07/16/2004 12:00AM

Improved Tobe Suave hard to beat


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - According to trainer Steve Bryant, Tobe Suave has moved up five lengths since his 1 1/4-length win over Future Flash in the Burnaby Breeders' Cup July 1. If that's the case, Take Suave will be very tough to beat as the favorite in the $40,000 Jim Coleman Province Stakes at Hastings Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile feature drew eight 3-year-olds, including Lord Samari, last year's local 2-year-old champ who is coming off of a troubled second in the Alberta Derby June 19.

Sunday's card also includes the $40,000 Nanaimo for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.

Bryant said that Tobe Suave has thrived since arriving at Hastings, and that was apparent when Tobe Suave worked an easy half-mile in 48.80 seconds July 14. Leading rider Pedro Alvarado was aboard for the work and he never let Tobe Suave get out of a gallop.

Tobe Suave was purchased by Ross McLeod before his third-place finish in the Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine June 13 and was shipped to Bryant's shedrow following the race. He was sent off as the second choice in the Burnaby, but from the way he repelled the late move of Future Flash in that race, he will likely be a short price Sunday.

Lord Samari, who is trained by Rob Vanoverschot, got off to a slow beginning and then had a very wide trip while finishing second to Fly Esteem in the Grade 3, $100,000 Alberta Derby. He will not mind the return to Hastings, where he's won four of his eight starts, including three stakes as a 2-year-old.