07/21/2011 11:24AM

Hastings: Arraignment poised for a victory


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Arraignment should be a short price when he runs in $75,000 optional claiming race for 3-year-olds at Hastings Saturday. All six horses entered are eligible for the allowance conditions in the 1 1/16-mile feature, which is restricted to horses that haven’t won $30,000 in 2011. It goes as race 7 on the eight-race card, which begins at 1:50 p.m.

Arraignment is coming off of two solid efforts for trainer Rob Gilker, who along with his wife, Victoria, claimed him for $25,000 May 23. In his first start for the Gilkers he set a honest pace and then held on to finish second behind stakes winner Too Much Dirt in a $50,000 optional race going 1 1/16 miles June 12. He made a strong middle move while going five wide when he tried stakes horses in the Chris Loseth, but then couldn’t keep up to Inhisglory and Jump Up and Kissme. Nonetheless, he didn’t quit trying and finished third in the eight-horse field. He drew post 2 for Saturday’s race and Pedro Alvarado will likely put him in a stalking position early.

The horse Arraignment will be stalking is Double Jack, who is coming off a fourth in his first start for trainer Troy Taylor in a $75,000 optional sprint won by Tlaquepaque July 9. An Illinois-bred, Double Jack was bought privately by Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella following his win in a first-level allowance race for statebreds at Arlington Park June 11. He also won a statebred maiden special weight race at Hawthorne Park, and in both cases he was in front most of the way. In his only try going a middle distance he finished 10th but he was trying grass for the first time and may not have cared for the surface.

Look for Mario Gutierrez to put him right on the lead, and it will be interesting to see how he handles going around three turns for the first time.

Trainer Jody Rawson has entered El Aguila Real and Tlaquepaque, with the main focus on Tlaquepaque.

A Kentucky-bred son of Suave, Tlaquepaque won both of his races at 2, including the $51,000 New Westminster. After a poor performance in his 3-year-old debut May 7, Tlaquepaque got some time off and he came back with a strong effort in his win over Herbie D July 9. This will be his first try at a middle distance.

Patzcuaro is the only horse in the field with a win going longer than 6 1/2 furlongs and he will appreciate the easier company after finishing just behind Arraignment in the Chris Loseth.