05/31/2006 11:00PM

Full fields and good quality, too


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - In terms of the total number of horses entered, Saturday's card at Hastings has to be considered one of the best seen here in recent years. All nine of the races have at least 10 horses. Although there are no stakes races, the quality of racing is decent, and either the seventh or eighth race would serve as an excellent feature.

The seventh is an entry-level $50,000 optional claiming sprint for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. It has a good mix of proven horses, such as Arizona Drifter, who is stakes-placed, and potential stars, like Stole Another, who looked very impressive winning a maiden special weight race May 14.

It's possible that Stole Another, trained by Tracy McCarthy, will end up being the favorite in what appears to be a very contentious race.

A Kentucky-bred, Stole Another has started twice. In his debut he ran evenly to finish fourth but was moved back to fifth when the stewards ruled that he came out at the top of the stretch and interfered with another horse. Blinkers and Lasix were added for his second start and he ran like a seasoned pro, stalking a quick pace and then drawing away to an easy 2 3/4-length win. David Wilson will ride Stole Another.

The eighth race, a $35,000 optional race at 1 1/16 miles that drew 12 older horses, also appears to be wide open, with possible favoritism going to the Budget Stable-owned entry of Valiant Edge and Next Trieste.