Updated on 09/15/2011 12:17PM

'Irish' and 'Dancer' top feature


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Irish Pleasure and Kat Dancer look like the ones to beat in a $50,000 optional race Sunday at Hastings Park. The 6 1/2-furlong race drew a field of eight lightly raced 3-year-olds, and other than Kat Dancer, each is looking for his second career win.

Irish Pleasure has placed in two stakes, the most recent being the 6 1/2-furlong City of Vancouver in which he finished 4 1/2 lengths behind I'm Free. Last October he finished second to Diglett in the $130,000 Ascot Sophomore and also in an allowance race two weeks before the Ascot. Both of those races were at 1 1/16 miles.

"I think he's a better horse going long," said his trainer, Frank Barroby. "But he's training well and he should run a good race Sunday. His work was slow the other day [five furlongs in 1:03.80 on Monday], but he's kind of lazy when he's on his own, so it didn't bother me."

Barroby plans to run him back in the Burnaby June 30.

Kat Dancer is undefeated in two starts. He defeated $20,000 maidens last September and finished a neck in front of Targets Gold in a $50,000 optional race at 6 1/2 furlongs May 6.

Crescent Island is looking to rebound from a disappointing effort against Kat Dancer last time. He was sent off favored but broke slowly and never got into the race while bearing out down the backstretch. Leading rider Pedro Alvarado has the call from trainer Harry Johnson.

Trainer Alex Murray didn't allow jockey Chris Loseth to carry a whip aboard Wonderous Zeal in a $25,000 maiden race May 12. The result was an impressive three-length victory.