08/05/2004 11:00PM

'Lilsister' is the one to catch

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Lilsisterlightning and Storm-ented look like the ones to beat in the feature race at Hastings on Sunday, a $35,000 optional sprint for fillies and mares.

A former stakes winner, Lilsisterlightning will likely be favored. She's coming off a sharp win at this level July 1, and, with her good speed, she'll be tough to get past after breaking from her rail post position.

Given that Lilsisterlightning's last race was only her second start at the meet, she also figures to take another step forward here. A 7-year-old mare, Lilsisterlightning is a very tough horse when she gets her head in front, and most of her seven wins have been front-running affairs. She did come from slightly off the pace for her lone win last year, and if Stormented does get the jump on her early, Lilsisterlightning won't be out of the race.

Lilsisterlightning was stakes-placed twice last year, finishing second to Elana d'Amour in the Strawberry Morn and Cover Girl. She was claimed for $15,000 by trainer Gary Demorest for the Diglett Stable last November. Pedro Alvarado, who has been aboard for all 11 of Demorest's wins at the meet, will ride.

Stormented, who races for the Budget Stable and is trained by Janet Armstrong, is also coming off a win. She led for most of the way in her half-length victory over Famous Spirit in a $25,000 claimer. That race gained significance when Famous Spirit came back to finish second to Dancewithavixen in the B.C. Cup Distaff last Monday. If Stormented and Lilsisterlightning hook up early, it could set up for Defrere's Image.