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Debate over 2017 Derby winner may not be over

Jockey Rico Walcott  on Chief Know It All came up the middle to win at the 88th running of the Canadian Derby at Northlands park in Edmonton on Saturday Aug. 19, 2017.
Jockey Rico Walcott on Chief Know It All came up the middle to win at the 88th running of the Canadian Derby at Northlands park in Edmonton on Saturday Aug. 19, 2017.
EDMONTON, Alta. —

Edmonton trainer Rod Cone has now won 927 horse races in his 50-year career as a trainer. But this is the first one that took almost two years to run and may not be over yet.

Five days before the 90th Canadian Derby is run Sunday at Century Mile, an Alberta Court Of Queen’s Bench ruling came down that ruled Double Bear had won the 2017 Canadian Derby.

It was Cone who confirmed the Alberta Queens Bench court ruling from the barns at Century Mile Wednesday morning to me at 6:30 a.m.

“The judicial review said Double Bear won, Chief Know It All was second and Trooper John third. That was my third Canadian Derby win,” Cone enthused when I contacted him early in the morning at the barns for confirmation.

“It’s my third Canadian Derby win.”

Cone won with Cozy Grey with Perry Winters riding in 1993 and with Afleets Dancer with Real Simard aboard in 1998. Dane Nelson was the jockey on Double Bear who is owned by Hal Veale of Edmonton and runs under Sycamore Stables.

“I’m sure that Robertino Diodoro connections will attempt to appeal to a higher court but it may not get past discovery,” he said of Chief Know It All’s trainer who won the race in real time and after a steward’s review.

“I don’t think this is a bad thing for horse racing,” said Cone. “Sometimes mistakes are made. You have to have a process to make it right.”

Cone still has Double Bear on the property.

“Double Bear is right in front of me. He will run in the Century Mile Handicap on Derby Day Sunday.”

Trooper John will also run in the race, ironically with Chief Know It All jockey Rico Walcott in the saddle.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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