06/28/2009 11:00PM

Distance the big concern for Almost Time


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Kicking off the three stakes races that support the $100,000 Lieutenant Governors at Hastings on Wednesday is the $50,000 Chris Loseth Handicap for 3-year-olds. Almost Time should be favored in the 1 1/16-mile race, which drew six horses and goes as the fifth race.

With Frank Fuentes aboard, Almost Time has won his last four races, all sprints, and he will be stretching out to a middle distance for the first time. His trainer, Dino Condilenios, isn't convinced of his ability to get the distance.

"From Day 1, Frank was pretty confident Almost Time would be able to stretch out," Condilenios said. "I hope he's right, but he is going to need to relax a bit more than he has so far."

Condilenios also has entered Beale Street, a maiden with just two starts.

"I know he wants to go long," Condilenios said.

El Cugat is a proven route horse and comes into the race off of a sharp win over Boundless Cat in a $50,000 optional race going 6 1/2 furlongs on June 14. El Cugat won the 1 1/8-mile Oregon Derby at Portland Meadows on March 16. Trained by Troy Taylor, El Cugat was a distant third to Almost Time in the Jim Coleman Province in his first start at Hastings on May 9.

Trainer Rob Gilker is hoping Tommy Danzigger has a better trip in the Loseth than he did in his second-place finish to Gotta Find Bubba in the CTHS Sales Stakes. After breaking behind the field in the Sales Stakes, he chased a fast pace while going at least three wide the whole way.

Sun: Tanika seeks first Hastings win

Tanika heads a field of seven older fillies or mares running in the $50,000 Vancouver Sun Handicap. The top older female in Alberta, Tanika will be trying for her first win at Hastings in the 1 1/16-mile Sun. She finished fourth in the 2007 Grade 3 B.C. Oaks and also was fourth in the Grade 3 Ballerina last year.

Trained by Barry Brown, Tanika beat a tough field of older males in a $40,000 classified optional claiming race at Northlands Park in her first start this year. She was upset as the odds-on choice in the Wild Rose Handicap for fillies and mares on June 14. Leading rider Fernando Perez rides Tanika.

Holy Nova won four stakes races in 2008, and she will technically be making her first start of the year. Trained by Troy Taylor, Holy Nova was slated to start in the $53,000 Senate Appointee on June 7, but she was declared a nonstarter when she reared at the break and never left the starting gate.

"The other horses have all been running, so I'm not sure if she's fit enough to win or not," Taylor said.

Blue Sky Holiday will appreciate the chance to stretch out for the first time this year. She won the 1 1/8-mile B.C. Oaks last year and also finished third when she faced older fillies or mares in the Grade 3 Ballerina.

Supernaturel: Concert Music brings streak

John Snow, who trains Blue Sky Holiday, has entered Concert Music in the 1 1/16-mile Supernaturel Handicap for 3-year-old fillies.

Concert Music is making just the third start of her career, but she was an impressive winner of both of her races and might be good enough to win what shapes up as a wide-open event.

Concert Music crushed a field of $15,000 maidens by more than eight lengths in her debut and then cruised to a six-length romp over Quillo's Intention in a $50,000 optional race May 16. Both races were at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Fernando Perez opted to ride Concert Music over Ookster, who is coming off of a game loss to Notis Her in the CTHS Sales Stakes. Notis Her also has been entered.

Fashionable Affair, who won the $108,000 Fantasy Stakes at 1 1/16 miles as a 2-year-old, could be dangerous from off the pace.