Modern wins the Pacific Customs Brokers Classic on 08/07/17 with rider Richard Hamel
Under normal circumstances, veteran rider Richard Hamel would have been celebrating his third win of the day wearing a smile and happily making his way back to the jock’s room to prepare for his next race.
But there was little that could be described as normal in Monday’s featured $ 50,000 Pacific Customs Brokers Classic for 3-year-olds and up at Hastings Racecourse.
Hamel did indeed bring home favored Modern to cap his riding hat-trick on the holiday BC Festival of Racing but actually thought the race would be declared a no-contest.
With Modern and Sabado Alegre battling for the lead through the first half-mile of the 1 1/8 miles distance, Sabado Alegre broke down and flipped jockey Enrique Gonzalez, resulting in Shooting Jacket and Calgary Caper unseating their riders, Romario Saunders and Amadeo Perez, respectively.
“With everything happening behind me I thought the race was going to be ruled a no-contest,” Hamel said later. “I heard Sabado Alegre’s leg make a popping noise and saw Enrique laying on the dirt, then more confusion when the other two riders went down.”
Modern won in a photo finish over Neveradoubt ridden by Antonio Reyes in a final time of 1:51.74.
Modern’s victory was a relief for trainer Dino Condilenios and owners Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. after their heavily-favored Snuggles never made it to the starting gate in the $ 50,000 Pacific Customs Distaff for fillies and mares.
Snuggles was scratched moments before heading to the starting gate after taking a flip and throwing jockey Rico Walcott in the process.
That created an opportunity for long shot Notis the Jewell with newcomer Kerron Khelawan in the saddle to win for trainer Bill McLaren, who also leases the horse. McLaren is accustomed to fast and heavy traffic with his day job as a Vancouver cab driver. Notis the Jewell finished the 1 1/16 miles in a final time of 1:45.05 paying $ 24.80, $ 11.40, $ 6.30.
But that wasn’t nearly the biggest payoff of the afternoon. That belonged to Hunters Appeal in the running of the Sir Winston Churchill Derby Trial for 3-year-olds.
Ridden by Sahin Civaci who was replacing the injured Jeffrey Birningham for trainer Jim Brown, Hunters Appeal rallied from the rail entering the final turn to beat favoured A.P. Zona by 1 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:44.84.
“This was my first stakes win at Hastings and I appreciate the opportunity,” Civaci said. Brown and owner Mohamad Khan were in sync with Civaci’s thoughts when the tote board flashed the winning payoff of $ 74.30, $ 18.80, $ 7.00.
There were no such surprises in the $ 50,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club for 3-year-old fillies when Hamel kick-started his riding hat-trick with another impressive ride aboard Daz Lin Dawn.
“I just wanted to put her into position early and she settled in beautifully on the first turn,” Hamel said.
It was Daz Lin Dawn’s fifth stakes win of the season in the final prep for the $ 100,000 BC Oaks on Sept. 9. Her win Monday was by 3 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:45.16.
Hometown hero Mario Gutierrez didn’t disappoint his vast Hastings following when guiding My Aunt Mo to a three-length victory in the $ 50,000 Hard Rock Casino for 2-year-old fillies. Mario was making a special guest appearance for the BC Festival of Racing. His initial ride was in a non-wagering New Westminster $ 25,000 Allowance that drew just three horses, all owned by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and trained by Glen Todd.
David Lopez rode He’s the Reason to victory with Boundary Bay (Richard Hamel) finishing second and Mario third on Prime Copy.
Todd announced after the race that the purse would be split between the New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society and CTHS Marketing Fund while the three riders donated their winnings to the B.C. Disabled Riding Fund.
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