07/16/2009 11:00PM

Gatwick goes long, faces elders

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Dino Condilenios is hoping Gatwick will prove him right when he takes on a tough field of first-level allowance horses Sunday at Hastings. Condilenios thinks Gatwick will be a much better horse going a middle distance, and he will be stretching out for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile co-feature for 3-year-olds and up that drew six horses and goes as the fourth race.

Also on the card is a first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares where B.C. Cat looks like the one to beat. It goes as the seventh race and drew six horses.

A Kentucky-bred 3-year-old colt by Speightstown, Gatwick is stepping up to face older horses that are proven at the distance. Nonetheless, Gatwick has been impressive in all three of his starts, and his long stride suggests he'll improve going longer. He came from off the pace to win a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race on July 1.

"His sire was a sprinter, but I really think he wants to go a distance," Condilenios said. "From the way he trains to the way he runs, everything points to him improving going a route of ground."

Frank Fuentes retains the mount.

Condilenios has also entered Slickster, who will likely be the one to catch. He forced a quick pace before tiring to finish third in a first-level allowance sprint July 5.

Bearempire, trained by Dale Greenwood, looks like the one to beat. He is coming off a fifth-place finish behind a couple of classy horses in a $50,000 optional claimer on July 4. The winner, Trick of the North, has won 10 races for earnings of $276,318. Ookashada, who finished third, is a multiple stakes winner of more than $356,295. Bearempire also broke a couple of steps slow, and if he leaves there running he could be tough to handle with Pedro Alvarado aboard.

Road Risk closed with good speed to finish second in the same race Slickster exits and will be stretching out for the first time this year. Trained by Rob VanOverschot, Road Risk has won two races and is eligible for the race because of a clause in the conditions that allows B.C.-breds that have never won three races.

Both of Road Risk's wins have come sprinting, but he did finish a close third to Grade 3 B.C. Derby winner Krazy Koffee in a 1 1/16-mile $75,000 optional claimer last year.