05/06/2010 11:00PM

Dancing Allstar looking for a spark


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - When Terry Jordan ships a horse across the country to run in a stakes race, you'd better pay attention. In the last five years, Jordan has won with 45 percent of his stakes invaders. He will try to add to that when he runs Dancing Allstar in the $50,000 Brighouse Belles at Hastings on Sunday.

Dancing Allstar is coming off a last-place finish in the Grade 3 Whimsical at Woodbine on April 18, when she returned from an eight-month layoff. She is 0 for 4 since she captured the Whimsical in 2009.

Jordan is hoping a return to Hastings will help get her back on track. Dancing Allstar started her career at Hastings in 2007, when she won the Sovereign Award for top 2-year-old filly, and has never lost a sprint here.

Jordan was also looking for easier company Sunday, but it is hard to call it an easy spot, with Concert Music in the field. Concert Music is undefeated in three starts, including a 3 3/4-length win in a six-furlong optional claimer April 25, when she earned a career-best 89 Beyer.

"I watched Concert Music's last race, and I know we have our hands full," he said.

Jordan rarely ships his horses outside of Canada, but after Dancing Allstar had won six straight stakes in Western Canada in 2008, he sent her to Calder to run in the Grade 3 Azalea. She finished third to a very tough Indyanne, and according to Jordan, the trip took a lot out of her.

"It was a disaster," he said. "She flew out of Vancouver, and for some reason the plane had to stop in Louisville. She ended up sitting on the tarmac for about 12 hours in the blistering heat. She has never really been the same since."

Jordan, who is just coming back from a 30-day suspension because of a medication violation, will be at Woodbine to saddle Hollywood Hit in the Grade 3 Vigil. With his growing presence at Woodbine, Jordan will be spending most of his time in Ontario. Last winter, he went looking for someone to run his barn at Hastings and hired Nancy Betts, who will saddle Dancing Allstar on Sunday.

"I really didn't know her very well," Jordan said. "But I watched how her horses looked and how they ran, and she obviously knew what she was doing. Plus, everyone I talked to recommended her."

Betts, who studied under trainer Lorne Richards, began training horses on her own in the late 1980s. She has never had more than a few horses in her care before, but running a large stable seems to suit her fine. In the last five years, she has won 20 races from 83 starters, a 24 percent win rate. She has 22 horses in her barn.

"It is a challenge, but I am enjoying it," she said. "I talk to Terry every day to make sure we're on the same page, and everything seems to be going very well. It helps that I have a great team working for me."

Betts said she was happy with the way Dancing Allstar arrived.

"I had never really looked that closely at her before, and she is a big, strong mare," she said. "She's very calm and seems pretty happy to be here. She was very sharp the first day we trained her."

Maurice Doyle, her exercise rider, knows Dancing Allstar very well, and he said he thinks she will run her race Sunday. Doyle took Dancing Allstar out for an easy gallop Thursday morning.

"She was a little sharper than usual the first time we went around the track, but then she settled down nicely," he said. "It's funny. I think she's a bit bigger than the last time she was here. She certainly felt great underneath me."

Two Snow horses ready for stakes

Trainer Mel Snow pulled off upsets with a couple of 3-year-olds last weekend, and both horses will be pointed to stakes.`

Dearest Princess ($21.20) upset Otero and three other stakes winners in a classified allowance race Saturday. She should make her next start in the $50,000 Emerald Downs here for 3-year-old fillies May 24. She will go into the Emerald Downs off three straight wins.

Sense of Humor ($26.60) led from start to finish to beat even-money favorite Streakin' Mohican by a length in a similar race Sunday. He will be running in the Jim Coleman Province on June 5.

Snow wasn't surprised by their strong performances.

"They had been training very well, so I expected them to run good races," he said. "Both of them came out of their races in excellent shape, and there aren't any other options, so we were looking at stakes races for both of them."