08/14/2009 12:00AM

High-strung filly will stay home for Oaks


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Barbara Heads is content to keep Tierra Del Feugo at home and point her to the $125,000 B.C. Oaks on Sept. 26. Heads has other options, most notably the $75,000 Sonoma Stakes at Northlands Park next Sunday where she would probably be the second choice behind La Rocca, who will be shipping in from Woodbine.

Tierra Del Feugo is clearly the best 3-year-old filly at Hastings. She has won the last two stakes for 3-year-old fillies at the meet and she completely dominated her opposition in the B.C. Cup Dogwood in her last start on Aug. 3. She has a few mental issues, however, and Heads thinks it is best for the talented filly to stay at home.

"She is kind of a testy filly and it has taken us a lot of time to get her settled," said Heads. "She's wound a little tight and you never know what she is going to do at the starting gate."

The next race for Tierra Del Feugo is the $50,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club on Sept. 7. The 1 1/16-mile race is one of five stakes races that will be run on the holiday Monday. Heads isn't superstitious, but she has a few bad memories regarding the Hong Kong Jockey Club and is a little nervous about the race.

"I hate that race," said Heads. "I have had a lot of bad luck in it. Two of the best fillies I've ever trained were injured in the race."

Heads was referring to Remarkable Miss and Excited Miss, who were both coming off sharp wins in the B.C. Cup Dogwood and had career-ending injuries in the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Heads will be sending Borgatello to Northlands for the Sonoma. Borgatello has only started once, coming from well off the pace to win a $25,000 maiden race gong 6 1/2 furlongs on July 18.

The leading 2-year-old filly at Hastings, Vying Ty Grr, is also trained by Heads. In her last start, Vying Ty Grr crushed her opponents by 5 1/4 lengths in the B.C. Cup Debutante.

"She's doing very well," said Heads. "We'll bring her back for the Lassie and although we only look at one race at a time we obviously have the Sadie Diamond Futurity on our radar."

The $50,000 Lassie is scheduled for Aug. 26. The $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity will be run on Oct. 3. Both stakes will be contested at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Almost Time tunes up for Canadian Derby

Trainer Dino Condilenios sent out Almost Time for his final prep for the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby, which is expected to attract a full field of 12 horses at Northlands Park next Saturday. Almost Time breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:03.80 over a sloppy track at Hastings with jockey Frank Fuentes aboard for the move Friday morning.

Conidlenios was pleased with the work.

"That's all I wanted," said Condilenios. "The track is kind of messy so I didn't want him to go too fast. He was getting a little too sharp and I just wanted to get him off of his toes a little bit. He has to go a mile and three-eighths so I don't want to put too much speed into him."

Condilenios said that if Almost Time came out of the work in good shape he would ship to Northlands next Thursday.

"I won't know until I get back Monday because I'll be at Emerald with Teide for the Longacres Mile on Sunday," said Condilenios.

Track acts as good neighbor to fair

Hastings changes its normal schedule for the next two weeks. As usual, there will be live racing here next Friday, but Saturdays and Sundays will be dropped until Sept. 12. Wednesdays are being added on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2. Post time for both Friday and Wednesday will be 7:15 p.m.

The schedule change is necessary because the annual fair that is held on the Pacific National Exhibition grounds begins next weekend. Hastings is located on the PNE grounds, and although roughly a million people will visit the fair, the handle usually takes a hit while the fair is running.

It is also a hassle for racetrack patrons to park, and anyone who wanted to come to the races had to pay an admission charge to get into the fair. Hastings is trying to cooperate with the PNE regarding parking. By opening up the infield to parking the PNE will be able to bring a lot more vehicles onto the site on its biggest days.

"In an effort to work closely with the PNE we are allowing them to utilize our infield for parking," said Hastings general manager Raj Mutti. "This also allows us to be part of the fair footprint, which will bring more traffic to our site."

As part of the deal, anyone holding a B.C. Gold card for the casino or is a Horse Player Interactive member will receive free admission to the fair. HPI is the online and telephone wagering service that Hastings uses.

An added bonus is that anyone parking in the infield will pass right by the casino that is located inside Hastings.

* While the activities at the PNE don't start until the following weekend, Hastings is getting into the carnival spirit by holding mascot races here on Sunday. If the recently held promotion of wiener dog races is an indication, a large crowd will likely show up.