05/01/2002 11:00PM

'Action' gets tested by stakes trio

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - There are three stakes winners in Saturday's Hastings Park feature, an allowance race for 3-year-old fillies, but Classy Action, an optional claiming winner on opening day, could be the favorite.

Classic Action has raced only three times but she dominated a field of straight maidens last September and followed that up with a strong showing in her first start as a 3-year-old. Dave Forster trains Classic Action, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Mighty Action, and Frank Fuentes rides.

Elana D'Amour, Shelby Madison, and Regal Heir are the stakes winners Classic Action faces in Saturday's 6 1/2-furlong race.

Last year's leading rider David Wilson was aboard Elana D'Amour when she won the Fair Lady Stakes opening day. But he's opted to ride Secondary School on Saturday. Secondary School showed a lot of potential with a 4 1/2-length win over special weight maidens in her debut April 20.

Shelby Madison closed out her 2-year-old year with a front-running win in the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy Stakes.

- Hastings Park is now owned by Hastings Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Woodbine Entertainment Group. The first step the new management has taken in trying to revitalize the sagging local horse racing industry is to offer free admission.

The first race Saturday is scheduled for 3:33 pm. But admission gates will open at 7:45 a.m. for the beginning of the Churchill Downs card, which includes the 128th running of the Kentucky Derby.

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