09/16/2005 12:00AM

Henson tries to work his magic


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Steve Henson is winning races at the meet at a very good 31 percent. Henson also tends to move a horse up when he takes over their training.

A case in point is He's So Regal. When He's So Regal was purchased privately and moved to Henson's barn in early summer, he improved dramatically and he came very close to winning a stakes.

Henson claimed If I'm Spared for $20,000 Aug. 26, and it's possible If I'm Spared could improve enough to pull off a mild upset in the feature race at Hastings Sunday. The 6 1/2-furlong optional $35,000 claiming race drew six horses. Maxwell, who finished a very good second behind Celt in an optional $45,000 race Aug. 27, will be the favorite.

If I'm Spared is coming off of a game win in a $20,000 route

Aug. 26. He forced the pace and then held off Paladdie to win by a half-length. His only win sprinting came in a nonwinners-of-two allowance race May 29. Besides the move to Henson's barn, what makes him attractive in Sunday's race is his very impressive five-furlong move in 59.20 seconds Sept. 11.

Jake Barton rides.

Maxwell, who is trained by Terry Jordan, has very good speed and he'll either be in front or sitting just off of Lethal Grande. Either way, he figures to be very tough if he can repeat his solid effort behind Celt.