Clear The Runway – Big Long Strider – 2012 Manitoba Derby Contenders

Aug 5, 2012 | Manitoba Derby

Clear The Runway - 2012 Manitoba Derby Contenders

Clear The Runway. Pretty in blue.

by George Williams

Clear The Runway ~ Big Long Strider

Pedigree: Broken Vow-Smokey Diplomacy by Dynaformer
Owner: Riversedge Racing Stable, Ltd. Trainer: Greg Tracy Jockey: Rico Walcott

When a trainer with multiple championships to his credit at different racetracks decides to ship a horse somewhere for a big race, there has to be a good reason. Trainer Greg Tracy thinks he has one with Clear the Runway.

The leading trainer at Assiniboia Downs during his short time here in 1999, Tracy is now based out of Alberta’s Northlands Park and also has a string of horses at Hastings Park in Vancouver. Originally from Victor, Montana, the 50-year-old Tracy currently leads the standings at Northlands Park and he’s in second place at Hastings Park. He was also the leading trainer at the final three Stampede Park race meetings in Alberta.

If that’s not enough reasons to take his horse Clear the Runway seriously in this year’s Manitoba Lotteries Derby, maybe Tracy just wants to complete some unfinished business after a narrow loss in the 2003 Manitoba Derby with favourite Taiaslew.

A $75,000 yearling purchase in Keeneland, Clear the Runway is owned by Riversedge Racing Stable, Ltd. Located in Alberta’s Sheep River Valley west of Okotoks, Riversedge campaigns 30-40 horses and is owned by the partnership of Norm and Margi Castiglione and Robert and Shirley Vargo. Robert Vargo is also the owner of Alberta Motor Products Ltd. in Fort McMurray.

In his most recent start, the $50,000 Ky Alta Handicap at Northlands Park going a mile, Clear the Runway finished third beaten 2 ¼-lengths by fellow Manitoba Derby entrant Up Jumps a Monster after dueling from the outside. Slated to be ridden by leading Northlands Park jockey Rico Walcott, Tracy thinks this big long-striding horse might just take to the more sweeping layout of the Assiniboia Downs oval compared to the sharp turns on the bullrings of Northlands Park and Hastings Park.

By Philip H. Iselin (G2) winner Broken Vow, sire of 2012 Illinois Derby (G3) winner Done Talking, Clear the Runway is out of a Dynaformer mare, and certainly has enough stamina in his pedigree to get the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Derby. He also arrived at Assiniboia Downs early last week in an effort to get accustomed to the surroundings.

Clear the Runway has been stabled in the barn of sharp local trainer Wade Rarick, who is friends with Tracy’s assistant trainer Matt Williams. He certainly has a talented group of connections in his corner. You just know he’ll be fit enough. Better…

Clear the Runway!

2012 Manitoba Lotteries Derby Entries