05/12/2006 12:00AM

Looking to last year to find winner

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - If Basket of Dreams, who is making her 2006 debut, runs as well as she did in her initial start of 2005, she could be the one in the 6 1/2-furlong Hastings feature Sunday. That's a big if, however, and the $20,000 claiming race, for fillies and mares who haven't won three races, appears to be a tough race to take a firm stand on.

What makes the race, the seventh on the card, so puzzling is that all of the eight horses entered are coming off uninspiring performances. In fact none of them finished better than fifth in their last start.

Trained by Terry Clyde, Basket of Dreams has a solid set of works behind her and she ran well fresh last year, finishing second to a very good April Foolish in a $50,000 optional race June 12. She tailed off following her encouraging opener and eventually dropped into an $8,000 nonwinners of two for her only win at the meet. Pedro Alvarado rides.

Ms. Sarah Vye has very good speed and drew the rail, so it's likely she'll be sent right to the front. Trained by Randy Lane, Ms. Sarah Vye set quick fractions before tiring to finish last when she ran against colts and geldings at this condition April 22.

Princess Alex has looked very sharp this spring, and she's back with her original trainer, Carl Lausten. Princess Alex didn't run a jump in four starts last year, but under Lausten's care as a 3-year-old, she won a maiden special weight race and was stakes-placed behind Regal Red.