08/21/2003 11:00PM

Devilastro has tough assignment


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Devilastro goes for his third straight win in the feature race at Hastings, a $35,000 optional sprint for 3-year-olds and up that drew nine horses.

Devilastro, who is trained by Dino Condilenios, has been a gem of consistency for his owner, Cavalli Meadows. Dating back to last August, the 6-year-old gelding has finished first or second in his last eight starts. He was an easy winner for $25,000 July 26, and while he's facing a significantly tougher group of horses Sunday, he could be up to the task at hand.

He's led from gate to wire in most of his wins, and although he won't likely be in front here, he's also come from slightly off the pace.

Felipe Valdez has been aboard for his last four wins and retains the mount.

Irish Eh will probably be the one Devilastro will have to stalk or, possibly, go head-to-head with. Irish Eh was a heavy favorite to win at this level Aug. 9, but succumbed to pace pressure to finish fourth behind Blowin in the Wind. His only win this year was in his previous start, also a $35,000 optional sprint, July 20. Irish Eh races for K.K. Sangara and is trained by Harold Barroby.

Hollywood Sunset is the most intriguing horse in the race. He started his career at Hollywood Park in April 2002, finishing fourth in a maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds and up. He didn't make his next start until Aug. 3 this year and he showed some talent with an easy 6 1/4-length win over no-tag maidens at Assiniboia Downs. This is obviously a big step up but he's a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Vivid Angel and just might be good enough.