06/08/2012 2:31PM

Hastings: Taylor trio will be tough to top in Emerald Downs Stakes


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Troy Taylor and owner Glen Todd won both stakes at Hastings last weekend, and there is an excellent chance they will be in the winner’s enclosure following the running of the $50,000 Emerald Downs for 3-year-old fillies Sunday. After all, they have three of the eight horses entered in the 1 1/16-mile race that goes as race 7.

Heading the list is Evelyn’s Dancer, and Todd was confident about her chances.

“She’ll win by as far as you can throw a rock,” he said.

Evelyn’s Dancer figures to improve off her second-place finish behind Our Eleanor in the $50,000 Ross McLeod on May 19, and her projected margin of victory would depend on how big a rock Todd was talking about. It was her first start since she finished fifth in her first try on grass in the $81,000 Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 30. What makes her attractive is the way she was able stick around after being up close to an extremely fast pace in the McLeod.

Fernando Perez rides Evelyn’s Dancer.

Taylor is expecting a better performance from Sunnyside Gal. A double stakes winner last year, Sunnyside Gal finished third as the favorite behind Our Eleanor in an allowance race May 5 and then never got involved while finishing sixth in the McLeod.

“She’s starting to come around now, and she should run a lot better,” Taylor said.

The third horse in the three-horse entry is Ansede, who is coming off a game win over Ouch in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race May 27. She also won a $20,000 maiden claiming race in her first start at Hastings.

Our Eleanor has been perfect in her two starts at Hastings, and like most of the horses in the field, she will be stretching out to a middle distance for the first time. She certainly benefitted from the wicked pace in the McLeod, making a strong late move to win going away.

Her trainer, Craig MacPherson, is expecting another strong performance.

“She has shown a lot of versatility in a lot of her races,” MacPherson said. “She has been able to adapt to a lot of different circumstances, so I think she’ll be able to handle a distance.”

The only horse in the field with experience going around three turns is Sunny Soloro who went unplaced in the $75,000 Fantasy in her second start last October. The Barbara Heads trainee is coming off a win in a $30,000 optional maiden claiming race May 19.

Dance the Wind, Ouch, and Madeira Park round out the field.