06/11/2003 11:00PM

'Craig' tries to stretch his speed hastings


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Sprint stakes winner Commodore Craig will try to carry his speed 1 1/16 miles in Saturday's $45,000 John Longden 6000 at Hastings Park. He will face five other older horses, with Silver Donn and Irish Pleasure his most notable opponents.

Commodore Craig is certainly bred to go a middle distance. His sire, Vying Victor, won more than a half-million dollars in route races. His dam, Sophie J, was a champion in British Columbia and beat older mares as a 3-year-old in the nine-furlong Ballerina. But Commodore Craig's third to Shacane in the Jim Coleman Province Stakes was his best finish in three starts at a route last year at 3.

"He's more settled as a 4-year-old," trainer, Robbie Anderson said. "I'm not positive that he'll go this far, but when he got behind horses last year he wanted to run over top of them, and this year it doesn't seem to bother him."

Commodore Craig has had two starts this year. He finished a close fourth to Diglett in the George Royal Stakes May 10 and lost by a neck to Bold 'n Keen in the Hong Kong Jockey Club May 31. Chris Loseth rides.

There's not much doubt that Commodore Craig will be in front early in the race, and it will be up to Silver Donn to keep him honest.

Silver Donn won two middle-distance stakes as a 3-year-old in 2002 and finished third in the Grade 2 B.C. Derby. He ran ninth in the George Royal in his only start this year, but has been impressive in his workouts leading up to the Longden and could rebound in a big way. He's trained by Robert Rohman and will be ridden by Pedro Alvarado.