Majesticality Springs Sloppy B.C. Derby Shock

Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Bennett's homebred produces huge upset at sloppy Hastings Park.

Majesticality took advantage of sloppy conditions at rainy Hastings Park to produce a 40-1 stunner in the US$152,400 British Columbia Derby (Can-III) Sept. 26.

Barbara Heads trains the winner, a son of Finality out of the Dixieland Brass mare Majestic Music, for owner/breeder Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Bennett. Majesticality went off as the second-longest shot on the board.

Richard Hamel guided Majesticality to victory, taking the lead in the homestretch from 8-5 favorite Cherokee Notion to score a half-length victory. The final time was 1:50.80 for the 1 1/8-mile event on the sealed bullring track.

Crew Leader, with Chad Hoverson aboard, rallied for second with Cherokee Notion, ridden by all-time leading jockey Russell Baze aboard, settling for third.

Majesticality was coming off a fourth-place finish over a sloppy track in the Sept. 6 Richmond Derby, Hasting's major stakes prep for the British Columbia Derby. The gelding had won once in eight prior starts, breaking his maiden for a $30,000 claiming price at 6 1/2 furlongs at Hastings June 19.

Eleven 3-year-olds contested the race, with Foxcreek setting off on a brisk pace under the conditions of :22.38 and :45.77 while being pressed hard by Smart Spending and Charterhill, who dropped back to third while racing off the rail. Smart Spending put his head in front as they reached the six-furlong mark in 1:11.35.

Majesticality raced 10th off the rail when the picture changed completely on the final turn. Prince Intent went for an early run on the outside to collar the leaders, but was quickly tackled by his stablemate, Cherokee Notion, who led into the stretch before giving way. Majesticality, on the outside, gained the lead mid-stretch and held gamely as Crew Leader surged at the rail to grab the runner-up spot by two lengths over Cherokee Notion.

The winning chestnut earned $92,733 for the victory. Under equal weights of 126 pounds, Majesticality paid $82.60, $40.30 and $13.10 and topped a $1,894.30 exacta. Crew Leader, one of three entrants for trainer Dino Condilenios and owner Swift Thoroughbreds, returned $14 and $9.10. Cherokee Notion, who was second in the Richmond Derby for leading Hastings trainer Troy Taylor, was $3.50 to show and completed a $2 trifecta of $7,838.30.

A $1 superfecta ticket with those three combined with any other starter paid $9,526.10.

Ain was 2 1/4 lengths farther back in fourth, followed by Victor's Magic, Smart Spending, Distorted Dave, Prince Intent, Charterhill, Silly Fella, and Foxcreek.