05/31/2006 11:00PM

Halo Steven eyes trip to Alberta


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - If Halo Steven, who is trained by Terry Jordan, runs a good race in the 1 1/16-mile Jim Coleman Province Stakes at Hastings on Sunday, he will likely join his stablemate, My Guy, in the $125,000 Alberta Derby at Stampede Park on June 17. My Guy has won the last two stakes races for 3-year-olds in Alberta, and Jordan said he thinks that Halo Steven is just as good as My Guy - possibly better. Both horses are owned by Marta Racing Ventures, and if Jordan is correct, they will form a formidable entry.

Halo Steven makes his first start at Hastings and comes into the Coleman off a sharp win in a 6 1/2-furlong, $40,000 starter allowance race at Santa Anita on April 15. He was awarded a 94 Beyer Speed Figure for his 1 3/4-length win over Senator Matty, a number that compares favorably to the 75 that Potrero Station earned for his win in the Klondike Stakes here on May 6.

Along with his hefty Beyer Figure, Halo Steven has been keeping good company in Southern California. He finished second to Sam's Ace in a starter race at Santa Anita on Feb. 18. Sam's Ace went on to win a one-mile, $80,000 optional claiming race for Cal-breds on March 11 and then finished 5 3/4 lengths behind Barbaro while checking in fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

Halo Steven, who was trained by John Sadler in California, hasn't worked since he arrived at Hastings, but Jordan is confident the Florida-bred gelding will be ready for his first attempt at a middle distance.

"He had a strong work at Hollywood Park, and Sadler told me he was ready to run," said Jordan. "He came up in excellent condition, and I don't want to mess things up by working him again."

The work Jordan referred to was a bullet six-furlong move in 1:11.80 on May 11.

Halo Steven hasn't finished worse than third in his six-race career, but he has never gone 1 1/16 miles and this will also be his first trip around three turns. Also of concern, he finished second behind Halo's Storm in a starter race in California. Halo's Storm, who is also trained by Jordan, finished third as the 4-5 favorite in the Klondike.

"That was then and this is now," said Jordan, referring to Halo Steven's loss in California. "I haven't had him for very long, but he seems like a pretty substantial horse, and he's probably advanced considerably since he lost to Halo's Storm. That 94 Beyer kind of speaks for itself. He also seems to handle the turns here just fine, so I don't think going around them will be a problem."

Jordan is having a terrific meet, leading the trainer standings with 10 wins from 43 starts. He doesn't expect to finish the meet on top, though.

"I don't have enough or the kind of horses that will be making enough starts to keep me on top for the whole year," he said. "And unless the weather is a lot different than normal in November, I'll be in Mexico for at least the last month of the meet."

Jordan also said that My Guy came out of his win in the Hoofprint on My Heart Stakes last weekend in good shape and would remain in Alberta with trainer Stuart Simon to prepare for the Alberta Derby.

My Master preps for comeback

My Master, who comes out of the Steve Henson barn, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02.60 Wednesday morning. It was his first work since his impressive win in a $35,000 optional claiming sprint on May 7.

My Master, who was bred in Argentina, had been off since he finished third to Taste of Paradise in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park in December 2004. My Master would likely be one of the favorites if he started in the B.C. Cup Sprint on Aug. 1, but Henson isn't looking that far ahead.

"I don't have any races picked out for him," said Henson. "I'll be happy just to get one more start into him."

* Because of a surplus of horses, management decided to erect a temporary barn this year. It looks like a big white tent and is located just outside of the racing office. The barn is aluminum framed, 200 feet long, and has 38 stalls inside. The barn is expected to be full by the weekend.