08/25/2004 11:00PM

Giesbrecht doubles his pleasure


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Last week was memorable for trainer Lance Giesbrecht. Not only did he win last Sunday's New Westminster Stakes at Hastings with Alabama Rain ($17.30), he also married his longtime partner, Kim Peacock.

"It was a wonderful week," said Giesbrecht. "It was like winning two stakes."

The 2-year-old Alabama Rain was making just his second start, but he ran like a seasoned horse. He looked comfortable sitting just behind 4-5 favorite Speed Victor and Promise One as they set moderate fractions of 22.19 and 46.10 seconds. When his jockey, Felipe Valdez, asked him to engage the leaders, Alabama Rain responded with a powerful move around the stretch turn and drew away to post a four-length win over Speed Victor.

"That was a pretty impressive race for a 2-year-old," said Giesbrecht. "I can't remember having a young horse run such a professional race in just his second start. He looks like he'll be all right."

Alabama Rain will make his next start in the CTHS Sales Stakes on Sept. 11, but isn't eligible for the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity on Oct. 2.

"There was a mix-up and his breeders forgot to make the final payment for the futurity," said Giesbrecht. "But they said that if he makes it as far as the Ascot Graduation they would supplement him for us. That will cost them $7,500, so I think that's pretty classy of them."

"It was one of those things," said Carol Anderson, who along with her husband, Bryan, bred Alabama Rain. "Usually we nominate everything, but he was in the middle of being sold and he wasn't in training at the time, so he just got overlooked. I take full responsibility, but I can tell you it won't happen again."

The Andersons had made all the early payments - mare in foal and yearling - but missed the final one, which was due March 24 and is usually made by either the trainer or owner of the horse at the time.

Giesbrecht also saddled the 7-5 favorite After the Knight in Sunday's Lassie Stakes, but she never really got involved in the race and finished sixth behind Slewpast, who was an easy 3 1/2-length winner.

Lasix benefits Slewpast

According to trainer Robbie Anderson, the addition of Lasix had a lot to do with the strong performance of Slewpast, who paid $8.50 to win as the second choice in the Lassie.

"She didn't bleed when she finished second in the Timber Music, but she did when she ran fourth in the Debutante," said Anderson. "We added Lasix for the Lassie and it seemed to do the trick. She came out of the race in good shape and we'll get her ready to run in the futurity now."

The Lasix certainly helped but so did the slow fractions Slewpast was allowed to set when After the Knight got away poorly. In the Debutante, Slewpast was hooked every step of the way while posting early fractions of 22.07 and 45.79. In the Lassie she had a comfortable lead after a half-mile in 46.20, and it's not surprising she had a lot left when jockey Frank Fuentes asked her at the quarter pole.

Mandi Tambi made a big move to get up for second. Like Alabama Rain, Carol and Bryan Anderson bred her.

"It was probably bad timing, but we actually sold both mares last year," said Carol Anderson, no relation to Robbie Anderson. "But we've brought in some nice ones from Kentucky, and with the slots going in we're looking to continue expanding."

Hastings represented in derby

Jockeys Chris Loseth, Robert Skelly, and David Wilson will be absent Saturday. All three are riding in the $250,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park. Wilson is also riding Hanselina in the Edmonton Distaff.

Five horses based at Hastings have been entered in the derby but they figure to have their hands full if Organ Grinder, who posted a 103 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine, runs his usual race.