05/10/2013 2:07PM

Hastings: Deep, speed-filled cast meets in Sunday optional claimer


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The $50,000 Jim Coleman Province for 3-year-olds is supposed to be the feature race Sunday at Hastings, but a first-level $35,000 optional claimer could steal the show.

The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds drew eight horses, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a future star emerged from what appears to be a highly competitive field of horses with raw, unproven talent.

There is an abundance of speed in the field, and it will be a good test for Amazing Rozi, who couldn’t have been more impressive when he won his debut going six furlongs in a maiden special weight race April 20. He broke sharply, and after clearing early he was put under pressure by Monahee at the quarter pole. He easily repelled the bid and then drew away to beat the highly regarded Bluegrass Pride by 1 1/4 lengths.

Amazing Rozi, who is trained by Lenore Dubois, was ridden by Richard Hamel, who came back to work the son of Rosberg a snappy five furlongs in 1:00.40 last Sunday.

“It was a nice work for him,” Hamel said. “Can he rate? I don’t know.”

Dubois thinks Amazing Rozzi can rate, and she thinks she has the right jockey for the job.

“It’s a good-looking field, and you’re going to need a smart ride,” Dubois said. “I have a lot of confidence in Richard and I also have a lot of confidence in Amazing Rozi. Nothing bothers him, and you can do whatever you want with him in the mornings.”

Trainer Dino Condilenios is high on Knightsbridge, who scored an easy five-length front-running win in a $25,000 maiden claiming race April 13.

“I really like my horse, but I think it’s whoever rates,” Condilenios said. “If he’s there going into the first turn, we won’t purposefully take him back. I’m glad we got an outside post so we can see how the race is developing, and I don’t mind being on the lead, but not if they are going 21 and change.”

Condilenios has seen a lot of races that look a certain way on paper but unfold in a completely different fashion.

“Look at the Kentucky Derby,” Condilenios said. “It looked like there was going to be a moderate pace and then they went crazy up front. How many times have you seen a race where it looked like they all want the lead and then most of them take back and let one horse steal it? It’s a great race, and it will be interesting to see what happens.”

Some of the horses might take back, but probably not Stole It, who set very fast fractions on his way to winning the other half of the maiden special weight Amazing Rozi ran in. Breaking alertly from the rail with Scott Williams aboard, Stole It sizzled through fractions of 22.36 seconds and 45.40. He did get a little late, but he was still able to hold off Who’s Daddy is Dat to win by a half-length. He posted a final time of 1:12.08, which was a couple of ticks slower than Amazing Rozi’s 1:11.64.

Stole It is trained by Tracy McCarthy, who is capably assisted by her husband, Chris Loseth. Loseth retired as the all-time leading jockey in British Columbia, and he should know a good horse when he sees one. Among his 3,665 wins are 104 in graded stakes.

“He’s given every indication he’s going to be a good horse,” Loseth said. “He drew the rail, so we’re going to let him run to the turn and see what happens. I am assuming they are going to have to run around us.”

Trainer Greg Tracy likes the way Red Red Rose is coming into the race. He won his debut going 3 1/2 furlongs last year and got off to an awkward start when he finished fifth in a first-level allowance race in his first start this year.

“He wasn’t quite ready for his first start this year and he seems to have improved quite a bit since then,” Tracy said. “We’ve been working on slowing him down in the mornings, and if he can settle in his races, I think he could turn into a nice horse.”