05/22/2009 12:00AM

Montero should get the trip


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Montero should be full of confidence when she goes for her third straight win in the eighth race at Hastings on Sunday, a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares that drew seven horses. The 6 1/2-furlong feature also has a $25,000 claiming option and Montero, who won a similar race on May 9 with Fernando Perez aboard, is in for the price.

Montero is no cinch to repeat. She is picking up five pounds, and two of the horses she beat on May 9, Smokin Danielle and Restless Lady, are eligible to improve in their second start this year.

Montero, who is trained by Barb Heads, has the right kind of stalking style in the speed-laden race, and she also has plenty of back-class. She won the $75,000 Wild Rose Handicap at Northlands Park in 2007 and is the top money earner in the field with $177,461. A 7-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Louis Quatorze, Montero went winless in four starts in 2008, but she is certainly on the right track now. Perez retains the mount.

Restless Lady finished a close second to Montero last time and she might have won the race if her jockey, Dave Wilson, would have been able to move her off of the rail a little sooner. Restless Lady appeared to be full of run when she was stuck behind Smokin Danielle, with Montero flanked on her outside all the way around the stretch turn. She made a nice move to get up for second after Wilson eased her out of the switch at the top of the stretch.

Restless Lady is trained by Cindy Krasner.

Smokin Danielle set honest fractions and then held on to finish third in the same race, but with the extremely fast Sophisticated Sis in the field on Sunday, she will need to stalk to have any kind of chance. Smokin Danielle has won from just off of the pace in the past and it is safe to assume her trainer, Rob Gilker, will instruct jockey Frank Fuentes to try and ease her off of what figures to be a brutal pace.

Include the Grand and Tamarinda also have decent speed, but neither is as fast as Sophisticated Sis. Trained by Sid Martin, Sophisticated Sis will have apprentice jockey Tabitha Morrison in the irons at 107 pounds.