10/10/2001 11:00PM

Doutrich confident of distance


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Thurston and Hoodoo Peak look like the ones to beat in an allowance race that drew 10 3-year-olds at Hastings Park this Saturday afternoon. The 1 1/16-mile event is restricted to horses who haven't won a stakes race in 2001 and who must also have started at least once at Hastings Park.

Hoodoo Peak showed a lot of promise as a 2-year-old, and his trainer, David Doutrich, had high hopes going into his 3-year-old season. Hoodoo Peak had won the Northwest Futurity at Playfair and then closed out his year with a good third in the $130,000 Ascot Sophomore at Hastings Park. Unfortunately, he was injured while getting ready for his 3-year-old year and was turned out for most of the summer. He resurfaced in a $50,000 optional race here Sept. 29 and looked better than ever as he scored a 2 1/4-length victory over Superfly T N T in a very good 1:17 flat for the 6 1/2 furlongs.

Doutrich isn't too concerned about stretching him out after just one sprint in almost a year. "I would like to have another race into him," he said, "but he's so aggressive about everything he does that it speeds things up."

After an impressive win over $50,000 optional horses at 1 1/16 miles July 22, Thurston has competed in four straight stakes races. He ran third to I'm Free in the British Columbia Cup Stallion Stakes and then shipped to Northlands Park where he again finished third to Fancy As in the Canadian Derby. He then went unplaced in both the Emerald Downs and B.C. derbies. There should be an honest enough pace Saturday to set up his good late move.

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