04/27/2012 12:59PM

Hastings: Wando Woman seeks to leave gate issues behind

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Wando Woman makes her first start of 2012 in an allowance race Sunday at Hastings.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Wando Woman makes her seasonal debut in an allowance race Sunday at Hastings, and trainer Cindy Krasner will be keenly focused on the start of the race.

Krasner is aware that Wando Woman, who has absolutely no speed, is going to be last early and is unlikely to get up in time in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint. It is just how Wando Woman comes out of the gate that Krasner is concerned about.

Last year, Wando Woman actually did win a sprint, but she was facing much easier company. When she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the Vancouver Sun, she moved to the head of the older filly and mare division with a win over Caged Mistress. She came right back to win the Strawberry Morn, and they were ready to award her the money in the B.C. Cup Distaff when she decided to take her time leaving the starting gate. She also broke poorly in her last two starts in the Delta Colleen and the Grade 3 Ballerina.

“I have no idea why she started hesitating at the start,” Krasner said. “We would send her over there in the morning, and she would break out of there just great.”

It is tough enough winning races at Hastings with Wando Woman’s running style, and spotting the field five lengths at the start just about makes it impossible. Krasner is hoping Wando Woman, who has had plenty of quirks throughout her career, is over some of her idiosyncrasies.

“She’s changed a lot this year,” Krasner said. “She’s actually grown up a bit. She isn’t nearly as neurotic and has a lot better attitude. She is training great, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. It is definitely not her distance, but we have to get our feet wet somewhere.”

Another horse just looking to get their feet wet is Orchid’s Silver. Trained by Lenore Dubois, Orchid’s Silver went from being a mid-range claimer to a Grade 3 winner in a short span. After winning a $12,500 claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs June 24 and then beating just one horse in an $8,000 starter race July 16, Orchid’s Silver metamorphosed into something completely different. She just missed in the B.C. Cup Starter Handicap, beat the boys going 1 7/16 miles in another starter race, and then was unlucky to lose the Delta Colleen, which was one of the most-exciting races in 2011. She finished third after a stretch-long duel with Dashing Daisy and Hard Way Ten and only got beat by two heads after going at least four wide the whole way in the 1 1/8-mile race. She came back to prove her strong performance in the Delta Coleen wasn’t a fluke with a win over B.C. Oaks winner Class Included in the Grade 3 Ballerina Oct. 2.

Dubois is clearly looking past Sunday’s race, but wasn’t discounting her chances.

“Obviously, she wants more distance,” Dubois said. “But there is some speed in the race, and she will come running. I think she’ll get at least a piece of it.”

Dubois also trains Spaghetti Mouse who is the all-time top money earning B.C.-bred with $948,386 in the bank. She said the popular 10-year-old is ready to run, and she is looking for a race for him. It is possible he’ll run in the $50,000 John Longden 6000 next Sunday.

“I don’t really want to run him in the Longden, but I’m not sure if there are any other options,” she said. “We’ll nominate him and see who else is in there.”

Northern Causeway, the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby winner and horse of the year in British Columbia, is being pointed to the Longden. He arrived here last week with trainer Len Kasmerski.

“He’s doing great,” Kasmerski said.

Including Northern Causeway, Kasmerski shipped in from Golden Gate with eight horses.

Public hearings on racing’s future

The B.C. Horse Racing Management Committee has scheduled a set of meetings at Hastings next week where stakeholders can give input into the future of horse racing in the province.

Brian Butters, director of racing sustainability for the committee, explained the idea behind the meetings.

“We want to consult with everyone in the industry,” Butters said. “We are open to any ideas that will help bring about a viable program for the industry to succeed in the future.”

The meetings begin Wednesday with owners. Trainers, jockeys, veterinarians, grooms, and bettors get their opportunity Thursday. The meetings will be held in the old slot floor underneath the grandstand.

Meetings also have been scheduled in Vernon at the Village Green Hotel, May 15, and in Chilliwack at the Coast Hotel ob May 16 to discuss racing in the interior of B.C.

◗ A celebration of life for trainer Shauna Ferguson is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, May 7 at Keenebridge Farm, 375 – 232 Street, in Langley. Ferguson, 58, died in a training accident at Keenbridge on April 9. In lieu of flowers, her family would prefer donations made to the New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society.