05/28/2009 12:00AM

El Sinaloense begins 3-year-old season


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Juan Olmos is looking forward to what could be a big weekend at Hastings. Olmos, who owns all of the horses he trains, has three horses entered on both Saturday and Sunday. Leading the parade is El Sinaloense who will be making his 2009 debut in the third race on Sunday.

El Sinaloense won four stakes races and was the champion 2-year-old in the province last year. He closed out his juvenile campaign with a couple of poor performances, however. He finished seventh as the odds-on favorite in the Jack Diamond Futurity and then last in the $107,000 Ascot Graduation. Olmos has taken his time bringing El Sinaloense back to the races and he isn't sure what to expect on Sunday.

"He had a minor chip that we took out over the winter, so we didn't want to rush him back," said Olmos. "He's perfect now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he needed a race. I was planning to work him this weekend, but the race came up. If he runs well he will probably run back in the Sales Stakes."

Olmos was referring to the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes on June 14.

El Sinaloense has had only three works leading up to Sunday's race, but he finished very strongly when he worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 on May 24. With exercise rider April Friesen aboard, he got the last quarter-mile in 24.20 seconds. He was still full of run when he galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.40.

"That was a very good work for him," said Olmos. "It would be nice if he had another work, but he is a very lean horse and he trains pretty hard. I'm not making any predictions on how he is going to run on Sunday."

Cherokee Tear in good spot

A horse that did run a big race for Olmos is Cherokee Tear, who figures to be a short-priced favorite in the eighth race Saturday. A 5-year-old horse by Cherokee Run, Cherokee Tear was given an 89 Beyer Speed Figure for his second-place finish behind Bank Emblem in a $75,000 optional race on May 17. Bank Emblem is one of the top sprinters at Hastings and he won't be out of his element if he runs in the $50,000 John Longden on June 6.

Olmos purchased Cherokee Tear privately last year. In his only other start at Hastings, Cherokee Tear finished fourth in the Sir Winston Churchill. Cherokee Tear came up to Hastings with pretty good form from Southern California. Racing for trainer Bob Baffert, he was very competitive while facing top horses. He finished in front of Cost of Freedom in an entry-level allowance race at Hollywood Park in May and he also finished a close third behind Bullsbay for the same condition. Cost of Freedom is now a Grade 1 winner and Bullsbay won the Grade 3 Alysheba at Churchill Downs on May 1.

"I am really happy with him," said Olmos. "He came out of his last race in good shape and I think he could be a top horse here. I am expecting a big effort from him on Saturday."

Enforcement looking sharp

Olmos likes the way Enforcement is coming up to the seventh race on Saturday. Enforcement was an easy winner of a $35,000 claiming race on May 18 and he doesn't seem out of place in what appears to be a competitive field of $50,000 optional horses.

Enforcement also began his career in Southern California under Baffert. He has won three races for Olmos since he arrived here last year.

"There is a lot of other speed in the race but he doesn't need the lead and he is pretty full of himself right now," said Olmos.

Olmos missed the first 30 days of the meet because he was serving a 30-day suspension he received when one of his horses came back with an overage of carbon dioxide last year. He is starting to gear up for the summer and he is very excited about the many 2-year-olds he has in his barn.

"I have so many babies I will probably be running two of them in most of the 2-year-old races coming up," he said. "Mucho Verde might be the best one I have but it's early and there are a few of them that can run a bit."

Mucho Verde was entered in a race last weekend, but he acted up at the starting gate and was a late scratch. Olmos said the incident didn't cause any damage and that Mucho Verde would likely be entered in a race soon.