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Tommy Wolski's Sport of Kings TV - Tommy's weekly column from the province newspaper

Hosstalk - December 12, 2014

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Top B.C. horse trying southern competition

Date: December 12, 2014
Section : Sports
Page : A45
Byline: Tom Wolski
Column: Hoss Talk
Source: The Province

Alert Bay is shown winning the B.C. Derby with jockey Rico Walcott.
Alert Bay is shown winning the B.C. Derby with jockey Rico Walcott.

Top B.C. horse trying southern competition

The 2014 thoroughbred racing season at Hastings Racecourse officially ended in October but local fans can still cheer for several horses venturing south of the border during the upcoming winter months.

One of those worth watching is Peter Redekop's multiple stakes winner Alert Bay, recently named B.C. Horse of the Year at the 2014 Thoroughbred Awards Banquet.

Unlike many equine champions that are not around enough to develop a fan base, Alert Bay "should be around for awhile," his owner says. "He came back from his victory in the Zia Park Derby in New Mexico in fine shape."

Redekop hopes to run him either in the Grade 1 $300,000 Malibu Stakes or the Grade 2 $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile on the turf (grass), both for three-year olds at Santa Anita, Calif., Dec. 26.

"I imagine with most of the top horses racing in the Malibu, because it's a Grade 1, it would makes sense avoiding that race and running in the other, if possible," Redekop says.

His reasoning is simple. Alert Bay is a gelding (neutered) and does not have a future in the breeding industry as a stallion. So it only makes sense for him to skip Grade 1 races that carry larger purses and also are key for horses looking for breeding status when they retire.

"I'm proud of Alert Bay," Redekop adds. "He's only a three-year old but already made $497,000. With some luck we can continue having fun with him and give our local fans a chance to follow a nice horse that has won at Hastings and hopefully will be around awhile."

SAD VICTORY: Among more notable winners at the Thoroughbred Awards dinner was Swift Thoroughbreds popular stallion Rosberg, named Champion Juvenile Sire, who passed away in June at age 13.

As a youngster Rosberg was a $1.5 million purchase by Darley Stable and later sold in 2008 to locally based Swift Thoroughbreds. In 2009 he began his career as one B.C.'s most successful stallions. During his brief stallion career, Rosberg sired 85 foals with 50 of those youngsters making it to the races and 25 of them winning. His passing was a tremendous loss, not only for his owners but the entire racing industry.

WEATHER FACTOR: Strange as it may appear, the weather that plays the most havoc with horse racing at Fraser Downs is frost.

When a race track freezes, the frost will often penetrate below the surface. Then as warmer temperatures and rain arrive, the frost comes to the surface, creating pockets in the track with horses sometimes punching through the surface and facing possible injuries. Mother Nature can be cruel sometimes.

HUMBLED: Words cannot say what an honour it was to have been inducted to the B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame alongside many of the racing greats I've envied and looked up to over my career.

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