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Richmond Derby Trial highlights racing weekend

August 11, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

The $50,000 Richmond Derby Trial marks the resumption of the stakes schedule at Hastings Racecourse & Slots with eight top 3-year-olds ready to travel 1-1/16 miles in Sunday afternoon’s feature.

One of two newcomers to the scene is California invader Northern Causeway, a Kentucky-bred who is expected to be one of the three wagering favorites along with Jump Up And Kissme and the second fresh face—Commander.

William Antongeorgi, a veteran rider from Northern California, will be aboard Northern Causeway. He showed good speed in winning his last start, a $32,000 optional claimer on the dirt at Pleasanton, California.

Jump Up And Kissme (Keveah Nicholls) won the BC Cup Nursery last year and finished first in BC Cup Stellar’s Jay two weeks ago but was disqualified and placed second following an infraction at the top of the stretch. Commander (Mario Gutierrez) will be making his first start at Hastings after two excellent workouts that included a best-of-the-day 1:12.20 over six furlongs and a scorching :58.60 over five furlongs.

Olympian boxer Dale Walters, winner of a bantamweight bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, will be Guest Decorator for the Richmond Derby Trial. Dale is a member of the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame and Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame.

Hamel and Gutierrez tied for lead as top riders

Richard Hamel and Mario Gutierrez head into the Friday Night Live racing program (7:00 p.m. start) tied at the top of the jockey standings with 65 wins each. Friday’s feature is a $12,500 claiming race that has both riders on live mounts: Gutierrez has Sage Gold while Hamel will be aboard Vying for Glory. The two are expected to be co-favorites in a 6½-furlong sprint that goes as the sixth race on the seven-race card.