08/07/2003 12:00AM

Irish Eh has pace advantage


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Irish Eh will be very tough to beat in the Hastings feature Saturday, a $35,000 optional race for 3-year-olds and up that drew seven horses going 6 1/2 furlongs.

Irish Eh, who races for K. K. Sangara and is trained by Harold Barroby, was a game winner at this condition July 20, battling with Flying Officer through quick fractions and then hanging on to beat him by a neck. In Saturday's race there's only one horse that appears to have the speed to run with Irish Eh early, Orchid's Son, but he didn't show his usual early lick while finishing fifth in the aforementioned race.

Irish Eh drew the rail, and Pedro Alvrado should have an easy time of getting him to the lead from there.

Blowin in the Wind, who will be ridden by Larry Lacoursiere, is the top money earner in the race with $99,458, but he's still eligible for the nonwinners-of-two clause in the conditions of the race. A large chunk of his earnings came when he finished second in the 2003 B.C. Derby.

Blowin in the Wind is a Kentucky-bred and is trained by David Forster. In his most recent start he was favored over Irish Eh, but finished third. That was his first race since May 4, when he just missed to Dancers Magic in a similar spot. He was very sharp working a half-mile in 47.60 seconds Aug. 1, but this race may be too short for him.

Captain Des has started only twice this year, finishing last in both races, both at Woodbine.