08/21/2003 12:00AM

'Elana' tries to get back on track

Email

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Two wide-open stakes headline the Hastings card Saturday. Elana d'Amour should be favored in the $40,000 Cover Girl Handicap, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, and it's anyone's guess who will be the public choice in the $40,000 S.W. Randall Plate. The 1 1/8-mile Randall Plate drew seven older horses and goes as the eighth race.

The Cover Girl starts off the card, and Elana d'Amour will try to use the Cover Girl to kick-start what has been a disappointing season. Last year she was the horse of the year in British Columbia, but in 2003 she's won only a single race and hasn't started since finishing third as the 4-5 favorite in the Brighouse Belles June 29.

Owned by Gary Mayo and trained by Joe Apperloo, Elana d'Amour will be ridden by Sam Krasner, who should have a few options with speedsters Lilsisterlightning and Grooms Derby in the field. If they both want the lead, Elana d'Amour can sit just behind them. If one of them clears early, Elana d'Amour has enough speed to join the battle early.

Lilsisterlightning won this race last year but is winless in 2003 with three second-place finishes from three starts.

Grace for You was Elana d'Amour's nemesis in 2002, but she's had only two starts this year, finishing fifth both times.

Leloup could go favored in the Randall Plate. He battled with Lord Nelson for close to a mile before tiring to finish fourth in the B.C. Cup Classic Aug. 4. The Classic was just his second start since early March and he should be a fitter horse Saturday.