10/19/2007 12:00AM

Jordan loaded for Fantasy, Ascot

EmailVANCOUVER, British Columbia – Although the final two stakes at the meet – the Fantasy for 2-year-old fillies Saturday and the Ascot Graduation for 2-year-old colts and geldings next Sunday – are each $100,000 races at 1 1/16 miles, the similarities stop there.

The Fantasy figures to be little more than a public workout for Dancing Allstar, while the Ascot Graduation appears to be open to just about any of the 15 horses nominated.

Trainer Terry Jordan holds a strong hand with Dancing Allstar and he will also saddle one of the likely favorites, Star Prospector, in the Ascot.

Jordan is very confident about his chances with Dancing Allstar, but he vacillates between feeling good and not so sure about Star Prospector stretching out in the Ascot.

It comes as no surprise that Jordan likes Dancing Allstar. After all, she won her last two races, both at Hastings, by a combined 16 3/4 lengths and she was never really asked in either of them, the CTHS Sales Stakes Sept. 8 or the Sadie Diamond Futurity Oct. 7. Her lowest Beyer Speed Figure is 19 points higher than any of her potential rivals have ever produced and she is coming into the race off of a sharp five-furlong move in 58.80 seconds Thursday morning.

Jordan also likes the way Dancing Allstar is maturing. In her first few starts she showed tremendous speed but it looked like she might be limited to sprinting. She won the My Dear Stakes at five furlongs by 6 3/4 lengths at Woodbine July 2, and then took a clear lead into the stretch only to be caught in the last jump when she took on colts and geldings in the six-furlong Colin Stakes on July 21. Dancing Allstar showed she could rate in her next start, but after opening up a three-length lead at the top of the stretch in the Ontario Debutante, also at six furlongs, she tired to finish second.

“She’s grown up quite a bit since we brought her back to Hastings, and we have also made a few equipment changes,” said Jordan. “I don’t think a mile and a sixteenth will be any problem for her, especially considering the competition she will be facing.”

Dancing Allstar, who has earned $240,472, will be a prohibitive favorite in the Fantasy. Star Prospector will probably be either first or second choice behind Desert Alf in the Ascot.

A son of Millenium Allstar, Star Prospector has won four races in a row, including a one-length win over Desert Alf in the CTHS Sales Stakes. But Desert Alf was making just his second start in the CTHS Sales Stakes, and he came back to win the Jack Diamond Futurity in his next start.

“Sometimes I feel pretty strongly about Star Prospector stretching out, but other days I’m just not sure,” said Jordan. “It’s not that I think that he can’t do it, but I think [Desert Alf] is a pretty decent horse. The way he ran the other day, he’ll probably be a better horse going longer. They still have to beat Star Prospector, though. He’s not going to just give it to him.”

Desert Alf is a half-brother to B.C. Derby winner Spaghetti Mouse and is trained by Ned Sams. His owners, Mr. and Mrs. Nick Felicella, are the proprietors of a popular Italian restaurant in Vancouver called Nick’s Spaghetti House.

Trainer Frank Barroby is planning on entering Affiniti One in the Ascot. A gelding by Stephanotis, Affiniti One is certainly bred for the distance. He is a half-brother to route stakes winners La Belle Fleur and Suva. Suva won the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy last year and was voted the best 2-year-old filly in the province. Another half-brother, Lord Vic, won a starter race going 1 3/4 miles here Oct. 8.

Affiniti One is coming off of a fifth-place finish as the favorite in a six-furlong maiden special weight race Oct. 14, but Barroby wasn’t dissuaded by the disappointing effort.

“I couldn’t really train him going into his last race the way I would have liked to, and then he got squeezed out of it leaving the starting gate,” said Barroby. “I kind of knew he was going to come up short. He came out of it in good shape though, and I think he really wants to go a distance of ground. I think he’ll be a lot closer during the early part of the race going long too.”

Slots casino opening nears

The slot floor at Hastings should be opening soon. The actual machines are on the grounds and are currently being set up. Officials at Hastings are hoping to have them up and running before the meet ends Nov. 4. Approximately 150 machines are slated for the temporary facility with a total of 600 slots scheduled to be installed next year. Construction of the permanent slots floor could start taking place right after the meet ends.

Lee wins handicapping contest

Richard Lee nosed out Michal Puskas to win the DRF/NTRA Hastings Handicapping Contest last Sunday. For winning the contest, Lee earned $12,960 plus a trip to the national handicapping contest at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas next January 25-26. Puskas and third-place finisher Albert Wong will also be going to the national contest courtesy of Hastings.

Muriel Bowes, tack shop owner, dies

After a lengthy illness, Muriel Bowes, who was 76, died last week. Bowes ran the tack shop at Hastings for years and she was also a volunteer at the backstretch learning center. She is survived by her daughter, Vera Lynn Schwade. Bowes was pre-deceased by her husband, Wilf Bowes, who was a trainer at Hastings.