The $125,000 B.C. Derby was run for the 76th time on September 16 and was won by WYN Racing Stable’s ACCIDENTAL HERO ($4.40) who was sharp away from the gate and assumed an excellent spot through the opening stages of the 1 1/8 mile race at Hastings Racecourse.
Rider Kimal Santo was content to stalk a couple of lengths back and, when he pushed the button approaching the far turn, his mount responded with a quick turn of foot to engage SUNBIRD. They waged a fierce battle to the wire with Accidental Hero, trained by Larry Grieve, just getting up in deep stretch to win in 1:50.05. Estate of Nick Felicella and Pauline Felicella’s Sunbird lost nothing in defeat for trainer Terry Jordan as he sat on comfortable splits of 23.18, 47.54 and 1:12.64. When asked by Antonio Reyes, he sprinted to the wire but was simply outrun by Accidental Hero.
Roger Snow, Don Danard, and Conrad Rozenek’s SPACE was in a good striking position but could not stay with the top two as they ran away from him at the quarter-pole, but he easily held third money.
Accidental Hero was claimed for $40,000 on May 5, a winning run at Oaklawn Park at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. The colt, who was placed three times in his first four races dating back to last September, had won his maiden on March 20 at Turfway Parl for $50,000 claiming.
In his first race for WYN, Accidental Hero finishing sixth in the R. Mcleod Stakes at Hastings in a sprint in the slop. He then placed second in the Chris Loseth Stakes, followed by two thirds in the Sir Winston Churchill Handicap and Grade 3 Canadian Derby. The BC Derby win gave the sophomore three wins in 13 races for earnings of $150,834.
Accidental Hero is by Hollywood Derby (G1) winner Mo Town, a son of Uncle Mo, out of the stakes-placed Chatain mare, Pardonmecomingthru. He was a $65,000 Fasig-Tipton July select yearling in 2021 who was subsequently knocked down to West Point Thoroughbreds for $260,000 at the following year’s Ocala Breeders Sales March Two-Year-Olds-in-Training Sale.
Second dam Bridal Tea, a winner, is by Gulch. The Derby winner’s third dam, Chapel of Dreams, is a three-quarter sister to the great Storm Cat.
Accidental Hero was bred in Kentucky by Michael T. Barnett.
WYN Racing, in its second year, is a stable “established in honour of Donna Wyn Kopp, who we lost a year and a half ago. She was Larry Grieve’s sister and Tasha’s mother. Each time the ‘W’ graces the back of a jockey’s silks, it isn’t just a letter; it’s Donna’s legacy, her heartbeat racing with every stride. And in the hushed silence, if you listen closely, you can almost hear her enthusiastic cheer, “Come on. Come on.” She’s with us, always and forever, in every race,” reads a post on the stable’s Facebook page.
~ with files from Nigel Reid