09/08/2011 11:20AM

Hastings: De Vilbiss dangerous shortening up

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – It is tough to separate the eight 3-year-old fillies running in a $12,500 claiming race restricted to British Columbia-breds that will serve as Saturday’s feature at Hastings. The 6 1/2-half furlong sprint goes as race 7 on the eight-race card, which begins at 5 p.m.

De Vilbiss looks interesting at what could be a decent price. Trained by Jerome Partington, De Vilbiss is cutting back to a sprint after chasing a quick pace before fading going 1 1/16 miles in a $7,500 claiming race Sept. 2. It was her second try at a middle distance and she basically did the same thing in her first attempt when she finished last in a first-level allowance race July 31. In her next start she pressed the pace before winning a $7,500 claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 18. The same thing could happen again on Saturday.

Leading rider Richard Hamel retains the mount.

Nicotiana should also appreciate the move back to a sprint after setting a wicked pace before fading in a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares Aug. 31. She was coming off a two-month layoff and figures to move forward with a race under her belt. In her previous two starts she won a $20,000 maiden claiming race May 27 and a $17,500 claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs July 1. Both times she led right from the start and she could be dangerous if she can clear early with leading apprentice Marlo Dunn riding.

Nuj Nuj Wink Wink has the most wins in the field, four, and she is coming off a narrow victory over Pigtails in a similar race Aug. 25. Trained by Phil Hall, Nuj Nuj Wink Wink is versatile. She led all the way in her first three wins but she came from just off the pace to edge Pigtails in her latest victory. She drew the outside post, and with other speed to her inside, including her stablemate Medano Beach, she figures to be sitting in stalking position early.

Trainer Dino Condilenios has two solid shots with Pigtails and Aquatic, who are coming out of the same race.

Pigtails rallied but couldn’t get past Nuj Nuj Wink Wink, and Aquatic forced the pace before settling for third. Pigtails lost by a half-length and Aquatic was another neck behind. The kind of trip they have will clearly have an impact on how they finish.

Luisina and Acceptable Henna round out the competitive field.