06/14/2013 1:35PM

Hastings: Devil in Disguise should enjoy stretching out


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Devil in Disguise should relish his first chance to go around three turns this year when he runs in an allowance race that drew seven horses going 1 1/16 miles at Hastings on Sunday.

This will be the first time he hasn’t faced stakes company in more than a year, and he figures to be a short price in the race for 3-year-olds and up that was designed for horses who haven’t won a stakes race at the current meet.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Devil in Disguise was a late scratch from the $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill last Sunday when it was discovered he had injured himself in his stall.

“He bonked his head,” Taylor said. “I’m not sure how he did it, but he was bleeding, so we didn’t want to take any chances with him. He seems fine now.”

Devil in Disguise won the River Rock Casino and Chris Loseth going 1 1/16 miles here last year, and after an easy win in the $50,000 Count Latham going the same distance at Northlands Park, he was sent off as the heavy favorite in the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby, where he finished third. He closed his 3-year-old campaign with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby.

Devil in Disguise lost by a head to Shrug in his first start of the year, the $50,000 George Royal, and then may have bounced when he finished fifth in the John Longden 6000 on May 20. He should get a nice trip from a stalking position with Enrique Gonzalez retaining the mount.

Taylor also entered Liberty Cap, who had great form at Calder last summer but has been dull in his last three starts on the West Coast.

Stormy Canuck hasn’t been able to get over the top in a stakes race, but he is as honest as they come with a 4-4-4 record from 19 starts in his career. Trained by Toni Cloutier, he closed 2012 with a second-place finish behind Herbie D in the $50,000 Express going six furlongs and started this year with a win in a $25,000 claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs May 5. He has good tactical speed and should get a nice trip sitting just off The Gov and possibly Stratify, who is stretching out following a sharp win in a first-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs May 20.

The Gov will be making his first start since he finished second in a one-mile $30,000 optional claimer on the turf at Turf Paradise on April 9.

Gypsy Magic and Fransor’s Finest complete the field.