07/10/2003 11:00PM

Gift horse better than she looks


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Terry Clyde said she thinks she has a good chance to win her first stakes race as a trainer at Hastings with Perfect Illusion in Sunday's Timber Music Stakes.

The Timber Music is the first stakes race at the meet for 2-year-old fillies. Also Sunday is the initial stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings, the Ladnesian. Each race will be contested over 6 1/2 furlongs and is worth $35,000.

Perfect Illusion, who will be ridden by Cyatano Chaparro, was an easy five-length winner in her debut June 21, and while the time was mediocre for the 3 1/2 furlongs, 41.30 seconds over a track rated good, she won with plenty left. She has had two strong five-furlong works since her win and Clyde said she thinks she's coming up to the race in excellent shape.

"She's really mature and her shins have stayed good," Clyde said. "I wasn't planning on running her here - the Sales Stakes and Futurity are her main goals - but she's doing so well I thought I would give her a try against open company."

Perfect Illusion was given to her owner, Tina Haas, as a birthday present from her father. Haas works as a groom for trainer Juan Lara Olmos.

"Dad bought her for $1,200 after she didn't reach her reserve in last year's sale," she said. "She's been a pretty nice present."

The likely favorite in the race will be Stole One, who blistered 3 1/2 furlongs in 40 seconds when she won over no-tag maidens on May 25.

Louis Downtown, who beat Stole One in his debut May 11, and first-time starter Lord Samarai look like the main players in the Ladnesian.