08/24/2011 11:29AM

Hastings: Castinette Dancer may be closer to pace in Hong Kong Jockey Club


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Castinette Dancer hasn’t won a race longer than 6 1/2 furlongs, but she still figures to be a solid favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Hong Kong Jockey Club at Hastings on Friday. The $50,000 stakes for 3-year-old fillies attracted seven horses and goes as race 7 on the eight-race card that begins at 3:20 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Castinette Dancer was impressive winning her first three sprints at Hastings this spring, including the $50,000 Boulevard Casino and the $50,000 Emerald Downs. Stretching out to a middle distance for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Supernaturel, Castinette Dancer didn’t show the same kind of kick in the stretch. She did make a late move, but she couldn’t overhaul Overvalued and had to settle for second. She shipped to Northlands Park for the one-mile, $50,000 Northlands Park Oaks on July 31 and after breaking sharply from her outside post with Mario Gutierrez aboard in the eight-horse field, she was eased back to last. She made a strong late move, but it was much too late and she never threatened the top two finishers, Embellished and Maegans Princesses.

Castinette Dancer looked sharp in her five-furlong move in 1:00.40 on Aug. 20, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gutierrez have her a lot closer to the pace than she was in the Oaks.

On paper, Overvalued looks like the main threat. She beat Castinette Dancer in the Supernatural and then shipped to Northlands for the Oaks but came down with a virus and was scratched. Her trainer, Tracy McCarthy, wasn’t pleased with the way Overvalued trained Wednesday morning and was going to evaluate the situation before deciding if she was going to let her run.

“I had to put a horse down the other day, so I might be seeing ghosts,” McCarthy said. “Her last work was great, but she just doesn’t seem to be doing her best right now. We’re going to go over her with a fine-tooth comb before we decide if she is going to run.”

La Belle Rose has improved dramatically for trainer William La Vanway since she started going around three turns. In her first five sprints La Belle Rose was beaten by double digits four times. In three starts going 1 1/16 miles, she has two wins and a second. One of her wins came in the $50,000 B.C. Cup Dogwood in her last start Aug. 1.