10/08/2004 11:00PM

Last race bodes well for 'Pretty'


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Pretty Meadow doesn't have the lofty credentials of some of the horses she'll be facing in the feature race at Hastings on Monday. But if she comes close to repeating her most recent race, she'll be tough to beat.

The 6 1/2-furlong allowance race drew an excellent field of eight older fillies and mares, including sprint stakes winners Dee's Love, Secret Bullet, and the local horse of the year in 2002, Elana d'Amour.

Pretty Meadow has only started twice this year, but she ran well in both races. In a race she clearly needed, Pretty Meadow battled through quick fractions before tiring to finish fourth in the Cover Girl Handicap on Sept. 5. She took a dramatic step forward in her next outing, beating stakes winner Lilsisterlightning by five lengths in a $35,000 optional sprint Sept. 26.

Pretty Meadow, who will be ridden by apprentice Jorge Espitia, should be a slight favorite off that race. She is trained by second-year trainer Janet Armstrong, who, from her first 65 starters, has won 18 races and has had 40 in-the-money finishes.

Trainer Brian Giesbrecht said he is hoping Elana d'Amour can recapture some of the form that helped her earn over $300,000.

Secret Bullet tired in the 1 1/16-miles Delta Colleen and should appreciate the move back to a sprint.