The 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway —Getaway Girl, by Silver Deputy, is owned by Rozamund Barclay and trained by Len Kasmerski. The colt came into British Columbia’s premier event of the year off two consecutive victories, one in a $32,000 optional claiming race at Pleasanton in Northern California and the other in the $50,000 Richmond Derby Trial Handicap at Hastings. Northern Causeway, bred in Kentucky by Indian Creek, improved his record for the year to four wins and three seconds from 10 starts.
Jockey William Antongeorgi Jr. has ridden Northern Causeway in the colt’s last three starts. While his mount— who was the lukewarm 3-1 favorite—won wire-to-wire in the Richmond Derby and in nearly the same fashion in the other two races he’s been onboard, Antongeorgi chose to sit just off the leaders in the 1 1/8-mile British Columbia Derby.
“I thought they would try to get to me early, so we decided to wait,” said Antongeorgi, who had just claimed his 400th win.
The race started with a cavalry charge down the backstretch of Hastings Park’s five-furlong track. Four horses battled for the lead until they entered the first of three turns. Winter Warlock ridden by David Wilson, eventually claimed the title of front-runner but only held that position through the first pass down the stretch. Going into the second turn, Northern Indy took the lead and soon had pressure from 4-1 co-second choice Commander, who sat just a neck behind until the final turn. The early fractions were reasonable at :22.48, :45.97, and 1:10.70.
Throughout all the positioning in front, Northern Causeway sat third, no more than a couple lengths off the leaders. As the field rolled through the final turn and into the stretch, Northern Causeway came three paths off the rail and split Commander and Northern Indy. Jebrica also took up the chase at the top of the stretch and stuck right at Northern Causeway’s flank as he rolled to the lead.
Northern Causeway hit the wire a neck in front of Jebrica, who was 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 78-1 longshot Arraignment, who finished third. The final time was 1:50.22.
Northern Causeway paid $8.50, $4.80, and $4.20. Jebrica paid $5.20 and $4.30, while Arraignment paid $19.40. The $2 exacta paid $51.20, and the $2 trifecta paid $1,580.40.
Indian Creek sold Northern Causeway as a weanling for $150,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. He later passed through the Barretts May 2-year-olds in training sale but was bought back for $47,000. Barclay apparently acquired the colt privately and has owned the colt for his entire racing career. Northern Causeway now has $211,871 in career earnings.