09/17/2001 11:00PM

Can 'Lightning' strike again?


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Owner Darlene Denchuk and trainer Steve Bryant are hoping that "lightning" will strike twice as they send out a formidable entry consisting of Perth Lassie and Lilsisterlightning in a $25,000 optional claiming race for fillies and mares at Hastings Park on Wednesday evening. The 6 1/2-furlong race drew eight horses.

Perth Lassie and Lilsisterlightning were also coupled when Lilsisterlightning won at this condition Sept. 9. Perth Lassie was sent right to the front and set a quick pace while Lilsisterlightning bided her time before making her move three wide on the stretch turn. Lilsisterlightning gained the lead turning for home and then held off Hoping for Fun by a neck. Lilsisterlightning was making her first start for Denchuk, who claimed her for $20,000 on Aug. 25. Sam Krasner will take over the reins for the injured Pedro Alvarado, who is expected to resume riding at the end of the month.

Perth Lassie would receive considerable support on her own merits. A speedy daughter of On Target, she has won five of 20 starts and has earned $63,465. Her most recent win was over $15,000 claimers on Aug. 15. Mark Patzer will ride.

Gypsy Romance also has good speed, and she won at this condition in her initial start of the year. That was in June, however, and she has finished up the track in two subsequent tries, both in stakes. She forced a quick pace before tiring to finish seventh in the 1 1/8-mile B.C. Cup Distaff on Aug. 6 and couldn't keep up with multiple stakes winner Grooms Derby in the 6 1/2-furlong Cover Girl on Sept. 8.