08/18/2004 11:00PM

Five Point Star speed of the Speed


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - With no other speed to run with him early, Five Point Star will be very tough to handle in the $40,000 Hastings Speed Handicap on Saturday. It would be a different story if Deputy County were to start, but he's been entered only in case he encounters problems at the Unites States border when he heads to Emerald Downs to run in the Longacres Mile Sunday.

Five Point Star, who will be ridden by Pedro Alvarado, battled through extremely fast fractions and still had enough left to hold off the late runs of Silver Donn and Bold 'n Keen in the British Columbia Cup Sprint Handicap Aug. 2. Both Silver Donn and Bold 'n Keen have been entered here, but it's hard to see either of them putting any real pressure on Five Point Star early in the 6 1/2-furlong race.

A 4-year-old gelding, Five Point Star is also a fresh horse and this will be just his third start at the meet. He moved over to leading trainer Dino Condilenios's barn prior to the B.C. Cup Sprint, and Condilenios is hopeful that Five Point Star will repeat his impressive performance.

"You never know how they'll run back following a big race like that," he said. "A lot of times horses will bounce, and that's certainly a concern. But he seems pretty sharp and he's eating everything we feed him, so I'm expecting him to run a good race."

Commodore Craig should be the closest to Five Point Star during the early stages. The consistent but win-shy gelding has hit the board in 19 of 23 starts and it looks like he'll have to settle for a minor share again.