05/12/2002 11:00PM

'Marina' coming off nice figures


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Marina Del Sol will try to become the first three time winner at the young Hastings Park meet in a 6 1/2-furlong spring for older fillies and mares running for a top claiming price of $20,000 this Wednesday evening. She figures to be a solid favorite over eight others, all of them winless this year.

Going back to last year, Marina Del Sol has won three of her last four starts, but her two races this season were the most impressive. She wired a field of $15,000 claiming horses April 20 and then came from well off the pace to beat $11,000 starter horses May 1. In both races she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 73, her best ever, and given her versatility, she will be tough to beat whether the pace is fast or slow.

Eighty Proof, who hasn't won since winning her maiden race on the Nursery Course two years ago, is making her first start of the year off of a solid set of works. Her best race in 2001 was her first start of the year, when she finished second to subsequent stakes winner Castle Mountain in a $50,000 optional race. Considering the sharpness of her works this spring, she is likely to be on or near the lead during the early stages of the race.

On paper, it appears that Penlite is overmatched, but she will be saddled by leading trainer Rob VanOverschot, and he will give a leg up to the leading rider, David Wilson. A 4-year-old homebred filly, Penlite has started only three times. Her lone win came over $15,000 maidens last October. She has also been training well this spring and it wouldn't be surprising to see her make a good showing.

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