06/06/2013 12:30PM

Hastings: Vinoterra looks primed for big race in Saturday feature


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Vinoterra figures to take a big step forward when she makes her second start at the meet in a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares that will serve as Saturday’s feature at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew seven horses and goes as race 4 on the seven-race card, which begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

Vinoterra, trained by Barbara Heads, just missed to Dance the Wind in a $35,000 optional claimer May 9, and included in the field were stakes winners Wando Woman and P. S. Touch Down. This is clearly a much easier spot, and if Vinoterra improves as expected she will be tough to beat. It was her first race since she finished fifth in a $50,000 optional claimer last June 30. She used her good speed when she scored a front-running win in her debut at Golden Gate in a $20,000 maiden claiming race last year, but she came from a stalking position in her last race and should get a similar trip Saturday with Richard Hamel retaining the mount.

Prior to her strong effort, Vinoterra had been working exceptionally well. She also appeared to be on her toes when she worked a sharp four furlongs in 47.60 seconds last Sunday. All systems appear to be go.

Trainer Craig MacPherson has entered Officer’s Charm and Miss Derek.

MacPherson is hoping Officer’s Charm will be able to carry her speed around two turns and is looking for another strong performance from Miss Derek who rewarded her many backers when she won a maiden special weight race as the 1-2 favorite May 12.

Officer’s Charm pressed the early pace before tiring in a $35,000 optional claimer May 19. It was her first start since she set wicked fractions before fading to finish fourth in the $50,000 B.C. Cup Debutante last year, won by Bamboo Dream.

“I haven’t given up on Officer’s Charm, and she deserves another chance,” MacPherson said. “She got pressed pretty hard in her first start this year, but she has trained well since. Miss Derek is a very nice filly, and I think she’ll really improve when she stretches out.”

Bamboo Dream is looking for her first win since she won the B.C. Cup Debutante. Trained by Patty Leaney, Bamboo Dream rallied to finish third in a race similar to Saturday’s on May 26.

Lady Henrietta is coming off a second-place finish behind CTHS Sales Stakes winner Tempered Steel in a $35,000 optional claimer May 19.

Kataliah and Polebound complete the field.