05/05/2011 10:17AM

Hastings: The Great Caper stands out based on figures in Jim Coleman Province


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Despite the presence of undefeated Bond James Bond, contention runs deep in Saturday’s $50,000 Jim Coleman Province at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds drew nine horses, and based on Beyer Speed Figures, The Great Caper is the one to beat.

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, The Great Caper is coming off a fourth-place finish in a one-mile, first-level $80,000 optional claimer at Santa Anita on April 3. The 86 Beyer he was given is 21 points higher than the career-best 65 that Bond James Bond earned for his easy win over Mr. Collaborator in a $75,000 optional claimer at Hastings on April 16.

The Great Caper has performed well on a variety of surfaces, with a win in a $40,000 maiden race at Hollywood Park in his second start last May, another win in a first-level allowance race at Golden Gate, and a half-length loss in his only try on turf in the $25,000 Tempe Handicap at Turf Paradise. He posted his career-best Beyer over dirt in his last start at Santa Anita.

He worked five furlongs at Hastings in 1:00.60 with jockey Pedro Alvarado aboard April 30.

“He’s a handy horse and he seems to be happy at Hastings,” Diodoro said from Northlands Park. “Pedro was very pleased with the work.”

Bond James Bond, trained by Greg Tracy, dominated the 2-year-old division at Northlands Park last year and easily handled the local 3-year-olds in his first start at Hastings. He has been either first or second at every call in all of his races and once again he figures to be involved right from the start with Fernando Perez aboard for the first time.

Couldabenthewhisky won three stakes at Emerald Downs last year, including the $67,000 Joe Gottstein Futurity, and according to trainer Bonnie Jenne, he is coming up to the race in excellent shape. He may not make the trip if an allowance race at Emerald fills Sunday.

“I would rather not ship him for his first start of the year, but it doesn’t look like the race will fill, so we’re probably coming,” Jenne said.

Local stakes winners Tlaquepaque and Jump Up and Kissme won both of their starts at 2 and will be making their first starts of the year.

Inhisglory has won three races over synthetic surfaces, including the $50,000 Turfway Prevue in January, and could be dangerous from off the pace.