08/16/2001 12:00AM

Lasting Code among favorites in Lassie


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Lasting Code went into the July 21 Timber Music Stakes as a first-time starter but came out of it a stakes winner and will be one of the favorites in Saturday's $35,000 Lassie Stakes at Hastings Park.

According to her trainer, Steve Henson, Lasting Code was "one work short" going into the Timber Music, though she came away with a 1 1/4-length victory over 6-5 favorite Beautiful Stranger.

After she worked a brilliant six furlongs in 1:12.20 on Aug. 10, Henson was enthusiastic about his filly's chances this weekend. "She really needed that first race," he said. "She came out of it a lot wiser and fitter and I expect her to run a much better race this time. She was pretty green going into the Timber Music but she seems to have taken a big step forward since."

Trainer Dave Forster is also optimistic about his chances with Limited Print, who took the more conventional route and won her first start in a maiden race the same day that Lasting Code debuted. Limited Print stumbled at the break and then made a three-wide move around the stretch turn to win over Lady Vye, who came back to win the Stallion Stakes in her next start. Forster sent Limited Print out for a five-furlong tune-up Monday morning; she went in 1:00.40. "She's training great and should run a good race Saturday," Forster said.

Forster purchased Limited Print for Elizabeth Southam as a weanling in the 1999 Keeneland November Sale for $16,000. She appears to be a bargain. What attracted Forster to Limited Print was her breeding. "She was kind of a scrawny filly, and she's still on the small side," he said, "But she's by Boundary and is out of a Gulch mare and it's hard to find horses bred like that for that kind of a price."

Trainer Cindy Krasner has nominated Philosophers Stone to the Lassie, but she will skip the race. Krasner is hoping to run her in a maiden race before going in the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity on Sept. 8.

Wherever she turns up it will be a lot softer spot than her debut at Hollywood Park in which she finished a flattering fourth to Tempera, who came back to win the Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar by nine lengths. Tempera figures to be a solid choice in the upcoming $250,000 Debutante Stakes at Del Mar and is being pointed for the Breeders' Cup.

"[Philosophers Stone] was running against some pretty lofty company, but she's out of a good mare and she's by Meadowlake, so Michael Jawl, who owns her, wanted to give her a chance down there. She's a nice filly and should do just fine around here," said Krasner. Philosophers Stone is out of Above the Stars and is a half-sister to Astro Beauty ($364,000) and Astro Force ($227,000), plus 18-time winner Universal Lad and Bay Meadows Oaks winner Katillac of the Stars. Krasner reports that she's in light training right now but will step it up as the Futurity approaches.

Brock could ride again

With Dave Wilson, Frank Fuentes, and Sam Krasner all planning to ride at Emerald Downs this Sunday, Hastings Park trainers will have a hard time finding riders if they enter in races with full fields. Dan Brock, who retired at the end of last year said that he would be happy to help out and would accept mounts this Sunday.

"I know it's a big difference from galloping and working horses to riding in races, but I'm pretty fit and can tack 123 pounds," Brock said. Brock has been working full time as a gallop boy for the Dave Forster stable.

Johnson hurt in spill

Brian Johnson will be sidelined from injuries he received when Charming Peter broke down and fell in the sixth race at Hastings Park Wednesday evening. Johnson was thrown clear of Charming Peter and also Hugo, who fell over Charming Peter, but was stepped on by Autumn Red who was avoiding the fallen horses.

According to his agent, Wayne Snow, Johnson has broken ribs and a collapsed lung. "He's responding to treatment and the doctors give him a good prognosis," he said.

David Wilson, who was aboard Hugo, took off the remainder of the Wednesday card but reportedly suffered only minor injuries.