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Hastings: Clash of generations in Ballerina
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Grade 3, $100,000 Ballerina at Hastings on Monday features a classic matchup between the top older female at Emerald Downs, Class Included, and the dominant 3-year-old filly at Hastings, Evelyn’s Dancer.
The 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares drew seven horses and goes as race 4 on a nine-race card that begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific. Under the scale weight conditions of the race, older fillies and mares will carry 123 pounds and 3-year-olds 120.
The connections of Class Included are considering running the classy 4-year-old filly in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic if she wins the Ballerina.
Trained by Jim Penney, Class Included has never been worse than second in her 15-race career, and seven of her nine wins have been in stakes races. She dominated the filly and mare division at Emerald Downs this year and is currently on a three-race winning streak. She comes into the Ballerina off a very easy win over Heidi Maria going 1 1/8 miles in the $50,000 Delta Colleen here Sept. 9.
She usually stalks, and her versatility could give her a slight edge over Evelyn’s Dancer, who has been a bit headstrong in her last couple of races.
Class Included appeared to be on her toes when she worked five furlongs here last Sunday.
“She is doing great,” assistant trainer Kay Cooper said. “She is just a special filly.”
Russell Baze rides Class Included. The Hall of Fame rider was aboard for her win in the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks and second-place finish in the Ballerina last year.
Trainer Troy Taylor is a bit concerned how the race will shape up for Evelyn’s Dancer, who has never lost going around three turns. Mario Gutierrez was aboard for her 5 1/4-length, front-running win in the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks on Sept. 9.
“She’s been pretty eager lately, and hopefully Mario can get her to settle,” Taylor said. “She is going to have to be at her very best to beat a horse like Class Included.”
Orchid’s Silver pulled off a huge upset in the 2011 Ballerina, but hasn’t won since and will be a big price again.
Heidi Maria won the City of Edmonton Distaff at Northlands Park by 7 1/4 lengths, but never looked like a threat to Class Included while finishing second in the Delta Colleen.
P.S. Touch Down, Terlani, and Queen’s Vicar round out the field.
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