09/30/2001 11:00PM

Mighty Dixie should like pace setup

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia ? A small but competitive field of fillies and mares will line up to go 1 1/16 miles in a $25,000 optional race at Hastings Park this Wednesday evening. With a lively pace expected it should set up nicely for Mighty Dixie who was stakes placed at the distance last season but is still looking for her first win of this year.

Mighty Dixie comes into Wednesday's race off of an excellent effort sprinting where she closed strongly to finish a close third to Lilsisterlightning in a $25,000 optional race Sept. 19. In her previous start she came up a nose short to a very tough Princess Vye going 1 1/16 miles in a $20,000 claiming race Sept. 3. Although she hasn't won a race this year, she has picked up a check every time and in her last four races she hasn't been worse than third. She has won at the distance, a $50,000 optional race last year, and she followed up her win with a second place finish in the Sonoma Stakes at Northlands Park.

Trainer Lance Giesbrecht put blinkers on Pilgrim Miss for her last start and she showed more speed than usual before tiring to finish a well-beaten sixth. Giesbrecht wasn't happy with the results so he has taken them off, and Pilgrim Miss figures to go back to her come from behind style that helped her win at this level July 11.

Vermilion Sea and Gypsy Romance both have excellent speed and figure to set a quick pace. Vermilion Sea could have the edge breaking from the inside but she has never gone this far.