06/05/2008 11:00PM

Dancing Allstar may take on boys in Alberta Derby

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Terry Jordan indicated from Woodbine on Friday morning that he is leaning toward running Dancing Allstar against the boys in the $125,000 Alberta Derby next Saturday at Stampede Park. Jordan was in Ontario to oversee True Metropolitan's final bit of training leading into the Grade 3, $150,000 Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine next Saturday.

Dancing Allstar also is nominated to the $75,000 Penny Ridge for 3-year-old fillies at Stampede Park next Sunday. The difference in the size of the purse and the amount of weight Dancing Allstar would carry in the Penny Ridge are the main reasons Jordan is seriously thinking of the Alberta Derby for his sensational filly.

"The weight more than anything," Jordan said. "In the derby, she only carries 116 pounds. The Penny Ridge is a handicap, and the last time she ran in Alberta she carried 124 pounds and won easily. The weights aren't out yet, but I would guess they are going to give her 126 or 127 pounds. That's a lot of weight for a 3-year-old filly to be carrying this time of year. The extra $50,000 for the derby is obviously a factor in the decision."

Jordan wasn't complaining about the weight. After all, Dancing Allstar was the champion 2-year-old filly in Canada in 2007, and she toyed with her opponents in both of her starts this year. She led every step of the way in the $53,000 Mount Royal at Stampede on May 4 and then was never really asked for her best when she cruised to a 3 1/4-length win in the $53,000 Emerald Downs at Hastings on May 17. Dancing Allstar was given an 88 Beyer Speed Figure for her win in the Emerald Downs and would go into the derby with the best last-race Beyer. Her average figure also is higher than most of the potential starters have ever earned.

"I'm not sure what kind of horses she'll be facing," Jordan said. "All I know is that she is a very nice horse. She came out of her last start in great shape and she worked super last weekend."

Last Sunday, Dancing Allstar turned in a five-furlong move in 1:01.20.

Dancing Allstar is on a five-race win streak and has only lost twice in nine career starts. Her total earnings are $369,500. Looking at the potential field for the Alberta Derby, there's a good chance Dancing Allstar would be the favorite.

Condilenios pleased with Harlem

At least half the field for the Alberta Derby will consist of horses based at Hastings.

Along with Dancing Allstar, Arkhill, Harlem, Peaceful Turzia, Royal Hudson, and Savo Island are all expected to make the trip across the Rocky Mountains.

Actually, Harlem, who is trained by Dino Condilenios, just arrived at Hastings after five starts in Southern California. Condilenios scratched him out of a race at Hastings last weekend, and he likes the way Harlem is training going into the derby.

"He's fine, but it would have been asking lot to run him last weekend and then bring him back for the derby," he said. "I really like the way he's been galloping here."

Harlem was previously trained by Carla Gaines. A Kentucky-bred gelding by Fusaichi Pegasus, Harlem won a $75,000 maiden race at Santa Anita on March 31 and then finished sixth when he faced $80,000 entry-level optional horses on the turf at Hollywood Park on May 8.

According to Condilenios, Gaines was pretty high on Harlem.

"Carla told me he was a really, really nice horse," Condilenios said. "She has trained a few good ones in her career, so she should know what she's talking about."

Peaceful Turzia a puzzler in morning

Peaceful Turzia is a tough one to figure. A 3-year-old gelding by Taskmaster, Peaceful Turzia has won both of his starts at Hastings, including the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province on May 18. Since then he has worked four furlongs twice, each time barely qualifying to make the work tab in 54 seconds flat.

"He just won't work," trainer Troy Taylor said. "I don't know why, but he's been like that since we've had him. He gallops hard enough, so he should be fit enough for the derby."

Taylor will have a busy weekend in Alberta. Along with Peaceful Turzia, Taylor will saddle Heaven on Hold in the Penny Ridge.

Taylor also said that Holy Nova came back a "little tired" after winning the 6 1/2-furlong Senate Appointee Stakes last Saturday, but that she would probably be okay to run in the $50,000 Strawberry Morn next Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile Strawberry Morn is the first middle-distance stakes race for fillies and mares at Hastings.

Juan Gutierrez out with injury

Apprentice jockey Juan Gutierrez will be out of action for at least six weeks with a broken collarbone, according to his agent, Wayne Snow. Gutierriez, the younger brother of leading rider Mario Gutierrez, was injured after being thrown off Good Thinking when she was pulling up after winning the fourth race last Sunday. He had been off to a good start at the meet, with two wins from his first nine starts at Hastings.