06/07/2001 11:00PM

Can Rampaging Alf carry speed a route?


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - There's not much doubt that Rampaging Alf can sprint; he was named champion sprinter in British Columbia last year. But in Sunday's John Longden 6000 he will be trying to carry his speed 1 1/16 miles.

It won't be an easy task, with speedsters Lord Nelson and King Jeremy also in the race.

Rampaging Alf is trained by Terry Jordan, but because of his involvement in a hotel development in Beijing, China, he has been sharing the training duties with Pete Gregory. "He's not gone that often but we didn't have many horses to run lately so he took the opportunity to see how things are going in China," said Gregory. "He'll be back sometime today, [Friday] and he'll be on hand to saddle Alf on Sunday."

Rampaging Alf will be making his first start at Hastings Park since winning a 6 1/2-furlong allowance last September in 1:15.79 seconds, a couple of ticks off of the track record of 1:15. Following that, he went to Southern California, where he didn't have much success in stakes company, but he did win an $80,000 claiming race going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf last November. He started out this year with a second to Handy N Bold in the six-furlong Seattle Handicap at Emerald Downs April 29 but followed that up with disappointing race in the 6 1/2-furlong Fox Sports Handicap, also at Emerald.

"We really though he was going to win the Fox," said Gregory. "He was training beautifully, but we tried to take him back off of the pace and he lost interest early. He had also worked a quick five furlongs close to the race, and it might have taken a bit of the edge off of him."

Rampaging Alf has won at 1 1/16 miles but not since he was a 2-year-old. Gregory, who trained B.C. Derby winners Boulight and Ever Steady, is not convinced that Rampaging Alf really wants to go this far. "I'm not sure," he said. "The only time he won at the distance he had an easy time of it on the lead. This will be a big test for him but he couldn't be training any better and he shouldn't have any excuses. If he doesn't run a big race Sunday we'll probably have to rethink our options with him."

Another horse who is questionable at the distance is Colors of the Wolf. He only has tried three turns a few times in his career and his best finish was a third in the Honk Kong Jockey Club last year. "I think he can go a distance of ground," said his trainer, Rick Kamps. "For some reason or other, I've never really been able to point him towards a race that was further than 6 1/2 furlongs. But we've been aiming for this race and he should run big."

Colors of the Wolf has never been beaten on a wet track, and Kamps doesn't mind the forecast that is calling for rain this weekend. "The track has been pretty cuppy lately and has really favored front runners," he said. "Look at the Victoria Day, they went 44 (seconds) and change and kept on going. When it gets a little wet, it holds together better, and horses like Colors of the Wolf have a much better chance."

o Mark Patzer will have fond memories when he rides the 12-year-old horse Designated Todrive in the sixth race Sunday. Patzer, who returned to the saddle after a ten-year absence, was aboard Designated Todrive when he won the 1991 Jack Diamond Futurity. Patzer, currently fourth in the jockey standings and third in money won, has changed agents. Travis "Trapper" Barroby will now handle his book. Barroby also takes calls for leading rider Pedro Alvarado and apprentice Mario Velazquez.