04/22/2009 11:00PM

Krazy Koffee looking about ready to roll


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Cindy Krasner will kick things into high gear when she sends out Krazy Koffee in the 6 1/2-furlong George Royal Stakes next Saturday.

Krazy Koffee, who was the horse of the year in British Columbia last year, hasn't raced since he finished a neck behind Rosberg in the 1 3/8-mile Grade 3 Premiers on Oct. 12. Before his narrow loss, Krazy Koffee had reeled off five straight wins, including an impressive score in the Grade 3 B.C. Derby.

Krazy Koffee won his initial start of 2008, a $50,000 optional race for 3-year-olds going six furlongs. Nonetheless, Krasner won't be disappointed if Krazy Koffee isn't up to beating what figures to be a stellar field in the George Royal.

"He has won going six-furlongs, and of course he's won going 1 1/16 miles and longer," said Krasner. "But it's weird, he has never actually gone 6 1/2 furlongs, and that is the most common distance they run here. This is just a race to get started, get the ball rolling kind of a race. We just want to get a good prep into him and get him back in the game."

Krasner is pleased with the way Krazy Koffee has trained this spring and doesn't discount the possibility of him winning the race.

"I am very happy with him," said Krasner. "He has trained just as well as he did last year. We'll just have to see what a 4-year-old season will bring to him."

Krasner won seven stakes at the meet last year and ranks 2008 as the best year in her career. At the industry awards dinner held last fall, Krasner was awarded the Diamond Award of Excellence for her outstanding achievements.

"It was a tremendous year, and it will be tough to repeat," she said. "I have to view this as a transitional year. Krazy Koffee is in a pretty tough older horse division. My 2-year-olds from last year have to prove themselves against 3-year-olds that have developed over the winter."

One of the 3-year-olds Krasner was referring to is P S Good N Ready. A homebred filly by Regal Intention, P S Good N Ready won the B.C. Cup Debutante and the Sadie Diamond Futurity for earnings of $147,757. Krasner is pointing P S Good N Ready to the $50,000 Emerald Downs at Hastings on May 10.

"She's on track," said Krasner. "You never know how far the horses she will be facing have improved, but she seems to have moved forward over the winter."

Expectations might be somewhat lowered this year, but nonetheless, Krasner is pleased with her stable and is looking forward to the upcoming meet.

"I am very happy with my barn," she said. "I have some nice babies to work with, and right now everything seems to be going according to plan."

Gutierrez hurt, out indefinitely

Jockey Mario Gutierrez is out indefinitely with a neck injury after being tossed over the rail by a mount and landing in the drainage ditch that is located on the inside of the track. The horse Gutierrez was riding, Eight Black, veered into the rail at about the three-eighths pole in the third race on Sunday. It appeared Eight Black was spooked when Gutierrez cocked his whip going down the backstretch. The jockey's injuries might have been worse if the drainage ditch hadn't had a substantial amount of water in it to cushion the blow.

According to his agent, Wayne Snow, Gutierrez appeared to be okay and was in good spirits when he was released from the hospital before the last race on Sunday.

"It looked like he was going to be fine," said Snow. "But they must have found something they didn't like because they called him back. He is set up to have an MRI next week."

Gutierrez was the leading rider at Hastings in 2007 and 2008.

Fuentes hustles out of gate

Jockey Frank Fuentes got off to a great start at the meet, winning the first three races and four of the first five. Fuentes is noted for getting horses out of the gate in a hurry, and it didn't hurt that speed was king on opening day. Horses that were first or second at the first call won eight of the nine races. There didn't appear to be a noticeable bias on Sunday.

"Riders want to break the ice right away and I would have been happy to win one race on the day," said Fuentes. "Obviously, I am thrilled to get off to such a great start."

Fuentes is coming off one of his best years as a rider at Hastings, and he closed out the meet in style, winning four stakes races worth $100,000 or more in its last month. He won 82 races including nine stakes for earnings of $1,469,377. That's the most money he has won here since 1998, when he won 100 races for earnings of $1,517,312. He had more wins, 88, in 2002, but earned less purse money, $1.28 million. Fuentes began his riding career in Southern California in 1983. He has been a prominent jockey at Hastings since 1987.