemate Lucky Ending was only a neck back to give trainer Barbara Heads the exacta. Russell and Lois Bennett had two exactas, as breeders and as owners.