Friday, 15 August 2014 09:46

Wilko Rum: Always In The Hunt

Written by Shannon "Sugar" Doyle
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It's been said that this year's Canadian Derby features not a great field, but a wide-open field. It's definitely a mixed bag of talent made up of former maiden claimers, a Lethbridge/Grande Prairie crusher and a few stake winners, but one horse you will not see in this Derby is a layover.

Wilko Rum, going out for Andy Stronach's Pan Am Racing Stable, has the unique distinction of beginning his racing career in Puerto Rico. The three-year-old son of Wilko is always in the hunt - having picked up money in each and every career start. "He was a good 4th in the Manitoba Derby," says trainer Wally Pugh. "With post 3 we'll be hoping to be up close and into it this Saturday. He's a smaller horse so we like where he's drawn for the race."

For Pugh - everything is Wilko... "We have 22 foals on our farm in Ponoka and they're all sired by Wilko," he says proudly. "Andy (Stronach) is coming in for Saturday to watch his three Wilko's run on the day and then on Sunday he'll head to Lacombe to watch Wilko Beer race in the Alberta Derby."

Wilko, a son of Awesome Again, would be best known for his 28-1 upset victory in the Breeders Cup Juvenile, of 2004, winning by a length over Afleet Alex. "He's busy in the breeding shed again this year," says Pugh. "As a sire he's been having a great run in recent years."

Wilko Rum has been tagged as a 20-1 long shot, in Saturday's $200K Grade III test, with Puerto Rican jockey Jevian Toledo in the irons.

Look For An Upset

This year's Canadian Derby appears to be begging for an upset winner so I'm going to look for the 7 Lintlaw to run the race of his life on Saturday. I believe, of the long shots, he's the most capable in putting in the best effort late. I'm seeing a hot pace to chase - with a lot of tired legs turning for home... Look for a very entertaining race, but don't expect to see a track record for this mile and three-eighths acid test.

Sugar's Derby Picks

7 Lintlaw - looking for the upset
9 The Spinmeister - a must play
1 Consecrate - filly on great form
8 Edison - one to consider here

Sugar's $100 Derby Bet...

$ .20 SUPERFECTA WHEEL - 7 for first and second with 1 4 5 6 8 9 11 - $84
$1 EXACTOR WHEEL - 7 for first and second with 1 4 5 6 8 9 11 - $14
$2 WIN - 7

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