05/13/2011 1:19PM

Hastings: Seminole Brave finds a spot


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Despite going winless in his last 13 starts, Seminole Brave looks like the one to beat in the feature race at Hastings Sunday. The first-level $35,000 optional claiming race for 3-year-olds and up going 6 1/2 furlongs drew six horses and goes as the fourth race.

Trained by Mel Snow, Seminole Brave has long passed the first-level conditions of the race. His first win came in his third start when he won a straight nonwinners-of-two allowance race in 2008. Proving it was no fluke he came back to win his next race for the same conditions by 9 3/4 lengths. Among his six wins was a score in the $50,000 George Royal Stakes in 2009.

A 7-year-old Florida-bred gelding, Seminole Brave set an honest pace before giving in late to St. Liams Halo and Heavenly Chorus in a $35,000 optional race in his first start of the year. He drew the rail for Sunday and he should be able to put his good speed to use. He also figures to move forward with a race under his belt.

Dave Wilson picks up the mount from Fernando Perez, who has moved his tack to Northlands Park.

Prince Intent ran well in all of his sprints at Hastings last year, and his only poor local start came in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby where he finished eighth. He started out his career with a win in a $25,000 maiden claiming race April 25, 2010, and prior to his dull effort in the B.C. Derby, he won the CTHS Sales Stakes. In mid-summer he raced three times at Northlands Park, where he finished second in a couple of $32,000 optional races after a seventh in the $50,000 Western Canada.

Trainer Troy Taylor is still trying to get a feel on where Prince Intent fits with older horses.

“It’s always an adjustment when they turn 4,” said Taylor. “He’s training well enough but I’m not sure how he stacks up against the horses he’s running against Sunday.”

Bear Empire runs well fresh, but his lack of speed could hurt him in a race where they might not be going very fast up front.

Huffman has shown blazing speed, but in his first two starts this year he hasn’t been near the early leaders.

Surprisal has been working sharply for his first start of the year.

Tease the Tiger made up some ground in the same race Seminole Brave exits and would prefer more distance.