06/23/2010 12:00AM

Condilenios scaring off stakes rivals


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Traditionally, the Lieutenant Governors headlines the Canada Day card and is one of the most important races at Hastings. Nonetheless, for a couple of reasons, it could be the least interesting of the three stakes scheduled for next Thursday. Supposedly supporting but possibly supplanting the 1 1/8-mile Lieutenant Governors are the $50,000 Supernaturel for 3-year-old fillies and the $50,000 Vancouver Sun for fillies and mares. Both races are at 1 1/16 miles.

The main reason the Lieutenant Governors might not live up to its billing is that the older handicap division at Hastings mainly consists of horses trained by Dino Condilenios and owned by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. They have nominated five horses to the race, and three of the four would likely be favored on their own merits. The second reason is that the purse was chopped by 50 percent to $50,000 a few weeks ago. If it was still worth $100,000, a few more horses may have been interested in tacking the Swift horses, but for $50,000 it is hard to say how many of the other seven horses nominated will actually enter the race.

Clearly, the leader of the Condilenios-Swift pack is Teide. Despite getting beat by his stablemate Almost Time in the John Longden, he still ranks as the top older horse on the grounds. Condilenios's main goal for Teide is the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, a race he finished an unlucky third in last year.

"I haven't made up my mind if we are going to run Teide in the Lieutenant Governors or the Randall," Condilenios said. "The Randall sets him up for the mile a lot better, but he is doing very well right now, so it might be wise to strike while the iron is hot."

The $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate runs July 18, and the Longacres Mile is just more than a month later on Aug. 22 at Emerald Downs.

Almost Time, who came close to equaling the track record for 1 1/16 miles in the Longden, is definitely going to start in the Lieutenant Governors, according to Condilenios.

Otero, 'Princess' set for rematch

The Supernaturel features a rematch between Otero and Dearest Princess. Otero beat Dearest Princess by a neck in the $51,000 Emerald Downs at Hastings on May 24, and both will be stretching out to a middle distance for the first time.

Trainer Mel Snow thinks Dearest Princess has a good chance of getting revenge.

"She's coming into the race as good as you want her to come into it," Snow said. "I think the added distance will help her, because she just keeps running and is always finishing."

One thing going for Dearest Princess is Snow's ability to get a horse to stretch out to a middle distance. Over the past five years, he has won with 28 percent of his starters trying a route for the first time in their careers.

"Maybe we just make sure they are fit enough to run that far before we go there," Snow said. "Dearest Princess is plenty fit and ready to roll."

Trainer Barbara Heads has nominated Ebony N Ice and Vying Ty Grr for the Supernaturel but was leaning toward running just Ebony N Ice. Ebony N Ice won the $103,000 Fantasy Stakes going 1 1/16 miles last year. She should be ready to stretch out after running evenly in two sprints this year. Vying Ty Grr won two sprint stakes, including the $106,000 Jack Diamond Futurity, but faded to fifth after forcing the pace as the odds-on favorite in the Fantasy. She is coming off of a third-place finish in the Emerald Downs.

"Ebony N Ice wants to go long, so we're planning on running her," Heads said. "I'm not sure about Vying Ty Grr. She came down with a virus, and we got a little behind with her. I want to make sure she is 100 percent before I stretch her out. I am going to work both of them this weekend and see how they come out of it, before I make my final decision."

Heads said another option for Vying Ty Grr is the six-furlong Chariot Chaser at Northlands Park on the same day.

Concert Music stretching out in Sun

Undefeated Concert Music heads the Vancouver Sun, and she will be stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time for trainer John Snow.

Concert Music's biggest threat could be Summer Song who finished fourth behind her in the 6 1/2-furlong Senate Appointee on June 12. Summer Song dominated the older filly-and-mare division at Northlands last year with easy wins, despite going extremely wide in the Mademoiselle and the City of Edmonton Distaff Handicap. She also ran well in her last two starts at Hastings last fall, finishing second to Blue Sky Holiday in the Delta Colleen and third in the Grade 3 Ballerina won by her stablemate Holy Nova.

"I'm looking forward to stretching her out," trainer Troy Taylor said. "She's not much of a sprinter and she ran a pretty good race last time."