08/06/2008 12:00AM

Afleet Allstar tops speedy allowance


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Speed, speed, and more speed makes it tough to pick a winner in Friday's featured race at Hastings, a 6 1/2-furlong first-level allowance race that has a $35,000 claiming option and drew seven horses.

Afleet Allstar is the only horse not running for a price, and he also is the lone 3-year-old in the field. Trained by Terry Jordan, Afleet Allstar is coming off of a second-place finish behind The Visualiser in a similar race July 19. Like many of the horses in the field, Afleet Allstar likes to be involved early. He did, however, come from well back to finish second in a maiden special weight race earlier this year. If leading rider Mario Gutierrez can ease Afleet Allstar off what is going to be a very fast pace, he could be the winner.

Victim of Love, who is trained by Dave Milburn, led for every jump but the last when he finished second in a $25,000 claiming race on July 27. Victim of Love won four sprints in California last year, but he hasn't been able to carry his good speed all the way in five starts at Hastings. He easily has the best Beyer Speed Figures in the field, however, and he appears to be sitting on a big race.

Azkaban has won his last four starts. The bad news is that he hasn't raced since he won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on Sept. 23, 2007. One thing working in his favor is that he is capable of coming from well off the pace. If trainer Dino Condilenios has Azkaban fit enough, he could swallow what figures to be tiring speed.