08/04/2006 12:00AM

Entregada takes big class jump


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Handicappers have some of intangibles to mull over when they try to determine who is going to win Sunday's third race at Hastings. The $35,000 optional race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles drew six horses who appear to be well matched.

The first and toughest questions to answer are: Just how good is Entregada right now, and will she be able to handle the jump into a much tougher spot after winning two straight conditional claiming races? Entregada won an $8,000 nonwinners-of-two claiming race on June 17 and was claimed out of the race by trainer Janet Armstrong on her own behalf. Armstrong ran Entregada back in a $20,000 nonwinners of three on July 9, which she won by a convincing three lengths. Entregada has tactical speed and should get a good trip from her inside post with Mario Gutierrez aboard.

It's hard to say how the race will develop. Celtic Wisdom, trained by Barb Heads, has excellent speed but broke poorly when she ran in a similar race on July 15 and never really got involved. If she breaks alertly, she could be long gone. David Wilson rides.

Promise One, also trained by Heads, could be the favorite off her second-place finish in a similar race on July 15. She followed the winner, Potion, all the way around the track. A similar scenario could unfold here if Avalanche Bay doesn't go with Celtic Wisdom early.

La Belle Fleur could be dangerous if a speed duel develops up front.