07/19/2005 11:00PM

Lone speed could be long gone

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - With 15-time winner Buckeye Bates and a very tough Pioneer Pete in the field, the seventh race easily shapes up as the best race on the Friday night card at Hastings. Just about all of the eight horses entered in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for $20,000 claimers appear to have a chance at the top prize.

Above the Clouds, who has won 2 of his 5 starts at the meet, figures to be the one they will be chasing. Unless One Handsome Devil goes with him early, Above the Clouds could be very tough to catch.

Above the Clouds will be making his first start for trainer Cindy Krasner, who claimed him for $15,000 out of a July 1 win. A 4-year-old colt, Above the Clouds will be ridden by Frank Fuentes.

Buckeye Bates also won his last start. A classy 8-year-old gelding, Buckeye Bates skimmed the rail the whole way and got up to beat a very stubborn Pioneer Pete by a half-length in a $20,000 sprint July 8. Buckeye Bates has been carefully managed throughout his career by trainer Frank Barroby. Barroby's care has paid off as Buckeye Bates has won almost half of his 31 starts. Buckeye Bates will be ridden by leading rider Justin Stein.

Dance on Home will be making his first start at Hastings. An Ontario-bred, Dance on Home finished fourth in a $20,000 starter race at Woodbine July 1 and earned an 83 Beyer Speed Figure, easily the best last-race figure in the field. Dance on Home worked a bullet five furlongs July 14.