Friday, 03 May 2013 13:47

Alberta connection to this year's Kentucky Derby

Written by Sugar Doyle
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Java's War Java's War Keeneland/Coady's Photography

Alberta diamond prospector Charles Fipke will go after the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby with one of his most prized possessions - his homebred Java's War.

After coming from 9th - and last - to finish second @ 32-1 in the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. 2), Java's War would again come from last - in a field of 14 - to capture Keeneland's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (Gr. 1), by a neck, on April 13th.

"Java's War came out of Blue Grass fine. Trainer is exhausted. Thank You for opportunity Mr Fipke. Special winning in my home town Lexington" - tweeted trainer Ken McPeek following the race.
Owned and bred by Fipke, Java's War - a 3YO son of War Pass - will leave from post 19, with jockey Julien Leparoux up, for trainer Kenny McPeek. The 'Run for the Roses' features a field of twenty 'glamour boys' lining up around 4:30 PM this Saturday afternoon. Java's War is morning lined @ 15-1.

The horse that beat Java's War in Tampa Bay - Verrazano @ 4-1 - is an undefeated 4-for-4 in 2013, but it's actually Orb @ 7-2 carrying the morning line favourite status going into the Derby.

Second Fipke contender in Derby

Golden Soul is the second contender in the Derby for owner Fipke and he's an extreme longshot contender at that @ 50-1 . Trained by Dallas Stewart, and ridden by Robby Albarado, Golden Soul will get what he can against this star-studded field of equine athletes. 

Fipke has been there before

The colourful Charles Fipke last tried for a Kentucky Derby, in 2008, with Tale of Ekati (named for his diamond mine) - a fourth place finisher at the time.

Once paired with Alberta trainer Floyd Arthur, Fipke is no stranger to the big races, at all, teaming up with popular Ontario trainer/Hall of Famer Roger Attfield to capture the 2008 Queen's Plate with Not Bourbon and the 2011 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf with Perfect Shirl.

Fipke was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1946. He discovered the existence of diamonds around Lac de Gras in the Northwest Territories and is now a multimillionaire diamond magnate.

Northlands Park features live racing Saturday, beginning at 1:00 PM, and will break briefly - following Race 8, so fans can witness 'the most exciting two minutes in sports'. If you can't make it to Edmonton there's plenty of OTB's across the province to show your support... So come on out and cheer for, maybe even wager on, an Alberta connection in this year's Kentucky Derby - Java's War is the value play... Golden Soul is strictly a longshot play. Enjoy the big race!

Java's War (Keeneland/Coady's Photography)

Charles Fipke (Foto: Fotomontage:

Read 2521 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 May 2013 14:57
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