10/05/2012 12:57PM

Hastings: Endurance Series finale battle among Yvett’s Pride, Texas Buccaneer, and Diablo Pass

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The fourth and final leg of the Endurance Series at Hastings on Sunday drew five horses, and it appears to be a toss-up between Yvett’s Pride, Texas Buccaneer, and Diablo Pass. The 1 1/2-mile starter handicap for 3-year-olds and up goes as race 2 on a seven-race card that starts at 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

To be eligible to run in the race, a horse must have competed in the first leg of the series. The first leg was a $6,250 claiming race with the final three legs being starter handicaps. Any horse that was claimed out of the first leg did not have to re-establish eligibility to run in the series.

The 1 1/8-mile first leg drew 15 horses and was split into two divisions July 21. Yvett’s Pride won the first division and was claimed out of the race by trainer William La Vanway, who was acting on behalf of Corsair Holdings.

In his first start for his new connections, Yvett’s Pride finished third in a $15,000 claiming race going 1 1/16 miles Aug. 10. He jumped back into the second leg of the series a week later on Aug. 17 and finished fourth in the 1 3/8-mile race that drew 11 horses.

Through attrition due to horses struggling at the longer distances, the third leg of the series drew five horses going 1 7/16 miles, and Yvett’s Pride came from a stalking position to edge Texas Buccaneer by three-quarters of a length. He is picking up two pounds and only has to go another sixteenth of a mile. He should go off as slight favorite with Antonio Reyes retaining the mount.

Texas Buccaneer won the second leg by a neck over Diabolo Pass. He was claimed out of the first leg by trainer Mark Cloutier on behalf of Leif Nordhal. A deep closer, Texas Buccaneer could be at a disadvantage in a race where they aren’t expected to be going very fast early.

Diablo Pass was 18 lengths behind the leader at the six-furlong mark in the second leg before making a huge move to lose by a neck to Texas Buccaneer. He was sitting second going into the first turn of the third, leg but was wrangled back to fourth before he rallied to finish third. He was very eager during the early stages of the race and could be the one they have to catch if leading rider Amadeo Perez lets him roll early.

Long Gone Baldry and Rossino round out the field.