06/22/2006 11:00PM

Forster looks to get one in win column


AUBURN, Wash. - Time and chance happeneth to all men, according to the Bible, and so do losing streaks. Just ask Dave Forster, who has ranked among the most successful trainers in the Northwest for the past 50 years.

Forster, who turned 70 last month, has saddled 131 stakes winners at Hastings, where he bases his string, and he has shipped to Emerald Downs for another 21 stakes wins and to the Canadian prairie tracks for dozens more.

None of that has prevented Forster from starting his 2006 campaign 0 for 37, which he finds galling but not discouraging.

"I've been down this road a few times before, so I don't worry about it too much," he said. "I always hope to win with my first starter of the year, so then I know I won't get skunked. But so much of this game depends on luck, and you just have to ride out the bad times. One year I didn't get my first win until Aug. 6, but I ended the Hastings meet as the second-leading trainer with 10 stakes wins. I'm hoping for something like that to happen again."

Forster can begin to turn things around on Sunday, when he sends out Langara Lass in Emerald's $40,000 Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at a mile. Langara Lass, a daughter of Langfuhr and Washington Oaks winner Capilano, won three stakes at Hastings last year en route to being named British Columbia's best 2-year-old filly. She began this year's campaign with a good third in the Supernaturel Stakes, then came back to run an even fourth in the Langley Handicap on May 20, both at 6 1/2 furlongs.

"She came out of her last race with mucus in her throat, and I think that explains why she was a little dull that day," said Forster. "She is doing fine now, and I think the mile distance suits her a lot better than 6 1/2 furlongs. Her mother ran well over this track and so did her sister, Overact, so I'm optimistic that she will run well."

Diamond Dollars perfect at Emerald

Langara Lass will be trying to catch Diamond Dollars on Sunday, and if she can, she will be the first horse to do so at Emerald Downs. After being claimed by Ron Whited's K J Star Stable for a mere $12,500 at Sunland Park in April, Diamond Dollars has posted three straight wire-to-wire victories over this track. She beat $25,000 maidens by seven lengths in 1:08.20, equaling the fastest six-furlong time ever posted at Emerald Downs by a filly or mare. She then won the 6 1/2-furlong Federal Way Handicap by 10 lengths in 1:15.60 before establishing her route credentials with a 1 1/4-length victory over allowance rivals at a mile on June 10, when she got the distance in 1:36.40.

"I was happy to get that allowance race into her," said Bill Tollett, who trains Diamond Dollars. "I think it showed she can route. I was a little worried when She's All Silk came up to her in the stretch, but she responded to the challenge and she was actually drawing away again at the finish."

Pat Mullens, who trains She's All Silk for owner Ed Zenker, saw the stretch run of the allowance race a little differently.

"If you watch the replay, you'll see that she pricked her ears when she came to Diamond Dollars," said Mullens. "I have no idea why she did that, but she kept her ears pricked for about 15 strides before she dropped her head and got to running again. I'm tempted to put earmuffs on her for this race, but I'm reluctant to do that because she is by Delineator. The Delineators can be temperamental, and the less equipment you put on them the better off you are."

She's All Silk was making only her second start of the year when she lost to Diamond Dollars, but Mullens declined to use that as an excuse.

"I thought she was ready to go a mile, so I'm not sure I can expect her to improve because she is fitter this time," he said. "The thing that could help her to run better is to break better. She ducked out at the break last time and she had to come from a little farther back than she likes. Speed is her game, so that hurt her quite a bit. If she breaks better on Sunday, I think she'll be very tough."

Chestnut Lady getting into stride

The X-factor in the Irish Day might be Chestnut Lady, who won last year's Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at a mile and began her 3-year-old campaign with a fast-finishing second to Devons Smokin in the six-furlong U. S. Bank Stakes. She came back to run an uncharacteristically dull fifth after chasing the pace of Diamond Dollars in the Federal Way Handicap, however.

"I really think she was just too close to the pace that day," said Kay Cooper, assistant to trainer Jim Penney. "Her best game is to come from farther back."

Cooper's husband, exercise rider Bryson Cooper, feels he has made progress in getting Chestnut Lady to relax and settle.

"I worked her seven furlongs last Saturday, and it was her best work this year," he said. "She really relaxed nicely and she finished strong. If she runs her race the way she worked, I think you'll see the real Chestnut Lady on Sunday."