09/22/2011 11:15AM

Hastings: Late Affair deserves another chance


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trip handicappers will be taking a close look at Late Affair in a $35,000 optional claiming race that will serve as Saturday’s feature at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for fillies and mares drew eight horses and goes as race 7 on the eight-race card, which begins at 1:50 p.m.

Trained by Elizabeth Stolzenberg, Late Affair went into a similar race Sept. 1 off a front-running win over Daymaker in an allowance race at Emerald Downs, where she earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 83. With the lofty Beyer Figure in tow, Late Affair was sent off as the 4-5 favorite, but she appeared to be a bit restless in the starting gate, broke a step slowly from the outside post in the six-horse field, and then got hung out four wide going into the first turn. She moves inside to post 3, and could be dangerous if she leaves there running with Mario Gutierrez retaining the mount.

Otero went into the same race off a 10-week layoff and she set the pace after breaking alertly from the rail before tiring to finish second. Trained by Dave Forster, Otero is looking for her first win since she captured the $51,000 Emerald Downs at Hastings in May of 2010. She drew the inside post again, but might be better off stalking instead of dueling with Late Affair.

If a duel does develop it could set up nicely for Terlani, who is taking a big step up in class following her win as the 4-5 favorite in a $12,500 claiming race Sept. 5. It was her third win at the meet and she was claimed out of the race by trainer Frank Barroby, who shows a lot of confidence by moving her up this far in class.

Finally Flying ships in from Assiniboia Downs, where she romped by eight lengths in a $15,000 optional race Sept. 7. In her previous start she finished second in the $50,000 Assiniboia Downs Oaks for owner-trainer Clint Willson Aug. 1.

Victory With Class will be running for a claiming price for the first time since she won a $30,000 maiden claiming race in her 2-year-old debut last year. She went on to win two stakes in 2010, including the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity, which was her last win. Trained by Terry Clyde, Victory With Class is coming off a third-place finish in the $50,000 B.C. Cup Dogwood going 1 1/16 miles Aug. 1.