10/21/2004 11:00PM

Equipment change may be crucial

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Alabama Rain and Timeless Passion finished a nose apart when they met in the first three-turn race of the year for 2-year-olds at Hastings on Oct. 3. It could be hard separating them when they square off again in the feature race Sunday, a 1 1/16-mile allowance race that also includes CTHS Sales Stakes winner Run On.

One Special Hoss also will also have his supporters. A California-bred, Special Hoss finished a couple of lengths behind the top pair last time. He forced the early pace while going three wide, and he could be very dangerous from the rail on Saturday. Stakes-placed C J Come Home rounds out the field.

Timeless Passion, who is trained by Carl Lausten, looked like he was going to fly past Alabama Rain in their recent meeting, but he started to lug in in midstretch and his rider, Robert May, was forced to try and keep him straight. Lausten is making a small change in Timeless Passion's equipment to help alleviate the problem.

"I just opened up his blinkers a little bit," said Lausten. "That was the second time he did that, but he went straight as an arrow when we worked him the other day."

David Wilson will ride.

Run On beat Alabama Rain in the CTHS Sales Stakes Sept. 11 and then finished a troubled third behind undefeated Notis Otis in the Jack Diamond Futurity Oct. 2. He certainly acts like a horse that will live up to his name, but this is the first time he's gone farther than 6 1/2 furlongs.