Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd.'s Title Contender turned Sunday evening's Grade 3, $144,045 British Columbia Derby into a rout, seizing command entering the final turn at Hastings and drawing off to win as much the best by 4 3/4 lengths. In the process, the Pulpit gelding atoned for his clunker in the August 17 Canadian Derby at Northlands, his first start for new connections.
Previously owned by Gary and Mary West, Title Contender flashed talent, but had an unfortunate tendency to flop on the big occasion. The $310,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase began his career with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, and turned heads with an impressive wire-to-wire maiden win at Santa Anita last September.
Title Contender was pitched straight into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, where he led early before giving way badly and ending up eighth, and then trudged home a long-way last of 11 in the CashCall Futurity. Lowering his sights in his three-year-old debut, he finished second in a February 17 allowance/optional claimer at Oaklawn.
Switched to the Wayne Catalano barn, Title Contender continued to play the role of underachiever. He was only seventh to Will Take Charge and Oxbow in the March 16 Rebel, and was subsequently gelded.