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.