08/14/2007 11:00PM

California invader looks sharp


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - If Taylor's Route can come close to duplicating his last race, he'll be tough to beat in the featured race at Hastings Friday. The 6 1/2-furlong $50,000 optional race for 3-year-olds drew eight horses and goes as the seventh race.

Taylor's Route, who is trained by Pete Gregory, will be making his first start outside of Southern California. He's coming off of the best race in his career, earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in a $40,000 starter race going seven furlong at Hollywood Park June 30.

Taylor's Route has had nine starts, and he's been a pretty consistent horse. It's easy to forgive his poor showing in his debut, and considering his low Tomlinson Figure for turf, it's not hard to throw out his seventh-place finish in a $40,000 route at Hollywood Park May 23. Just about any of his other races would be good enough to win Friday. Pedro Alvarado will ride Taylor's Route.

Trainer Barb Heads is hopeful that Royal Sovereign will run a much better race than in his comeback attempt when he finished last in an entry-level allowance race July 22. Royal Sovereign won the Ladnesian Stakes last year as a 2-year-old in just his second start, but he was injured and turned out for the remainder of the year. He never really picked up the bit in his first start back, but it's possible he didn't care for the sloppy track. He could rebound with a better effort over what is expected to be a fast surface Friday.