08/10/2012 1:32PM

Hastings: Herbie D just needs repeat of last to win Sunday feature


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Herbie D looks formidable in an allowance race restricted to nonwinners of $30,000 this year that headlines Sunday’s card at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up drew six horses and goes as the third race. There is also a $40,000 claiming option in the conditions of the race.

Trained by Rob Gilker, Herbie D ran one of the most impressive races at the meet when he won a $40,000 optional claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs July 14. It was his first start since he won the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes as a 3-year-old last October, and it was hard to envision him running such a powerful race coming off that long of a layoff.

Breaking alertly with Amadeo Pereez aboard, Herbie D dueled with Time Machine through extremely fast fractions of 21.67 and 44.05 seconds before drawing off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Jump Up and Kissme in 1:15.22. It was the second-best time in the last three years at Hastings and only .02 of a second off the 1:15.20 Teide posted for his win in the $50,000 George Royal in 2010. He may have eclipsed Torque Converter’s track record of 1:15.00 if Perez hadn’t eased up on him inside the sixteenth pole.

Horses sometimes bounce after running a huge race coming off a lengthy layoff and Gilker is aware of the possibility Herbie D could regress.

“I’m very worried about him bouncing,” said Gilker. “I have seen this happen before and it could certainly happen here. He seems fine and we have given him time to recover, but I would have liked a little faster work.”

Gilker was referring to Herbie D’s five-furlong move in 1:02.20 with Perez aboard Aug. 2.

Hockley looks like he wants more distance but he has been working sharply while preparing for his first start here and first for trainer Dino Condilenios. Hockley is coming off a fifth-place finish in a $35,000 optional race on grass at Aqueduct April 19 for trainer Kiran McLaughlin. He was part of a package of horses Swift Thoroughbred Inc. purchased from Darley Stable.

All three of his wins have come on grass but he just missed in a $30,000 conditional claimer in a key race the last time he ran on dirt, which came at Aqueduct in February, and his sharp works suggest he likes the surface here.

Three Wood is a threat from off the pace.

Time Machine, Silly Fella and Stolenotis round out the field.