Peter Redekop’s grey colt ABELIEFINTHISLIVIN took advantage of a strong pace early in the 94th Canadian Derby (G3) and powered away to a 2 1/2 length win in Alberta’s premier race for three-year-olds and second leg of the Western Triple Crown. The Derby had a full field of 12 traveling 1 1/4 miles on the Century Mile dirt track and fans were quickly enamored with Abeliefinthislivin, who was coming in from the U.S. after racing against tough company for trainer Peter Miller.
Abeliefinthislivin joined the stable of trainer Barbara Heads a couple of weeks before the Derby, was paired up with jockey Amadeo Perez for a pre-Derby workout and then made easy work of this Derby rivals. Installed at a surprising 10 to 1 in the morning line odds, the son of Arrogate – Half A P by Pulpit was hammered down to 8 to 5 by post time.
It was 4-to-1 third choice Heroic Move, trained by Robertino Diodoro, who set sail on the pace under replacement rider Mauricio Malvaez, setting strong fractions of 22.60, 47.05 and 1:10.89. Heroic Move was coming off a second-place finish in the Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs to Mano Dura on Aug. 7 and had met Abeliefinthislivin in an allowance race at Churchill Downs in June, finishing third, just ahead of his rival. The winner that day was Scotland, a colt who was highly regarded heading into Saturday’s Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
Perez had Abeliefinthisliving just over five lengths behind the pace as the field headed into the last turn.
“For a moment I was wondering if no one would catch him because he was in front by more than three lengths. I just sort of said to him, ‘come on’.”
Once he got his cue, Abeleifinthislivin launched a long rally that saw him take over Heroic Move on his way to victory in 2:03.
American Blaze (American Freedom), owned by Terry Hamilton and Murray House, rallied for second with WYN Racing’s Accidental Hero, by Mo Town, grabbed third from Heroic Move.
The Derby was the second win in eight races for Abeliefinthislivin ($183,648) who was bought for $70,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September yearling sale by agent Alistair Roden from breeder Merriebelle Stable in Kentucky. The colt was second in a maiden special weight at Los Alamitos and then again at Del Mar to begin his career last season. He won his maiden in March at Santa Anita and was recently fourth in the Los Alamitos Derby to Bob-Baffert-trainer Reincarnate.
Abeliefinthislivin is the eighth named foal for Half A P, who was third in one career race. The mare has produced six other winners including stakes placed Fully Living. Second dam Half Queen is produced Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Halfbridled.