08/06/2010 1:16PM

Burj Dubai puts himself in Longacres Mile picture


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – According to trainer Dino Condilenios Burj Dubai has moved to the top of the list of the three horses he is pointing to the Grade 3, $250,000 Longacres Mile Aug. 22. Until recently, Teide was number one on the depth chart. Teide has been the top older horse at Hastings for the past two years, and last year he had a rough trip when he finished third in the Mile. Condilenios also nominated Almost Time to the Mile after he scored an impressive win in the B.C. Cup Sprint last Monday.

Condilenios was pleased with Teide’s six-furlong work in 1:13.80 and strong seven-furlongs gallop-out in 1:27 at Hastings Thursday. Nonetheless, Condilenios had some concerns about Teide coming up to a race that he will need to be in peak condition to win.

“It was a good work for him,” said Condilenios. “He went slow the first part but then he posted 12-second eighths the rest of the way. He just has a couple of things bothering him right now. Nothing serious, but he could be doing a little better.”

On the other hand Burj Dubai seems to be coming into his own. The problem Condilenios faces is that Burj Dubai might not have enough earnings to get into the race if more than 12 horses enter.

“Burj Dubai is a bear right now, and he is doing so well that if it meant that I had to make a choice of keeping Teide out of the race to let him in, I would do it,” said Condilenios. “That’s today, though. If Teide is back on top of his game by then, he’s definitely our first choice.”

That wouldn’t be a hard choice for Condilenios to make. Burj Dubai has been nothing less than sensational, but he has started only three times while Teide is a proven multiple stakes winner with more than $350,000 in earnings.

Condilenios also is sending Lowther Street out of town for his next start in the $75,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands Park on Aug. 21. The 1 3/8-mile Speed to Spare is one of the supporting races for the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby. Lowther Street looked sharp working six-furlongs in 1:12.20 Friday morning. He galloped out seven eighths in 1:24.80. Lowther Street is coming off of a third-place finish behind Ganbei and Burj Dubai in the $52,000 Randall Plate July 18.

“He is really coming around now and I like the way he finished up the work,” said Condilenios. “We’ll give him one more work next week, and if all goes well he should be set to go. He sure acts like a horse that will go a mile and three-eighths.”

Top fillies eye Washington Oaks

Possibly heading to Emerald for the$75,000 Washington Oaks Aug. 14 are the two top 3-year-old fillies at Hastings, Otero and Dearest Princess.

Otero, trained by Dave Forster, is definite for the Oaks. She tuned up for the race with an impressive five-furlong work in 58.40 seconds Thursday.

“What I really liked is the way she galloped out the six-furlongs in 1:11 and change,” said Forster. “I think she’s got a shot at it.

After finishing second to Dearest Princess when she stretched out to a 1 1/16 miles for the first time in the $53,000 Supernaturel July 1, Otero ran a big race to finish third behind Summer Song and Kaweah Princess when she ran against older fillies and mares in the Strawberry Morn July 17.

Forster said he would take Otero to Seattle next Tuesday to prepare her for the race.

Dearest Princess came right back to win the $50,000 B.C. Cup Dogwood last Monday. Since finishing seventh in the Sadie Diamond Futurity last year, Dearest Princess has won 5 of 6 starts and her lone loss was by a neck to Otero in the Emerald Downs here May 24.

Dearest Princess’s trainer, Mel Snow, was seriously thinking of running her back in what would be just under two weeks.

“She came out of the race in great shape, so I’ll take a look and see who nominates,” said Snow. “She’s a very solid filly and gives you a good run every time.”

Cup day handle slips

B.C. Cup Day was a big success in terms of attendance but following a trend, the handle was down roughly 10 percent from last year. In 2009 the total live handle from all sources was $1,183,901. This year the total was $1,062,846.

Part of the decline could be because of the inexperience of many of the overflow crowd that turned out last Monday. A good example of this was when a loud roar went up the second time the horses went past the finish line in the 1 3/8-mile marathon. Many in the crowd thought the race was over when there was still another lap to go.