06/21/2012 2:11PM

Hastings: Hot pace will help Stormy Canuck


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Stormy Canuck figures to get a perfect trip from just off what should be a lively and contested pace in a $35,000 optional claiming race Saturday that will serve as the feature at Hastings Park. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up goes as race seven on an eight-race card that begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Mark Cloutier, Stormy Canuck sat just off a fast pace set by Time Machine when he won a first-level allowance race May 12, and he should get a similar trip with Time Machine and the speedy Stormin Proud Papa entered in the six horse-field. Stormy Canuck was involved in a duel when he stretched out to a mile in a sixteenth in a $35,000 optional claiming race June 9, and the early effort cost him as he faded to finish eighth. He should appreciate the move back to a sprint, and leading rider Amadeo Perez should have him ready to pounce if the expected duel develops in front of him.

Stormin Proud Papa earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 85 for his front-running win going 6 1/2 furlongs in a $25,000 claiming race May 19, higher than any of his rivals have ever posted. It was his second start at Hastings for trainer Terry Clyde who claimed him on behalf of herself and Foster Carefoot for $12,500 on April 8 at Santa Anita. Stormin Proud Papa ran a big race in his first start for Clyde, a second behind Prince Intent in a $25,000 claiming race here May 6. The 4-year-old gelding has been a gem of consistency this year, compiling a 3-3-1 record from 7 starts.

Stormin Proud Papa can stalk, but he drew post 2, and jockey Pedro Alvarado might have to commit early in order not to get pinned down on the rail.

Time Machine appears to have only one way of running, and he will likely be sent to the lead by jockey Enrique Gonzalez. Trained by John Morrison, Time Machine set blistering fractions of 22.16 and 44.97 seconds before tiring to finish third in Stormy Canuck’s win May 12. It was his first start of the year, and there is an excellent chance he will move forward with a race behind him. His only win from eight career starts came going 5 1/2 furlongs in a maiden special weight race at Fort Erie last year so there is some concern that he won’t be able to carry his speed the whole way.

He Flies a Banner, Briartic County, and Jump Up and Kissme round out the field.