10/27/2004 11:00PM

'Avalanche' appears formidable


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Avalanche Bay figures to be tough to beat in Saturday's feature race at Hastings, a 1 1/16-mile allowance race for 3-year-old fillies who haven't won a sweepstakes in 2004.

A full field of 10 fillies will line up, but half of them are coming out of the $50,000 optional race won by Avalanche Bay on Oct. 11, and she figures to get a perfect stalking trip behind a hotly contested pace.

Avalanche Bay has been consistent since arriving from Southern California this spring. She has started eight times at the meet and been off the board only once, on May 8. Avalanche Bay has been the favorite in four of her last five starts. With leading rider Pedro Alvarado getting the call from trainer Gary Demorest, a combination that has produced 22 wins from 64 starts, there's little doubt she will be the choice again.

Bullseye Bess beat Avalanche Bay in a $50,000 optional race Sept. 19, but then ran up the track in the Grade 3 B.C. Oaks six days later and tired after setting the pace in the race Avalanche Bay won earlier this month. With all of the speed in the field Saturday, Bullseye Bess figures to resort to her usual style of coming from slightly off the pace.

Flying Memo set the track record for 3 1/2 furlongs last year but has had only one start since, finishing third in a $25,000 allowance sprint at Emerald Downs on July 31.

First post for the live card is 12:33 p.m.