08/04/2005 11:00PM

Numbers give Forster big edge


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Dave Forster has an excellent chance of winning the ninth race at Hastings Sunday. After all, he trains three of the six horses that have been entered in the $75,000 optional race at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies.

Forster has entered Sugar Pine, Nine to Midnight, and the likely favorite, Vickies Song. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Victory Gallop, Vickies Song is coming off of a very good second-place finish behind Slewpast in the Liberation Stakes July 16. Slewpast came back to win the fillies division of the B.C. Cup Stallion Stakes last Monday. Considering that the Liberation was Vickies Song's first try going around three turns, there's a good chance she will take a big step forward here. Robert Skelly rides.

There should be an honest pace in the race, with Nine to Midnight and Monashee both coming off of front-running wins sprinting. They will be stretching out for the first time.

Monashee scored an impressive 4 3/4-length win in a $50,000 optional race July 15. Her jockey, Justin Stein, will likely ask her for speed leaving from the rail. Monashee is trained by Tracy McCarthy.

Nine to Midnight drew the outside post, and her jockey, Patty Trimble, doesn't have many options and will also likely be sending.

Promise One, a maiden, finished third in a special weight race open to colts and geldings.