08/18/2005 12:00AM

Nanaimo to put Oaks into focus


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The $40,000 Nanaimo Handicap should point out some of the real contenders for the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks on Sept. 4. The Nanaimo drew eight 3-year-old filles and goes as the eighth race at Hastings Sunday.

Either Wind Surf or Regal Pusher will be favored. Wind Surf, who was recently purchased by Mike and Karnel Jawl, will be making her first start at Hastings. Wind Surf is still eligible for a nonwinners-of-two allowance, but she appears to fit nicely with stakes company at Hastings.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Lil's Lad, Wind Surf was an easy winner of a maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs May 1 and since then has finished third in three straight entry-level allowance races there. Her Beyer Speed Figures compare favorably to 3-year-old filly stakes horses at Hasting, and her trainer, Cindy Krasner, is pleased with the way she has adjusted to her new surroundings.

"She seems to like the track, and we were very happy with her work the other day," said Krasner.

Wind Surf will be ridden by Jake Barton.

Regal Pusher, who is trained by Steve Henson, had her four-race win streak snapped in the B.C. Cup Stallion Stakes Aug. 1. Nevertheless, she ran a solid race and she posted a career best Beyer Speed Figure. Regal Pusher figures to be on or near the lead in Sunday's race.