08/27/2014 12:23PM

Madeira Park could be vulnerable in Friday sprint allowance

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Four Footed Fotos
Madeira Park, the winner of last year's Delta Colleen Handicap, will try a sprint allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs Friday at Hastings.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – There is no doubt that Madeira Park is the best horse running Friday at Hastings. Nonetheless, the Grade 3 winner could be vulnerable while running in a $50,000 optional-claiming race for fillies and mares that drew nine horses and goes as race 6 on the seven-race card that begins at 7 p.m. Pacific.

The multiple route-stakes winner really doesn’t want to sprint, and her trainer, Dave Forster, is looking at the 6 1/2-furlong race as a start toward a couple of bigger engagements in the near future.

“Obviously, the Ballerina here, and then we’re going to give her a shot in the Falls City at Churchill Downs in November,” said Forster. “I just wanted to get a race into her before the Delta Colleen [on Sept. 14], and this came up.”

Churchill Downs hasn’t released its fall stakes schedule, but the Grade 3 Falls City Handicap for fillies and mares usually takes place on American Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 27. The Ballerina is scheduled on Canadian Thanksgiving, Oct. 13.

[Hastings: Get PPs, watch Friday's card live]

Key contenders

Hidden Harbor (Last 3 Beyers: 77-68-72)

* The Arizona-bred is taking a big step up in class after winning back-to-back $16,000 claiming races, but she has won six of her 10 starts at the distance, and she also came within a head of winning the $50,000 Ladies Express last year.

* She is trained by Tracy McNeil, who has won with 31 percent of her starters at the meet.

Madeira Park (Last 3 Beyers: 82-84-74)

* The class of the field won her last two routes, and she came close to winning the Brighouse Belles going 6 1/2 furlongs in her first start this year. There also should be speed coming back to her.

Miss Derek (Last 3 Beyers: 63-72-71)

* Inconsistent, but she certainly is capable of winning this if she brings her best stuff.

* Blinkers go on following a dull effort Aug. 15 in the $72,000 City of Edmonton Distaff at Northlands Park. According to DRF Formulator, over the past five years, her trainer, Craig MacPherson, has a 33 percent strike rate when making the equipment change.

Castinette Dancer (Last 3 Beyers: 70-82-60)

* Trained by Troy Taylor, the sprint-stakes winner won’t mind the cutback in distance following an even effort Aug. 3 in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race won by Madeira Park.

DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past five years at Hastings, Taylor has won with 29 percent of his starters going from a route to a sprint.