05/03/2012 10:44AM

Hastings: Clear the Runway looks the one to beat


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Clear the Runway figures to be a short price when he runs in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province at Hastings on Saturday. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds drew seven horses and headlines an eight-race card that begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Greg Tracy, Clear the Runway ran a big race in his first start of the year, finishing second behind Taylors Deal in an allowance race April 14. He broke a bit flat-footed, and after racing a bit wide around the first turn, he opened up a clear lead going down the backstretch. He couldn’t hold off Taylors Deal, who was coming off a win in the $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby, but he held on well to finish a clear second. Tracy was pleased with Clear the Runway’s five-furlong move in 1:04 April 28, and he isn’t expecting jockey Pedro Alvarado to put him to be on the lead Saturday.

“We let him go slow early and finish fast,” said Tracy in reference to the work. “He’s a good horse and doesn’t need the lead. I want Pedro to let him sit just off the other speed and have something left to finish with.”

Unquiet should be the one Clear the Runway is stalking. Trained by Phil Hall, Unquiet broke on top and never looked back when he paid $33.80 for his win in a $50,000 optional race April 21. He drew post position two and apprentice Alex Marti will likely employ the same tactics.

Owner Glen Todd was so impressed with Taylors Deal’s win over Clear the Runway that he shipped him to Hollywood Park for “more lucrative” challenges. Taking his place in trainer Troy Taylor’s barn is Time Goes On who has started twice at Hawthorne for trainer Michael Reavis.

Time Goes On won a $15,000 maiden claiming race in his debut April 7 and came back eight days later to finish second in a $25,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up who haven’t won two races.

Mysterious Soul is taking a big step up in class, but he appears to have some talent. He was an impressive winner when he debuted in a $30,000 optional maiden race for trainer Barbara Heads on April 14 and he came back with a sharp half-mile move in 48.60 seconds April 29.

Ascot Graduation winner With Council needs more distance.

◗ Everyone at Hastings is keenly aware Mario Gutierrez, one of the leading riders here since 2006, is riding I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby. To honor Gutierrez’s participation in the Derby, Hastings will use a 40-foot outdoor screen to highlight some of his accomplishments and also show the Kentucky Derby.