09/13/2005 11:00PM

Meeking looks to return a winner


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It has been a long time since trainer Bob Meeking has won a major race at Hastings. In the 1970's, Meeking won two British Columbia Derbies: the 1970 derby with Mincemeat and, in a thriller, the 1977 running with Bucksaw, who got up in the last few jumps to nail Skovinsky at the wire.

Meeking is hoping for a strong performance from Karis Makaw in the $40,000 Delta Colleen Stakes on Saturday. If she runs well, Karis Makaw figures to be one of the favorites in the $150,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup Oct. 15.

There is a very good chance Karis Makaw will be the favorite in the Delta Colleen. After all, she has won 3 of her last 4 starts and, according to Meeking, should have won when she finished second in the $98,000 Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap on Aug. 21.

"I might be biased, but she should have won by 10," said Meeking. "She got stopped cold on the rail, and if she would have had a clear trip she would have won for fun."

Karis Makaw has raced only 11 times. She was turned out after she finished second in the 2004 Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks last August.

"She was tying up," said Meeking. "We were fighting it all year, and after the Oaks her blood count was way out of whack, so we gave her the rest of the year off. She came back strong this year and so far she hasn't shown any signs of tying up."

This will be the first start away from Emerald Downs for Karis Makaw, but Meeking was not concerned about the ship across the border.

"She's a pretty sensible filly, so I think she'll handle the van ride up just fine," he said. "She just has a lot of common sense."

Meeking is planning on bringing Karis Makaw up to Hastings on Thursday. He will gallop and school her on Friday and run her on Saturday.

"It's basically a test run," he said of running Karis Makaw on the five-furlong Hastings track after she has been running on the one-mile Emerald oval. "I want to see how she handles the track, and if she runs well I'll bring her back up for the Ballerina. She shouldn't mind the smaller track. She has some tactical speed, will probably run mid-pack, and hopefully it won't be too big of a field."

Usually, when Meeking brings horses to Hastings he stables them with his old friend Terry Jordan. Not this time, though. Karis Makaw will be bedded down in Dave Forster's shed row. Forster plans on running three horses - Summer Symphony, Socorro County and Gold Accent - in the Delta Colleen.

"I want to keep an eye on Forster's three horses, and besides, Terry's bad luck," Forster joked.

Regal Red injured again

Speaking of bad luck, trainer Robbie Anderson reported that Regal Red came back from her six-furlong work last Saturday with a saucer fracture. Regal Red, who is owned by Fred and Corrine Gumprich, was turned out with a similar cannon-bone fracture following her win in the Strawberry Morn stakes April 23. In her return she finished a very good second to Pretty Meadow in the Cover Girl Handicap Aug. 21.

"It looks like it's in the same place," said Anderson. "She's certainly finished for the year."

Anderson said a veterinarian thought Regal Red could return next year, "but I don't know what Fred and Corrine want to do."

"They're pretty disappointed right now," he said, "and I'm not sure if they want to bring her back or retire her."

Regal Red was the champion 3-year-old filly here last year, and she was nothing less than sensational. She won all five of her races, with her shortest winning margin 4 1/4 lengths.

Barroby's enthusiasm justified

It's not that often that the all-time leading trainer at Hastings, Harold Barroby, gets overly excited about a horse. Nevertheless, Barroby was very high on Mighty Cahill going into the Washington-bred gelding's debut on Sept. 5. Barroby's optimism was well-founded as Mighty Cahill turned in one of the most impressive performances by a 2-year-old this year with an 11 1/4-length romp in a 6 1/2 furlong maiden special weight race.

Mighty Cahill will face a stern test when he faces a very good group of 2-year-olds in the sixth race Friday. Barroby likes his chances, but he's really looking ahead to the $75,000 Ascot Graduation at 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 23.

"I think he really wants to go a distance," said Barroby. "He's by Cahill Road, and most of them improve when they stretch out."

Mighty Cahill is the first foal out of Bates Monarch, who won two races, both routes.

Monashee may face males

Monashee, the British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks winner, has been nominated to the Delta Colleen but isn't going to start. Instead, according to her trainer, Tracy McCarthy, there is a very good chance she will face males in the Grade 3, $250,000 British Columbia Derby next Saturday.

"We're certainly thinking about it," said McCarthy. "We didn't want to run her back in two weeks and the timing of the derby works out better for the Ballerina."