10/25/2007 11:00PM

Distance gives edge to Desert Alf

EmailVANCOUVER, British Columbia - A win by either Desert Alf or Star Prospector in the $100,000 Ascot Graduation at Hastings Sunday would wrap up divisional honors in the local juvenile colts and geldings division.

They are the only stakes winners in the 11-horse field and all of the horses entered will be stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

Based on breeding, Desert Alf would appear to have an edge over Star Prospector. Desert Alf is a half-brother to Spaghetti Mouse, who is a multiple graded stakes winner, and all of Spaghetti Mouse's graded wins have come at 1 1/8 miles.

On the other hand, Star Prospector's lone sibling is the stakes winner Thesaratogaexpress, who is strictly a sprinter.

Desert Alf overcame a poor start and a wide trip to win the Jack Diamond Futurity from off the pace in his last start.

Star Prospector has used his good speed to win three straight stakes races, including a win over Desert Alf in the CTHS Sales Stakes Sept. 9. There are a few horses with very good speed in the field, so the shape of the race figures to work in Desert Alf's favor.

Star Prospector can be rated, however, and he figures to get a ground-saving trip breaking from the rail.

The trainers of both are happy with the way their horses are coming into the race.

"He galloped out strongly in his work last Sunday," said trainer Ned Sams, referring to Desert Alf's five-furlong move in 1:01.80 seconds.

"Everything's good with him right now," said Terry Jordan, trainer of Star Prospector. "Hopefully he can get the distance."

Frank Fuentes rides Desert Alf and Chad Hoverson has the mount on Star Prospector.