SKY PROMISE won the last Canadian Derby at Northlands Park and he also won the Manitoba Derby

Sky Promise seeks western Derby sweep, Champion 3yo shot in Canada

with files from Derby Bar & Grill

Tomorrow is the 73rd running of The British Columbia Derby Day at Hastings Racecourse, often referred to as the biggest and most important day of racing in this province.

And as with each year, this event keeps growing in stature and importance to the racing industry. For instance, Saturday’s race card offers $550,000 in purse money for owners whose horse’s are fortunate to make it into the winner’s circle.

Included in that large total of money to be won, is the creme de la creme of the afternoon: The $150,000 British Columbia Derby (8th race) will run with a full field of top three-year-olds. Interestingly, unlike many top races, because this is a ‘Derby’ the same horse cannot be victorious twice in this race.

The afternoon also includes five major stake races with large purses available. This is including the $100,000 BC Oaks, $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity, $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity, $50,000 Delta Colleen and $50,000 S.W. Randal Plate.

Since its origin back in 1946, winning the British Columbia Derby Trophy has become a prize every horse owner dreams of winning. One can only imagine what must be going through the veins of anyone connected with a horse entering the starting gate, ready to run in the most prestigious race in this Province.

In the $150,000 British Columbia Derby there will be a full field of twelve horses entering the starting gate. This is a race devoid of a heavy favourite, however Sky Promise (3-1) is a good closer and has drawn the #6. Sky Promise is by Sky Mesa out of the Dehere mare Maddie’s Promise, a multiple stakes winner. He was claimed for $40,000

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, ridden by Alberta based jockey Rico Walcott, who already has three Derby victories, including last years B.C. Derby aboard, Chief Know It All, 2014 Alert Bay and 2013 Title Contender.

Weekend Wizard (7/2) has shown speed in previous races and could be a major factor, trained by Craig MacPherson and Richard Hamel in the irons. Hamel also is a winner of this race three times , 2012 aboard Second City, 2010 with Majestically and 2001 with Fancy As.

Also generating interest Day Raider, (6-1) trained by Craig MacPherson will have Antonio Reyes in the saddle. Trainers Diodoro (winning in 2017) and MacPherson (winning in 2012) will be going for their second victory in this race.

Saturday, Hastings Racecourse, post time: 8:25 p.m. EDT
BRITISH COLUMBIA DERBY-GIII, C$150,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m

Post  Horse                  Sire Owner Trainer   Weight
1 Day Raider         New Year’s Day Canyon Farms MacPherson Reyes 126
2 Not Yet               Colonel John Lana Brindley Gilker Rodriguez 126
3 Pickford             Hat Trick (Jpn) Team Valor International & Highfield Investment Group Tracy Araujo 126
4 Apalachee Bay  Malibu Moon Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd. Hall Perez 126
5 Wise Market     Mass Market Philip Hall, Blair and Albertson, Brian Hall Lopez 126
6 Sky Promise      Sky Mesa Rick & Clayton Wiest, R 6 Stable & Norman Tremblay Diodoro Walcott 126
7 Chef                    Congrats Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc. Condilenios Williams 126
8 Titochip              Ghostzapper Claymore Barns MacPherson Civaci 126
9 El Noble              Istan Tamara Baker & Milton Palma Palma Gonzalez 126
10 Canadian Game Curlin Reddam Racing LLC Todd Gryder 126
11 Brave Nation     Pioneerof the Nile Gordon Christoff Snow Morales 126
12 Weekend Wizard  Rosberg Riversedge Racing Stables, Ltd. MacPherson Hamel 126

Breeders: 1-Kerby G. Chua, 2-Glen Todd, 3-Team Valor LLC &Highfield Stock Farm LTD., 4-Regis Farms, LP, 5-Suzanne I. Anderson, 6-Normandy Farm LLC, 7-KatieRich Farms, 8-Three Chimneys Farm LLC, 9-Brereton C. Jones, 10-Fox Straus KY, 11-WinStar Farm, LLC, 12-Foundation Racing Stable


STORMY ANTARCTIC trained by Ed Walker. IN midst of strong season with a Group 3 win and narrow misses in Group 1 and Group 2 from Ed Walker Twitter

Stronach Stables’ DELTA PRINCE looms the favourite for the Grade 1, $800,000 Woodbine Mile next Saturday. The Street Cry (Ire)  5-year-old horse won the Grade 2 King Edward at Woodbine in his first race of the year and was recently beaten just a neck in the Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga.  Euro invader LORD GLITTERS has also raced well in Group 1 competition and will take plenty of support.

Horse Owner Trainer   Jockey

Delta Prince / Stronach Stables / James Jerkens / Javier Castellano   104, 101

Divisidero / Gunpowder Farms LLC / Kelly Rubley / Jevian Toledo 100, 100 98  6yo 3rd in Fourstardave, seeks first win at 1 mile distance

Good Samaritan / WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club Int,SF Racing LLC, Head of Plains Partners LLC / Bill Mott / Joel Rosario 85, 96 96 – been racing on dirt, won G2 New Orleans H., won Summer S, on turf at WO as 2yo

Irish War Cry / Isabelle de Tomaso / Graham Motion / Jose Ortiz – would be making first start on turf, won Pimlico Special in May

La Sardane (filly) / Team Valor International / Neil Drysdale / Rafael Bejerano;  83, 92, 92  5th in Grade  2 Play the King to Mr Havercamp, won 3 races in NY before that

Lord Glitters / Geoff & Sandra Turnbull / David O’Meara / Jamie Spencer – Group 1 placed and recent winner of Group 3 Strensall Stakes

Mr Havercamp / Sean & Dorothy Fitzhenry / Catherine Day Phillips / Eurico da Silva   98, 98, 95  Ontario-bred won Play the King

Stormy Antarctic / Mr. P K Siu / E.C.D Walker / TBD   In form gelding by Stormy Atlantic won Group 3 this year, close in Group 1 and Group 2

Vanish / Eight Star Racing Stables Inc. / Vito Armata / Ademar Santos   91, 83, 82  Claimed for $40,000 from Gary barber went on to be 2nd in Grade 2 Play the King

VANISH, one of two local entrants, is seeking to be the latest Cinderella story for trainer Vito Armata.

Armata already has enjoyed previous graded stakes success here with a claimed horse, sending out $32,000 acquisition Ikerrin Road to capture last year’s Grade 3 Bold Venture on Woodbine Mile Day.

Armata will be looking to pull off a much more audacious coup when he saddles Vanish for the Ricoh Woodbine Mile itself, which is slated for Saturday, September 15, after claiming the 4-year-old gelding for $40,000 on July 28.

And while Armata dropped the claim slip he gives full credit to owner Joe Mazarese for selecting Vanish.

“I’d been watching him, and when he dropped in for $40,000 I talked to Vito, and my other partners,” said Mazarese, who races as Eight Star Racing Stables with friends Lorenzo Scala, Michael Dattoli, and Michele Fronte.

Vanish, who was coming off a first-level allowance win at on a mile on turf when victorious on the day of his first start in the claiming ranks, reappeared four weeks later with a second-place finish in the Play the King Stakes.

“He (Mazarese) had wanted to claim the horse, with the stakes already on his mind,” said Armata.

The Grade 2 Play the King, a seven-furlong turf race won by Mile rival Mr Havercamp, is the major local prep for the Woodbine Mile.

“He loves the turf, and he loves Woodbine,” said Mazarese.

Ikerrin Road, meanwhile, will be looking to double up in the Bold Venture, a 6 ½ furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward which again is part of the Woodbine Mile Day undercard which also includes the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf and the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes, presented by the Japan Racing Association.

After finishing off his very productive 4-year-old campaign with a second-place finish behind subsequent Canadian Horse of the Year Pink Lloyd in the Grade 2 Kennedy Road at six furlongs, the gelding was slow to his best stride this season.

“He got sick on me in the springtime; he almost died,” said Armata, who watched Ikerrin Road get back on target here August 18 with a sharp score in a $60,000 optional claimer.

The Mile will be run Saturday and on Sunday, the popular juvenile races, the Natalma Stakes (Grade 1) and Summer Stakes (Grade 2) will take place and both are “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup in November.

Both races are at 1 mile on the grass. At least one invader has already been tabbed for the Natalma as  Qatar Racing have purchased the Jessica Harrington-trained Chicas Amigas, and now plan to run the filly in the Grade 1 race.

Read more here. 


CASCANUECES, Peruvian champion, makes her first start in North America at Woodbine on Saturday – Twitter photo from breeder William Saba

It is the quiet before the big racing storm at Woodbine next weekend. The two stakes races at Woodbine this weekend are the LA LORGNETTE for 3yo fillies on Saturday and the Belle Mahone on Sunday for older mares.

The LA LORGNETTE is a fascinating race with a big field and plenty of invaders.

There is no other intriguing gal than CASCANUECES, the unbeaten filly from PERU who won all 3 races at 2 last year including a Group 1 at 10 furlongs! The daughter of Canadian bred SMART STRIKE is trained by Todd Pletcher and she was recently scratched from the much tougher Delaware Oaks.




(CNN) His career as a racehorse has barely begun, yet according to his trainer people are already lining up for a chance to use Southern Phantom as a stud.

The two-year-old colt hasn’t even won any of the three races he’s run, but he’s already got the popularity of a horse that’s won a triple crown — and it’s all because of his unique look.

Read more here.



4,538 yearling catalogued, 151 bred in Canada

Keeneland kicks off its 75th annual September Yearling Sale on Monday with the first of four Book 1 sessions to be offered to an assembly of the world’s leading buyers of Thoroughbred racing prospects. A total of 4,538 yearlings have been cataloged to the entire sale, which two years ago produced 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. The September Sale will cover 13 sessions through Sunday, Sept. 23.

The 4,538 yearlings in the catalog were foaled in 27 states, provinces and foreign countries: Alberta (1), Arizona (1), Arkansas (6), British Columbia (1), California (17), Colorado (1), Florida (145), France (1), Illinois (5), Indiana (14), Iowa (14), Ireland (3), Kentucky (3,915), Louisiana (24), Maryland (28), Minnesota (9), New Mexico (1), New York (98), North Carolina (1), Ohio (18), Oklahoma (16), Ontario (149), Pennsylvania (35), Tennessee (2), Texas (9), Virginia (20) and West Virginia (4).

Read Keeneland’s Top 10 Tips for Attending the September Sale

(see online catalogue here)



through Sept 4

1 ACCELERATE (8)    5-H 5-4-1-0 343 1
2 JUSTIFY (28)           3-C 6-6-0-0 333 2
3 DIVERSIFY (2)        5-G 4-3-0-0 266 3
4 MONOMOY GIRL   3-F 5-5-0-0 230 4
5 ABEL TASMAN       4-F 3-2-0-0 190 5
6 CATHOLIC BOY       3-C 5-3-1-0 143 6
7 YOSHIDA                   4-C 3-2-0-0 117 N/A
8 SISTERCHARLIE     4-F 4-3-1-0 88 7
9 MIND YOUR BISCUITS 5-H 4-1-3-0 82 8
10 CATALINA CRUISER 4-C 3-3-0-0 69 9