11/28/2002 1:00AM

'Cove' goes after fifth straight win


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The amazing Smugglers Cove will try to win her 10th race of the Hastings meet in a $32,000 optional sprint for fillies and mares Saturday. There should be plenty of pace to set up her good late move, and she figures to be a prohibitive favorite.

Smugglers Cove, who is owned by Canada West Ranches and trained by Harold Barroby, started her current four-race win streak with a 1 1/2-length decision over Bear Claw in a $25,000 claiming race Oct. 5. She came right back for the same price Oct. 26 and then moved up to beat $35,000 optional horses Nov. 3, a race in which she surprisingly wasn't the favorite, and paid a generous $7.20. Bettors didn't make the same mistake twice, sending Smugglers Cove off as the 1-2 choice in a $35,000 optional race Nov. 17. She got up in the last jump to win by a head over Miss Naab.

Smugglers Cove, with David Wilson aboard, should get a perfect trip Saturday. All six of the other horses entered do their best running on or near the lead, and with the extremely fast Unpredictable K D in the race the interior fractions will be brutal.

Unpredictable K D will be making her first start since being claimed by owner-trainer Jean Spence for $32,000 Oct. 20. In most of her races this year she has cracked 22 seconds for the first quarter-mile, and that doesn't happen very often on the about five-furlong Hastings oval. Unpredictable K D has won twice at the meet, both times over $25,000 claiming 3-year-olds. She will be ridden by Frank Fuentes.

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