08/10/2011 12:42PM

Hastings: Sage Gold back to reasonable level

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Sage Gold should appreciate the easier company he will be facing when he drops into a $12,500 claiming race that will serve as Friday’s feature at Hastings. The 6 1/2-half furlong sprint attracted eight older horses and will go as race 6 on the seven-race card, which begins at 7:15 p.m.

Trained by Harold Barroby, Sage Gold was clearly overmatched when he finished last in a $35,000 optional claiming race July 2, but he fits nicely with this group of $12,500 claimers. Sage Gold was claimed out of his three starts prior to the July 2 race. He was an easy winner over Dark Vader in a $7,500 claiming race June 11 for trainer Elizabeth Stolzenberg. He was claimed out of that race by Barroby, who had lost him for $12,500 in his first start this year April 22. Barroby had claimed him for $5,000 out of another win in his final start last year.

Sage Gold has been very sharp while posting bullets in three of his works since the July 2 race and could be dangerous if he breaks alertly with Mario Gutierrez riding.

Richard Hamel is tied with Gutierrez for leading rider with 65 wins and he rides a very live looking Vying for Glory for trainer Craig MacPherson. Vying for Glory won’t mind the move back to a sprint after forcing the pace before tiring to finish fourth going a 1 1/16 miles in a $17,500 claiming race July 22. He scored a front-running victory in a $12,500 conditional claimer going 6 1/2 furlongs in his previous race June 26.

MacPherson has also entered Indian Love, who is coming off a second behind Bobby Handy for this price and distance July 22.

Bobby Hand is a serious threat to repeat for trainer Pete Gregory. Bobby Handy came from a stalking position to win his latest and once again he should be sitting just off what figures to be a lively pace.

Dee’s Victor came from well back to finish third in a $7,500 claiming race July 17, and he may have tipped his hand when he worked a bullet five furlongs in a scorching 58.60 seconds last Saturday. Trained by Brian O’Connell, Dee’s Victor won a $7,500 claiming race for nonwinners of three July 2.

Meaux Power won his initial start this year in a $12,500 claiming race May 6 and then wasn’t seen until he finished fourth behind Bobby Handy July 22. He could improve with a race under his belt for trainer Toni Cloutier.