06/12/2008 11:00PM

Alpine Garden gets her distance


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Alpine Garden, who has never lost going around three turns, looks like the clear choice in the 1 1/16-mile Strawberry Morn Handicap at Hastings on Sunday. The $55,000 feature drew nine fillies and mares and goes as the ninth race on the 11-race card.

Alpine Garden is coming off of a fourth-place finish behind Holy Nova in the 6 1/2-furlong Senate Appointee on May 31 and she should appreciate the move to a middle distance. Trained by Terry Jordan, Alpine Garden won the Grade 3 British Columbia Breeders’ Cup Oaks in her final start of 2007, and this will be the first time she has gone farther than 6 1/2 furlongs this year.

“She really doesn’t want to sprint,” said Jordan. “The best thing I like about her Sunday is that Holy Nova isn’t running.”

Richard Hamel rides Alpine Garden, who breaks from post 3.

Alpine Garden will likely be a strong favorite in the Strawberry Morn. It’s hard to separate the remainder of the field.

Yoorock Gal and Wind Storm figure to be prominent early, but Yoorock Gal is stretching out for the first time and Wind Storm went unplaced both times she went 1 1/16 miles.

Yoorock Gal, who is trained by Rob Gilker, set the pace and then held on to finish second in the Senate Appointee.

Trained by Dave Forster, Wind Storm finished third behind Holy Nova in the six-furlong Brighouse Belles and the Senate Appointee.

Napa finished out of the money in the Senate Appointee, the first time she has not been part the trifecta since she finished fourth in the Sadie Diamond Futurity in 2006.