07/29/2010 2:17PM

El Cugat drops in class at Hastings

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – El Cugat will try and rebound from a dull performance when he drops into a $35,000 optional claiming race in Saturday’s feature at Hastings. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up drew eight horses and goes as race 7 on an eight-race card that begins at 1:40 p.m.

Trained by Troy Taylor, El Cugat is looking for his first win since the $50,000 Chris Loseth as a 3-year-old over a year ago. He shipped to Northlands Park for his next start and after finishing last in the Count Latham was turned out for the year. This year, he has been struggling to keep up with multiple stakes winners while running in $50,000 optional races. In his latest start June  20, he set an honest pace before fading to finish ninth and last. El Cugat posted a bullet five-furlong move on July 27 and could be dangerous with the drop in class.

El Cugat is coupled with Kalookan Boss who is coming off of a fast-closing second behind Kwik in a $17,500 claiming race June 4.

Trainer Toni Cloutier has entered Meaux Power and Kwik. They ran together in a $35,000 optional race going 1 1/16 miles July 10, with Kwik coming from well off the pace to win by 4 1/2 lengths. Meaux Power had the lead at the six-furlong mark but tired to finish third. He could be the one to beat Saturday. Going into the race Meaux Power had raced just twice this year.