05/07/2004 12:00AM

Kwaito primed for peak effort


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Dino Condilenios won his first training title in 2003 and considering the way his horses have been running at the current meet, there's a very good chance he will repeat as the leading trainer at Hastings this year.

Condilenios will saddle Kwaito in Sunday's feature race, a $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs, and she figures to be one of many contenders in a wide-open event that drew nine horses.

Kwaito, who won two races in 2003, began this season by finishing a close fourth to Regal Heir in a $25,000 sprint April 18. She set the pace before tiring in the late stretch and given that it was her first start since July, she could be set for a big effort Sunday.

There isn't a lot of apparent speed in the field and that could hurt the chances of Razor Barb and Catahoula Rose.

Razor Barb has shown tactical speed in the past, but in her recent races she has been coming from well off the pace. She only lost by a nose in the same race that Kwaito exits, and her chances would likely improve if she's able to stay within striking range of the leaders during the early stages.

Catahoula Rose, a 6-year-old mare, is the lone stakes winner in the field and with $246,000 in earnings, is clearly the class of the race. Her only win sprinting, however, was over $20,000 maidens when she was a 2-year-old and her lack of early speed certainly will not help her here.

West Coast Fun finished third in the Regal Heir race. She raced wide while stalking the winner and Kwaito.