04/25/2013 1:39PM

Hastings: Evelyn's Dancer looks tough in Brighouse Belles

Four-Footed Fotos
Evelyn's Dancer will cut back to 6 1/2 furlongs for Saturday's $50,000 Brighouse Belles.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – When leading rider Aaron Gryder came back to the barn after working Evelyn’s Dancer a half-mile in 50.20 seconds over a track rated good at Hastings on April 13, he told owner Glen Todd she was the best horse in his stable. That is saying a lot considering that Todd, who owns Evelyns’s Dancer in partnership with Mark DeDomenico LLC, won 18 stakes here last year and once again is loaded with proven stakes winners.

Evelyn’s Dancer didn’t really need the endorsement from Gryder to be favored when she makes her 4-year-old debut going 6 1/2 furlongs in Saturday’s $50,000 Brighouse Belles.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Evelyn’s Dancer wheeled off four straight stakes wins at Hastings last year and completely dominated the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks, winning by 5  1/2 lengths over Dance the Wind. She proved she’s the real deal when she faced older fillies and mares and gave Class Included all she could handle in the Grade 3, $100,000 Ballerina in her final start.

According to Taylor, she has matured over the winter and he is expecting her usual strong performance.

“We have been working on getting her to relax more in the morning, and she’s responded well,” Taylor said. “There is obviously a lot of quality there, and her record kind of speaks for itself.”

Evelyn’s Dancer has won sprinting, but she improved dramatically when she stretched out to a middle distance. If she is going to get beat, it will be by Overvalued.

Trained by Tracy McCarthy, Overvalued is the speed of the race and should make good use of it leaving from the inside post. She won the Brighouse Belles last year, and her only other win in 2012 came going six furlongs in the $50,000 Ladies Express. She was on her toes when she worked a best-of-the-day four furlongs in 46.80 seconds April 20.

Enrique Gonzalez was aboard for both of her stakes wins, but Scott Williams has the mount Saturday.

“Enrique rode her great last year,” McCarthy said. “But he didn’t get up here until the meet started, and Scotty has been aboard for most of her works. She has gotten to know him, and it’s only fair to give him a shot with her.”

Terlani beat Overvalued in the Vancouver Sun last year and has been training sharply this spring for trainer Frank Barroby.

P. S. Touch Down, Heidi Maria, and Madeira Park appear to want more distance.