06/06/2003 12:00AM

'Five Point' returns off short rest

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Stakes-placed Five Point Star appears to be a standout in a field of seven 3-year-olds in a $50,000 non-winners of two optional sprint Sunday.

There is a question regarding Five Point Star, however. He's coming back in just eight days following a troubled trip in the Klondike Stakes, where he finished fourth to Gamblin Caper, and it's hard to say how he'll handle the quick turnaround.

The Klondike Stakes looked like it would have a hotly contested pace between Five Point Star, Gamblin Capera, and Roscoe Pito. The expected speed duel never developed, and when Gamblin Caper held a clear advantage after a first quarter in 22.83 seconds, the race was pretty much history.

Five Point Star, who broke from the rail, had a chance to engage Gamblin Caper early, but he was forced to steady when Gamblin Caper drifted in approaching the finish line the first time around, and he never really recovered.

"It was like he never even ran," said Five Point Star's trainer, Bruce Unwin. "Following the race he was yanking me around the shed row and he cooled out as if he had just been out for a gallop."

Pedroa Alvarado rides Five Point Star on Sunday.

There's plenty of speed to run with Five Point Star during the early stages. Prince Georgi ran hooked with Gamblin Caper through fractions of 21.61 and 44.75 before understandably tiring to finish third in an optional race May 17.

Seldom Free finished second to Gamblin Caper in the May 17 race, and could be the main beneficiary if the pace is hot.