10/15/2003 11:00PM

'Lilsister' back at best game


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Lilsisterlightning, who has been one of the top sprinting mares at Hastings for the last two years, will likely be favored over in a $50,000 optional race for fillies and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs Saturday.

Lilsisterlightning, is coming off of an eighth-place finish in the Delta Collen Stakes Sept. 21, but that was going around three turns and both times she's tried to carry her speed farther than 6 1/2 furlongs she's finished out of the money.

But Lilsisterlightning has won 7 of her last 11 sprints and finished second the other four times. She finished a very close second to Elana d'Amour in the Cover Girl Stakes Aug. 23 and then won a $35,000 optional sprint Sept. 1. She was claimed out of that race by trainer Steve Bryant, who was acting on behalf of Kim Hart.

Lilsisterlightning has excellent speed, and although she's either been on or just off of the lead in most of her races, she has come from as far back as fifth to win. With an outside post and plenty of other speed inside, her jockey Felipe Valdez will have to decide early if he's sending or not.

Whiskey Til Dawn, who is trained by Frank Lucarelli, has won three of her five starts this year, all at Emerald, and she also figures to be in the race early. Like Lilsisterlightning, she went unplaced in her last start, the one-mile Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Distaff, but she was an easy winner in her two previous races, a one-mile allowance race Aug. 9 and a $50,000 optional sprint on July 20.