06/17/2005 12:00AM

'Alabama' stands out in stakes


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Alabama Rain stands out in Sunday's $40,000 CTHS Sales Stakes, colt and gelding division, at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong feature drew six horses.

Trained by Lance Giesbrecht, Alabama Rain has won $154,896, more money than the combined total of the other five horses in the field. He won two stakes as a 2-year-old, and is coming off a courageous effort where he took the worst of it, finishing second in the 1 1/16-mile Burnaby Breeders' Cup on June 5. Stuck behind a wall of horses heading into the second turn, Alabama Rain was forced to go at least four wide around the turn. When he found clear sailing, he put in a prolonged and determined bid to miss by three-quarters of a length to Spaghetti Mouse. If he doesn't bounce, he will be very tough to beat Sunday. Pedro Alvarado rides.

No Sox Fox, trained by Bob Rohman and ridden by leading apprentice Justin Stein, has the best Beyer Speed Figure at the distance. He earned it in his latest start, a win over Cahill Ruler in a $50,000 optional race May 28. Nevertheless, in his two career wins he has had the lead to himself, and it's hard to see that scenario being played out here.

Trainer Don Morison has entered a couple of maidens, Fraserview and Forecaster, and both have excellent speed. Forecaster looks like the better of the two. In his lone start in 2005, he finished a close second to Sungold in a maiden special weight race on May 23.