07/07/2011 1:42PM

Hastings: Lassie looks like anyone's race


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Take your pick from the nine 2-year-old fillies that will line up in the $50,000 Lassie Stakes at Hastings Saturday. The 6 1/2-furlong Lassie is the first stakes for juvenile fillies at the meet and just about anything could happen.

One angle to consider is the strong trainer stats Greg Tracy has in 2-year-old stakes races. According to DRF’s Formulator, over the past five years Tracy has a 33 percent strike rate with 2-year-olds running in non-graded stakes. Tracy has entered Claresmiezie, who was a sharp winner going 3 1/2 furlongs in a maiden special weight race May 22. She began her career in a maiden special weight race at Keeneland April 9, showing good speed before tiring to finish ninth. Following her debut she was purchased by Riversedge Racing Stables Ltd., whih had to be pleased with the way she ran in her first start in its colors.

Claresmiezie drew post 2, from where jockey Pedro Alvarado will be able to make good use of her ample speed.

Trainer Dino Condilenios wasn’t sure who he preferred between his two Lassie entrants, Waif and Hillingdon. Waif showed good speed when she debuted with a second-place finish in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race June 25. Hillingdon overcame serious trouble to finish third going six furlongs in a maiden special weight race June 19. She was just starting to roll along the rail when she was cut off by a stablemate approaching the quarter pole and lost her momentum. Despite checking sharply, she gathered herself and made a strong late move to get up for third. Hillingdon is the first foal of Slewpast, who won five stake races at Hastings including the Lassie.

“They both can run,” said Condilenios. “Waif should be near the pace and hopefully Hillingdon will make a late move. They are still learning, so it is hard to say what they’ll do.”

Trainer Steve Henson, 18 percent with first-time starters the past five years, likes the way Eleadora is training leading up to her debut.

“I love her,” said Henson. “This isn’t much different than a maiden race and you know she must be live if you can get Hamel.”

Henson was referring to Richard Hamel, who is second in the jockey standings behind Mario Gutierrez.

Hamel was aboard for Eleadora’s sharp five-furlong work in 59.80 seconds July 2.

Leading trainer Troy Taylor is well represented with Classy Kiridashi, Sunnyside Gal, and Evelyn’s Dancer, who won at Emerald Downs in her only start.