06/28/2014 12:16PM

Koffee Grinder, Distillery lead the way in Chris Loseth Handicap


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Craig MacPherson is expecting big performances from Koffee Grinder and Distillery in the $50,000 Chris Loseth Handicap for 3-year-olds Tuesday at Hastings. The 1 1/16-mile Loseth drew six horses and is the first of four stakes races featured on the eight-race Canada Day card that begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

Koffee Grinder is a known quantity and will be the favorite. He paid a generous $17.20 as the impressive winner of a maiden special weight race in his first start this year. He came back as the favorite to win the $50,000 River Rock Casino by a head over Aspen Getaway. Both races were at 6 1/2 furlongs, and Koffee Grinder will be trying a middle distance for the first time in the Loseth.

“He sure trains like a horse that will improve going long,” said MacPherson. “He’s big, and he puts his head down and gallops along like a good horse.”

[Canada Day: Get PPs, watch Tuesday's card live]

He certainly has the pedigree to handle his first route attempt. He is out of the mare Just Pinn’er, who is a half-sister to Krazy Koffee, the winner of the 2008 Grade 3 British Columbia Derby. Plus, according to Formulator, the past five years, MacPherson has won with 19 percent of his starters going a route the first time.

Leading rider Richard Hamel retains the mount.

On the other hand, Distillery is a bit of a mystery. He has raced mostly on turf at Santa Anita, where his only win came in a $75,000 maiden-claiming race coming down the hill. Partly with input from MacPherson, he was claimed out of the race by Leo and Norma Shaw. In his first start for the Shaws, he finished last in a one-mile, $80,000 optional-claiming race on the Santa Anita turf course for trainer Gary Greiner. The winner Home Run Kitten came back to win the $82,000 Singletary with a 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I don’t know what to make of his last race, but I have been impressed with the way he has trained since he arrived here,” said MacPherson.

The main threat to the uncoupled MacPherson entry is Remembertobreathe, who also is coming off back-to-back wins. His latest win for trainer Sylvea Gregory came going 1 1/16 miles in a first-level allowance race June 15, so he could have a slight edge with a three-turn race behind him.

Ole’s Miss heads up Supernaturel

Ole’s Miss clearly is the one to beat in the $50,000 Supernaturel Handicap for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles. She won both sprint stakes at the meet, and the only time she tried a middle distance, she had a brutal trip while finishing third in the $75,000 Fantasy as a 2-year-old last year.

Following her win June 7 over Dawselina in the $50,000 Emerald Downs at Hastings, Ole’s Miss came back to work four furlongs in 47.20 seconds June 25. What impressed Hastings clocker Lisa Russell about the move was the way Ole’s Miss galloped out five furlongs in 59.40.

Trainer Tracy McCarthy is expecting another strong effort with Amadeo Perez riding.

Dawselina, Arabella’s Muse, and Today Is the Day have good speed, which should not only help Ole’s Miss but Architecture as well.

Architecture handed Ole’s Miss her last loss in the Fantasy, and trainer Dino Condilenios is hoping she has turned things around after a couple of even efforts in the Ross McLeod and Emerald Downs.

“We checked her blood after the Emerald Downs, and it was a bit off,” said Condilenios. “We’ve worked on a few things, and she seems to be doing great now. I am really optimistic she is going to run a big race.”