05/03/2013 12:14PM

Hastings: Stormy Canuck gets class relief in 2013 debut


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – If Stormy Canuck comes back as good as he left off, he should be tough to handle in a $25,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up that serves as Sunday’s feature at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew 12 horses, but only 11 will be allowed to run, so Full Power Ahead will need a scratch in order to run.

Trained by Mark Cloutier, Stormy Canuck closed out 2012 with a second-place finish going six furlongs in the $50,000 Express. The winner, Herbie D, was voted the champion sprinter in British Columbia last year.

Stormy Canuck runs well fresh. He finished second to the crack sprinter Dollarwaitnonadime in a $35,000 optional claimer in his 2012 debut and came right back to beat multiple stakes winner Devil in Disguise in a first-level allowance race in his next start.

Stormy Canuck will be running in a straight claiming race for the first time and should appreciate the class relief.

Fernando Perez abandons a very live Mia’s Miracle to ride Stormy Canuck.

Mia’s Miracle made a strong impression in his first start for owner-trainer Monica Russell, who purchased him privately after he was claimed for $12,500 out of his previous race at Woodbine on Dec. 12.

Mia’s Miracle broke sharply and then was eased into a stalking position behind a moderate pace set by the heavily favored Pop Artist in a $25,000 claiming race going six furlongs April 13. Pop Artist went on to win the race, and Mia’s Miracle rallied to finish second.

Mia’s Miracle came back with a sharp four-furlong move in 47.60 seconds April 26 and appears to be sitting on another strong effort. He drew the rail, where he should be able to use his tactical speed to work out a good trip.

Amadeo Perez picks up the mount.

Rockin Cherokee will get a class test after an impressive win in a $17,500 conditional claimer April 20, and the manner in which he won suggests he’ll be able to handle the jump.

The Troy Taylor trainee appeared to be full of run during the early stages of the six-furlong sprint, but was held under stout restraint by leading rider Aaron Gryder. When Gryder gave him his cue just past the quarter pole, he immediately responded, and the race was over.

McKinley Square forced the pace before tiring in a $40,000 optional claimer won by Grade 3 winner Senor Rojo last month.

Cabo Chico has the best speed in the field and will need to use it while leaving from post 11.