10/20/2004 11:00PM

Blowin in the Wind gets over stakes hump

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - After coming so close in the 2002 British Columbia Derby, the 2003 Premiers, and more recently the S.W. Randall Plate, Blowin in the Wind finally won a stakes race. Like most of his races, it was a close finish, but this time he was on the right end of the photo when he beat Illusive Force by a neck in the Grade 3, 1 3/8-mile Premiers last Sunday at Hastings.

Blowin in the Wind was bred in Kentucky by his owner and trainer David Forster.

"He's kind of a third generation Forster," he said. "I owned his grand-dam, who I bought in foal out of Kentucky. I was looking for a mare to breed with Wander Kind that would give me a Nasrullah-Princequillo cross. She produced a few winners, but the best one was Stray, who won a couple of stakes and has turned into an excellent broodmare."

Blowin in the Wind was Stray's first stakes winner, but all six of the horses she has produced are winners, and two of her foals, Streets of Laredo and Red River Valley, were stakes placed. The way Blowin in the Wind had been going it looked like he might never win a stakes either.

"It was a bit frustrating," Forster said. "A jump here or there and I would have been a lot richer. But you need some luck to win a graded stakes, and this time it went his way."

There's no question that luck and a very good ride by Robert Skelly had a lot to do with the win by Blowin in the Wind. "Dylan," as Blowin in the Wind is called in the Foster shedrow, saved ground most of the way. When the rail opened up on the stretch turn, Skelly eased him through and they had just enough to edge Illusive Force after a stretch-long duel.

"I had a perfect trip," Skelly said. "I could have easily got stopped, but luckily things opened up for me and he really dug in when he got his head in front of Illusive Force turning for home."

It was Skelly's first graded stakes win.

"That was very sweet," he said. With no races left for him at Hastings, Blowin in the Wind has been shipped to the Forster's farm for the winter and will resume training next year.

Illusive Force was sent off as a slight favorite over Royal Place, and according to his rider, David Wilson, "He ran a good race but just got outrun."

Royal Place had a rough trip and finished third. He broke sharply but ended up being trapped on the rail for most of the race and didn't get out until it was too late.

"I should have got him off of the rail earlier," jockey Pedro Alvarado said. Considering the way the race unfolded, Alvarado was being a bit hard on himself, since it is difficult to find a spot where he could have gotten off the rail.

Shacane, trained by Toni Cloutier, figured to be one of the favorites, but he came down with a fever the day of the race and was a late scratch.

"He was just a dead horse when I went to gallop him in the morning," assistant trainer Mark Cloutier said. "We took his temperature, and it was 104. He's still a little dull, but his temperature is down so we'll look at running him once more at the meet. He's eligible for a restricted allowance race Nov. 14, and he should be a hundred percent by then."

See Me Through scores easily

While Alvarado had a tough time of it in the Premiers, it couldn't have gone much smoother for him aboard See Me Through in the Grade 3 Ballerina Breeders' Cup on Saturday. Allowed to cruise through very slow early fractions of 23.28 and 47.87 seconds, See Me Through had enough left to maintain her 3 1/2-length lead through the stretch. A daughter of Sky Classic, See Me Through is trained by Cindy Krasner.

"It's been quite an adventure bringing her up to her races," Krasner said. "She has all the talent in the world, but she doesn't seem to retain anything she learns. Every time she runs it's like starting over. You have to run her through the whole routine or she seems completely lost out there."

Krasner said See Me Through is headed to Bay Meadows to try the turf.

"She still has conditions, and she's bred to run on grass, so Mike wanted to give her a shot down there," she said. "She'll be trained by Chuck Peery."