10/25/2006 11:00PM

Chelsey's Image vs. Suva IV


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Chelsey's Image or Suva would wrap up local divisional honors with a win in the $75,000-added Fantasy Stakes at Hastings Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile feature for 2-year-old fillies drew eight horses, including Alberta stakes winner Dawn of Fame.

Chelsey's Image has the edge over Suva going into the Fantasy. They've met three times, with Chelsey's Image winning twice, including a narrow victory over Suva in the Sadie Diamond Futurity Sept. 30. Chelsey's Image also beat Suva in the B.C. Cup Debutante, but lost to her in the CTHS Sales Stakes.

Neither horse has ever been worse than second.

Trained by Gary Demorest, Chelsey's Image finished second to subsequent stakes winner Born to be Bad when she debuted in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race June 17. Since then, all of her starts have been in stakes races, beginning with the Timber Music July 8.

There doesn't appear to be a lot of speed in the field and that could give a slight edge to Chelsey's Image, who figures to be on or just off the lead.

"I'm not sure if she'll be in front early or not," said Demorest. "We'll leave that up to her rider."

Demorest was referring to jockey Anderson Ward.

Suva, who is trained by Steve Henson, might have won the Sadie Diamond Futurity if she hadn't lugged in during the stretch drive. A half-sister to multiple route stakes winner La Belle Fleur, Suva shouldn't have any trouble with the move to a middle distance. Suva made a strong impression when she won six-furlong maiden special weight race in her debut Sept. 4, and she came back with another strong effort to finish second in the B.C. Cup Debutante Aug. 7.

Pedro Alvarado rides Suva.

Dawn of Fame won the one-mile Freedom of the City Stakes at Northlands Park Oct. 7, and is the only horse in the field to have gone around three turns. Trained by Bruce Phelan, Dawn of Fame won a $27,500 maiden claiming race by 11 lengths and then ran second in the Bird of Pay prior to her stakes win.

Africameetsindia finished a fast-closing third in the Sadie Diamond, and being a half-sister to 1997 Fantasy winner Ajmaer, she should appreciate the extra distance. She came from off the pace to win a $35,000 maiden claiming race Sept. 4 and would appear to need a lively pace to have any kind of chance on Saturday.