06/12/2013 4:14PM

Hastings: Dance the Wind maturing for Lausten


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Carl Lausten said Dance the Wind came out of her win in the $50,000 Vancouver Sun last Sunday in great shape and likely will be pointed to the $50,000, 1 1/16-mile Monashee on July 1.

The Sun was the first stakes win for Dance the Wind, but she had strong credentials going into the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares. Last year, she finished second behind Evelyn’s Dancer in the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks.

This year, she had won both of her prior races sprinting, and she figured to relish the extra distance in the Sun. According to Lausten, she has really blossomed as a 4-year-old.

“She’s really matured, and what’s nice about her now is she’s more versatile,” Lausten said. “She came from pretty far back in the Sun, but they went 46 and change for the half, and they set her up pretty nicely. She was right near the pace in her first sprint this year, so she can lay close if they aren’t going that fast. We’ll certainly take a look at the Monashee, but, of course, the one we’re really looking at is the B.C. Cup Distaff.”

The Distaff will be one of six stakes restricted to British Columbia-breds on B.C. Cup Day, Aug. 5, and considering the way Dance the Wind beat open company in the Sun, she will be a short price in the 1 1/8-mile Distaff.

Dance the Wind is owned by her breeders, Clive and Linda Lytle. Lausten was cautious about giving Dance the Wind the trophy for the Distaff just yet.

“I know she’s a nice horse, but you never take anything for granted, and you have to outrun them all,” Lausten said. “It was really nice to see her win a stakes for Clive and Linda. She’s their first stakes winner.”

On the same card, Lausten won with first-time starter Hopeseeker. The 3-year-old gelding by Heatseeker paid $50.20 for his win in a maiden special weight race going 6 1/2 furlongs. Lausten praised the ride by Fernando Perez.

“He didn’t break that sharply, but Fernando got him into the game early and made him run,” Lausten said.

Lausten, who turns 74 on July 30, took out his probationary trainer’s license in 1958, and it takes a lot to get him excited about a horse.

“That was one of the most impressive races by any first-time starter I’ve been around,” he said. “Everyone that’s been on him liked him, but it was still a nice surprise to see him run so well. He has a nice pedigree, so hopefully he’ll turn out to be a good one.”

Hopeseeker’s sire won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and earned $1.1 million. His stakes-placed dam won a couple of races and earned more than $100,000. All five of his older siblings are winners, with the best being stakes winner Admiral’s Arch, who won 14 races and finished third in the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby.

Hopeseeker was purchased at the 2011 B.C. Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society yearling and mixed sale for $43,000 by Lorrie Lisogar, who races under the stable name Century Plaza Stable.

“Lorrie deserves a nice horse,” Lausten said. “She’s been very supportive of racing here for a long time.”

Immediately following Dance the Wind’s win, Lausten said he was planning to have a lot of fun this summer. He is clearly enjoying himself and is able to share his success with his wife, Gabriele Mathhussek, who is an integral part of his operation.

“We almost lost her when she came down with stomach cancer in 2009,” Lausten said. “She had already beat lymphoma and breast cancer, but the stomach cancer was really tough. She’s cancer-free now, though, and couldn’t be doing any better.”

Dance the Wind is “working like a trooper and is the best horse in the barn. I feel pretty blessed right now.”

Condelinios has options with Shrug

Trainer Dino Condelinios thinks he might have a candidate for the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile in Shrug, who won the 1 1/16-mile, $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill Stakes with a 91 Beyer Speed Figure on Sunday.

Owned by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. and trained by Carla Gaines, Shrug was a stakes winner going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar last summer. Shrug did win going 1 1/16 miles in 2011, but for the most part, Gaines kept him in sprints in California. His sharp win over Wilo Kat and Herbie D in the Sir Winston Churchill erased any thoughts that he can’t handle a middle distance.

“He’s by Medaglia d’Oro, so I didn’t think he would have any problem going long,” Condilenios said. “He’s just been very successful sprinting, so Carla was probably happy to keep him going short. All I know is that every time she has sent a horse up here, they have been in perfect condition, and Shrug was no exception.”

In two sprints for Condilenios, Shrug won the $50,000 George Royal on April 28 and finished second in the John Longden 6000 on May 20.
Condilenios wasn’t sure where Shrug would make his next start.

“I’m not sure I want to bring him back in three weeks in the Lieutenant Governors, so I’ll just let him tell me what he wants to do,” Condilenios said. “If he is as good as he was going into the [Sir Winston Churchill], we probably will run him there. If not, we might take him to Emerald [Downs] to give him a race over the track before the Mile. I’ll probably just run him one more time before the Mile.”

The Longacres Mile is Aug. 18.

◗ Jockey Fernando Perez was taken off all his mounts at Hastings on Friday and suspended indefinitely, pending an investigation by the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch of British Columbia. In the ruling issued by the GPEB on Wednesday morning, there wasn’t any indication for the reason for the investigation. The stewards at Hastings would not comment.

Perez won the last four races at Hastings on Sunday and currently sits tied with Richard Hamel for third in the jockey standings with 17 wins.

◗ Cabo Chico looks like the one to catch and beat in a $7,500 claiming race that serves as Friday’s feature. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew seven horses and goes as race 6 on the seven-race card, which begins at 7:15 p.m. Pacific.