09/22/2010 1:31PM

Dutamis, Hampton Wick clash for fourth time in sprint feature


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Dutamis and Hampton Wick look like the main players in a $17,500 claiming race that will serve as Friday’s feature at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds drew six horses and goes as race 3 on the seven-race card that begins at 7 p.m. Pacific. This is the last Friday card at the Hastings meet that ends on Oct. 11.

Hampton Wick finished second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Dutamis when they met in a $23,000 claiming race Sept. 3. Nonetheless, Dutamis figures to be a slight favorite. In three head-to-head races, Dutamis holds an edge with two wins and he had a big excuse when he finished third in his last start. Not only did he have to deal with other speed, particularly the winner Foxcreek, his jockey, Amadeo Perez, lost his irons at the top of the stretch.

There is no way of knowing for sure that Dutamis would have finished in front of Hampton Wick, but it certainly looked like he was still eager to battle for the win when Perez wasn’t able to ride him properly. Dutamis was coming off of an eighth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay but had won his three previous sprints. He is trained by Barbara Heads.

Leading rider Richard Hamel picks up the mount from Perez, who will be riding Hampton Wick.

Trained by John Snow, Hampton Wick has finished first or second in his last four starts. He drew the rail and with his good speed he should be sitting just off of Dutamis in the early stages of the race. Hampton Wick went into his last race off a front-running win in a $12,500 claiming sprint July 31 and he lost by a nose to Dutamis for $17,500 on July 1. He started his sharp form with a win over Brymic’s Gem for $12,500 on June 5.

Bobby Handy couldn’t keep up in the Richmond Derby Trial and he should appreciate the easier company. Both of his wins, including an easy five-length romp for $25,000 on Aug. 8, were going 1 1/16 miles and he was involved right from the start. With the move to a sprint he could have a hard time dealing with considerably faster fractions.

Contreve made a late run to finish fourth in the same race Dutamis and Hampton Wick exit and could be a threat from off the pace.