08/03/2013 12:13PM

Hastings: Three turns a question for Stellar's Jay favorites


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic is the richest of the six stakes races for British Columbia-breds that will be the main focus of the strong Monday holiday card at Hastings. Nonetheless, there is more at stake for the 11 3-year-olds entered in the $50,000 Stellar’s Jay, and a good showing in the 1 1/16-mile race will propel them on a path that could end with a shot in the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby on Sept. 9. Post time for the first of nine Monday races is 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

There are two stakes winners in the Stellar’s Jay, and both Ruby’s Victory and Mark have to prove they can win going three turns.

Ruby’s Victory was undefeated after winning the $50,000 River Rock Casino going 6 1/2 furlongs but lost some luster when he finished fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Chris Loseth.

Trainer Milton Palma is hoping for a better effort in his second try at a middle distance.

“He was inside and never got to relax because there was a horse dogging him the whole way,” said Palma. “Hopefully he will be a lot more relaxed this time.”

Ruby’s Victory drew post 10, where jockey Enrique Gonzalez will likely try and ease him into a stalking position.

Mark, trained by Mike Anderson, won the Tempe Handicap on the Turf Paradise turf March 16 but is coming off a dull effort in the Chris Loseth, finishing sixth in the eight-horse field.

He was on his toes when he worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 on July 28 with Amadeo Perez aboard, but the sharp move wasn’t enough to convince Perez to ride Mark. Instead he will be aboard Go for Guinness, who forced the pace in the Chris Loseth before tiring to finish fourth.

Aaron Gryder picks up the mount on Mark.

Stormin for Becka, trained by Craig MacPherson, is coming off back-to-back wins in allowance sprints and could make some noise in his first route attempt.

Trainer Barbara Heads wasn’t pleased with Tracker’s disposition and had him gelded him after he finished a disappointing fifth in the River Rock Casino. Tracker ran an improved race when he finished third behind Stormin for Becka on July 14, and could be dangerous with Vancouver’s favorite adopted son, Mario Gutierrez, riding.

Distaff: Gosailgo one to catch

Gosailgo and Dance the Wind look like the main players in the 1  1/8-mile Distaff that drew 10 older fillies and mares.

Gosailgo is coming off a front-running win in the $50,000 Boeing Handicap at Emerald Downs on July  7 and will likely be the one they have to catch if she breaks alertly from post 2 with Richard Hamel aboard.

Trainer Robbie Anderson likes the way the speedy 4-year-old filly is coming into the race but thinks she is a better horse running over a mile track.

“She’s training great and I expect her to run a big race, but she’s a muscular filly and she fights the turns here a little bit,” said Anderson.

A year ago she didn’t have any trouble negotiating three turns when she won the B.C. Cup Dogwood.

Dance the Wind won her first three starts at the meet, including the Vancouver Sun, before getting too far back while Evelyn’s Dancer was setting a very slow pace on her way to an easy win in the Monashee.

Aaron Gryder will ride Dance the Wind for the first time, and trainer Carl Lausten is expecting a more aggressive ride.

“Aaron read the play last time, and I’m pretty sure he’s is going to have her involved a little sooner,” said Lausten.

Last year’s Distaff winner, P. S. Touch Down, appears to be rounding into form and could be poised to score another upset.

Dogwood: Wide-open field of 10

The $50,000 Dogwood for 3-year-old fillies is wide open, and any of the 10 horses entered could win the 1 1/16-mile race.

It might be worth taking a shot with Touching Promise, who is stepping up in class after winning a maiden special weight race going 6  1/2 furlongs June 30.

Trained by Barbara Heads, Touching Promise ran a much-improved race when she ran without blinkers for the first time and should get a nice trip from a stalking position behind speed that doesn’t figure to last.

Deep closers I Want to Dust Her, Bamboo Dream, and Tempered Steel are the only stakes winners in the field, and any of them could get up in time with a clean trip.

◗ Deviance will be heavily favored to win the $50,000 Nursery for 2-year-old colts and geldings, but Shingen Sky looks attractive at what should be a decent price.

Architecture looks like the one to beat in the $50,000 Debutante for 2-year-old fillies.