05/31/2012 1:23PM

Hastings: Devil in Disguise and Clear the Runway both should like River Rock distance


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Devil in Disguise and Clear the Runway look like the main players in the $50,000 River Rock Casino for 3-year-olds at Hastings Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile feature drew six horses and goes as the seventh race. Post time for the first race is 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

The River Rock is the first middle-distance stakes race for 3-year-olds at Hastings this year and Devil in Disguise figures to relish the added distance.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Devil in Disguise is coming off a second-place finish behind Stormy Canuck in a quickly run sprint for 3-year-olds and up. It was the first start for Devil in Disguise since he finished fifth on the turf in the one-mile Grade 3 Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park Nov. 27. Devil in Disguise’s lone win came going a mile and 70 yards in his second start, which came at Hawthorne Park Oct. 13.

Taylor is expecting a big effort from him Saturday.

“He needed his last race and we were pleased how well he ran against a tough group of older horses,” said Taylor. “That was a fast race. He came out of the race in great shape and he really wants to go long.”

Fernando Perez rides Devil in Disguise.

Trainer Greg Tracy also likes the way Clear the Runway is coming up to the race. Clear the Runway is coming off a win in the 6 1/2-furlong Jim Coleman Province May 5. In his only try going around three turns he finished third in the one-mile $50,000 Canadian Juvenile at Northlands Park last Oct. 11.

“He’s by Broken Vow and he has a half-brother that was pretty good as a 3-year-old last year, so he’s bred to go long,” said Tracy.

The half-brother Tracy was referring to is El Grayling, who won a one mile maiden special weight race on turf at Ellis Park. His best race was in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby where he finished fourth behind Caleb’s Posse.

Clear the Runway has speed but showed a willingness to stalk in the Jim Coleman Province with Pedro Alvarado aboard.

Tracy’s main rider at Northlands Park, Rico Walcott, has taken over the mount.

The Gov is the only horse in the field with a win going around three turns. Trained by Phil Hall, The Gov set slow fractions on his way to a front-running win in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race May 21. It was his first try going long and he had hinted that he could handle the distance with a win going 7 1/2 furlongs over the Turf Paradise turf course March 25.