07/11/2012 3:37PM

Hastings: Modest takes steep drop for Friday feature


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – It is tough to separate the eight older horses running in a $15,000 claiming race that will serve as Friday’s feature at Hastings. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up goes as race 6 on a seven-race card that begins at 7:15 p.m. Pacific.

Modest is clearly one of the contenders. Trained by Dino Condilenios, Modest is dropping considerably after finishing fourth in a $30,000 optional claiming race June 24 in his first start at Hastings. Modest had raced mostly on turf at Gulfstream and Belmont prior to being sold as part of a package of Darley-owned horses recently purchased by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc.

Modest’s first start at Hastings didn’t really tell us much. He caught a sloppy track and he forced a very slow pace in the 1 1/8-mile race before tiring late. The track will be fast Friday, and the only time he ran over solid footing on dirt in his 12-race career was in his 2-year-old debut at Saratoga in 2010, when he bore out on the turn. We do know that he likes to be involved early and he is going to have to deal with what should be an honest pace.

Jeff Burningham rides Modest.

Trick of the North could be the sleeper for trainer Barbara Heads. A Grade 3 winner, Trick of the North took a substantial drop into a $17,500 claiming race July 2 but never really got involved. A deep closer, Trick of the North was pretty much done after Bearrock N Roll posted a very slow half-mile in 49.22 seconds in the 1 1/16-mile race. There is a lot more potential speed in this field and he attracts the leading rider Amadeo Perez.

At 11 years old, Trick of the North is still good enough to have won back-to-back races at Turf Paradise last winter, including a 1 1/16-mile $25,000 optional claiming race Feb. 27. Don’t sell him short.

Trained by Craig MacPherson, Bearrock N roll is looking for his first win this year. He came very close to winning his last start, leading most of the way before losing by a neck to Quinton's Destiny. He was allowed to cruise through moderate fractions, though, and with Super Steve and Joy of the Lord in the field he won’t be allowed that luxury today.

Joy of the Lord looks like the one they will have to catch.

Full Power Ahead is a very sharp horse and could be dangerous in his first route attempt this year.