Footprint Shows Way in Canadian Derby

Favored Footprint battled the 11-1 outsider Gandolf all the way before prevailing in the final stages under Real Simard to win the CAN$300,000 Canadian Derby (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta, Aug. 25.

Locally based Joan Petrowski, who saddled Footprint, became the fourth female trainer to win the rich Canadian Derby.

The victory was the third in a row for Footprint, a 3-year-old gelding by Gold Case--Prairie Music, by Affirmed. All three wins have come at Northlands.

Stalking for the first half-mile of the 1 3/8-mile event, Footprint launched his bid along the inside to reach even terms with Gandolf, a Northern California invader ridden by Jake Barton, on the final turn. In a gritty fight through the lane, Footprint edged away late to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths. The final time was 2:19 3/5, well off the track record of 2:15 4/5 set by Slyly Gifted in 1986.

Weather Warning, a son of Storm Cat who won the Manitoba Derby by four lengths, led early, posting fractions of :24 and :48 4/5 before fading. Footprint, tested severely by Gandolf, snatched the lead after completing six furlongs in 1:15 1/5.

During his current streak, Footprint also won the 1 1/16-mile Count Lathum Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths Aug. 4 and the one-mile Ky Alta Handicap by 5 1/2 lengths July 14. Overall, the chestnut has been out of the money just once in 13 starts while compiling a 5-5-2 record. His earnings stand at $339,205 after pulling down the $180,000 winner's share for owners Derek G. Milen Professional Corp., Page, Elwin and Viking Stable. J.D. Squires bred the winner in Kentucky.

Footprint paid $4.80, $3.80 and $2.90 as the 7-5 favorite in the field of seven.

Gandolf ($11, $4.40) finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of the show horse, Ookashada ($3), who was ridden by Pedro Alvarado. Two other California raiders, Amazin Blue and Rage Till Dawn, were next, with Greenwood Meadow and Weather Warning trailing.

(Chart, Equibase)

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