09/20/2012 2:13PM

Hastings: Courtroom Kiss takes on males in second career start


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Courtroom Kiss, an impressive debut winner in a $40,000 optional maiden claiming race for 2-year-old fillies at Hastings on Aug. 31, will take on the highly rated colt Tracker in a first-level allowance race that headlines Saturday’s eight-race card. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds drew eight horses and goes as the seventh race.

Trainer William La Vanway is using Saturday’s race as a prep to the $75,000 Fantasy on Oct. 14, when Courtroom Kiss will stretch out to a 1 1/16 miles.

“I would have preferred to run her against fillies,” La Vanway said. “But at least we’ll get another race into her before the Fantasy.”

Courtroom Kiss broke alertly in her debut, and it was pretty clear Enrique Gonzalez had a lot of horse under him when she held a 2  1/2-length lead at the quarter pole. She went on to win by 5 1/2 lengths. Gonzalez, who went home to Mexico last week, is being replaced by leading rider Amadeo Perez.

Courtroom Kiss drew the rail, and Perez will likely have her involved right from the start.

Tracker drew the outside post, but he has good speed and is versatile, so jockey Chad Hoverson should be able to work out a trip. Trained by Barbara Heads, Tracker is coming off an easy 4 1/2-length win over North Pacific in a $40,000 optional maiden claiming race Aug. 31. He finished third in the B.C. Cup Nursery in his previous race, and his second to Ten Thirty in a $40,000 optional maiden claiming race July 28 was elevated when Ten Thirty won the $50,000 Bird of Pay at Northlands Park by 8 3/4 lengths in his next start.

Tracker is being pointed to the 1 1/16-mile, $75,000 Ascot Graduation, which will share top billing with the Fantasy on closing day.

“He’s a classy horse, but he’s still a colt and he can be a bit of a clown,” Heads said. “This should be a good stepping-stone to the Graduation.”

Alpine Lad was a maiden when he won the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes in his fourth start Aug. 24. Trained by Craig MacPherson, Alpine Lad is coming off a fifth-place finish in the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity.

Scamming came from off the pace to win his debut in a $10,000 maiden claiming race and should have an honest pace to work with.