Walcott, Edison light up Derby
EDMONTON – Rico Walcott proved that lightning can strike in the same place twice when he landed the CAN$200 000 (BDS$367 392) Canadian Derby on Saturday’s 13-race card at Northlands Park.
The impressive Barbadian reinsman drove 5-2 co-favourite Edison to one of the easiest victories in the history of the richest race west of Ontario in a time of two minutes, 21 1/5 seconds.
Edison is the stablemate of last year’s Derby winner Broadway Empire, which Walcott also steered to victory, and was prepared by the same trainer, Robertino Diodoro, for the same owners, Fouad El Kardy, Bob Butz and Rick Running Rabbit.
Walcott bided his time, keeping the three-year-old bay colt sixth during the early going of the 2 200-metre trip before slowly gaining on the field, as they headed into the backstretch for the final time.
He then lit the match and a fired-up Edison advanced purposefully, making a bold move early in the last turn to take command at the quarter-pole from a determined Private Money Game – under Damario Bynoe, another Barbadian jockey – before shaking clear to prove that he was by far the best of the 11 in the field.
“I didn’t want Private Money Game to get too far in front of me,” said Walcott. “[Edison] isn’t quick, but he’s got a strong, steady kick.
“Halfway down the stretch, I looked back and I couldn’t see anybody.”
The margin of victory was a whopping 11 ½-lengths over Remembertobreathe, ridden by Ryan Pacheco, who just edged Private Money Game for second place.
Go Max with Quincy Welch, a long-standing Barbadian jockey and former Northlands champion, finished fourth.
The other Derby co-favourite, The Spinmeister, ended up fifth after being wide throughout.
It was the 14th stakes win for Walcott and ninth in four weeks, as he continues his charge towards a fourth straight jockeys’ title at western Canada’s leading racetrack.
He now tops the standings with 83 wins and CAN$1 094 502 in earnings this season.
On the richest race day on the Northlands calendar, Walcott helped 8-5 favourite Short Memo re-establish his superiority in the first of the annual Northlands Marathon series in which the winner’s time was virtually the same as in the Derby that followed.
Walcott pocketed the CAN$18 000 Starter Handicap, after the seven-year-old, dark bay gelding covered the 2 200-metre trip on the dirt in a time of 2 mins, 21.05 secs.
He kept Short Memo not far off the pace, got close at the three-quarters mark before slowly gaining up the rail and getting up in the last strides for a 1 ½-length victory. (CMC)