05/25/2010 11:00PM

Forster thinks Otero can deal with distance


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Dave Forster reported that Otero came out of her win over Dearest Princess in the $51,000 Emerald Downs at Hastings on Monday in good shape and will be pointed to the $50,000 Supernaturel Stakes on July 1. The 1 1/16-mile Supernaturel will be the first middle-distance stakes race for 3-year-old fillies at Hastings this year.

Forster doesn't think the added distance will be a problem for Otero.

"She runs like she'll go long and she also has the pedigree," said Forster.

Otero is by Honour and Glory, winner of the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. She is the first foal out of the Dance Brightly mare Divot Doll.

Forster paid $14,000 when he bought her for the Tres Hombres stable at the Keeneland fall sale in 2008. He went to the sale hoping to buy a half-sister to Senor Rojo, a 4-year-old he trains who is stakes placed and has earned more than $100,000.

"Kenneth McPeek bought her for $80,000," said Forster. "That was about $50,000 more than I was willing to spend. She turned out to be a pretty nice filly, too. She won her first start by over seven lengths and then only got beat by just over four lengths in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies."

Connie and Michael is her name, and she also placed in the Grade 3 Miesque when she ran on turf for the first time at Hollywood Park. She recently won a first-level allowance race at Keeneland May 20.

Forster would have liked to have given Otero a shot going around three turns in the $100,000 Fantasy Stakes last year, but the long wait between her win in the Lassie on Aug. 26 and the Fantasy on Oct. 24 proved to be frustrating.

"I was a pretty angry trainer at the spacing of the races for her," he said. "At least they listened to some of us and have changed the schedule for 2-year-old fillies this year. Now it's just a month between races for non-B.C.-breds, and that is certainly manageable. It was just too long to keep her in training for one race last year."

There won't be any problems finding races for Otero this year, and the ultimate goal is the $100,000 B.C. Oaks Sept. 25. Forster has won the race four times.

"It would have been five, but Magic Code had a terrible trip," said Forster. "I ran her back in the Ballerina and she beat the older mares."

Forster has won the Washington Oaks a couple of times. His son, Grant Forster, has also had success in the most important race for 3-year-old fillies at Emerald Downs.

"Grant also won the Washington Oaks three times," said Forster. "Between us we won five of the first 10 Oaks at Emerald."

Frank Fuentes has been aboard for all four of Otero's races -- three wins -- and he likes the way she has matured.

"She has a lot of speed, but she didn't break that sharply in her first race this year and she wasn't comfortable having dirt hitting in her face," said Fuentes. "We took her back in the Emerald and she relaxed beautifully. Also, when I tapped her left-handed she switched leads immediately and really took off. She seems really versatile now, and that's certainly going to help her when she stretches out."

Knight Raider headed to Irish Day Handicap

Emerald-based Knight Raider had a wide trip while finishing sixth as the 7-5 favorite in the Emerald Downs. Her trainer, Doris Harwood, said she came out of the race in excellent shape and will be pointed to the one-mile $50,000 Irish Day Handicap at Emerald on June 6.

"She didn't have the best trip, but that's racing," said Harwood. "At least she got a lot out of the race and she should be set up pretty nicely to go a mile."

Olmos has two more hot young ones

If history repeats itself, owner-trainer Juan Olmos has the local 2-year-old champion in his barn. For the past two years 2-year-olds trained by Olmos were voted the top 2-year-old in the province -- El Sinaloense in 2008 and Huitzilopochtli last year. He unveiled a couple of quick ones last Saturday, and both Chac Mool and Nezahualcoyotl appear to have bright futures.

They made their debuts in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race, and it looked like Chac Mool was shot out of a cannon when he left the starting gate well in front of the rest of the field with Isaias Cardenas aboard. Chac Mool cruised to an easy win over Misty Memory with Nezahualcoyotyl checking in third.

Olmos doesn't have anywhere to run Chac Hool until the New Westminster Stakes on

August 26.

"He came out of the race in good shape, but he's a Kentucky-bred, so he can't run on B.C. Cup Day," said Olmos. "I'll just take it easy on him for a while."

Nezahualcoyotl might have been second with a better start, and he also looked a bit intimidated being stuck on the inside of Misty Memory at the top of the stretch.

"He ran a good race," said Olmos. "We'll look for another maiden race for him and then take a look at the Nursery on B.C. Cup Day."

Olmos won the Nursery with El Sinaloense and Huitzilopochtli.

"I've also got a couple of other pretty fast 2-year-olds in my barn," he warned.