09/02/2006 12:00AM

'Mouse' must catch Notis Otis


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Spaghetti Mouse could have a slight edge over a very tough Notis Otis in the $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate at Hastings Monday. Although six older horses have been entered in the 1 1/8-mile feature, the spotlight will be focused sharply on Spaghetti Mouse and Notis Otis, who appear to be standouts.

Trained by Gary Demorest, Spaghetti Mouse is looking for his third stakes win in a row. What gives him a slight advantage over Notis Otis is the distance. Spaghetti Mouse has won all three of his races at 1 1/8 miles - including the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby last year - and he's coming off of an emphatic win in the 1 1/8-mile B.C. Cup Classic Aug. 7.

Notis Otis, has never gone this far. Nonetheless, it's hard to knock a horse that has won 8 of his 11 starts and had legitimate excuses in his three losses. He's won both of his races this year and is coming off a brave win over Lord Nelson in the B.C. Cup Sprint Aug. 7.

His trainer, Tracy McCarthy, would have liked for Notis Otis to have had at least one middle-distance race before he had to take on Spaghetti Mouse at that horse's best distance.

"He hurt himself earlier in the year, so we're a little behind," she said. "But, he's an exceptional horse and both his dam and sire won going this far, so I wouldn't count him out."

It's very likely that Mario Gutierrez will put Notis Otis right on the lead. Spaghetti Mouse, with Dave Wilson aboard, has tactical speed and should get a perfect stalking trip.