04/30/2009 12:00AM

Older stars face off in George Royal


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The top older horses in western Canada will square off in the $50,000 George Royal Stakes at Hastings on Saturday. The 6 1/2-furlong feature attracted a stellar field that includes True Metropolitan, who will be trying to win the George Royal for the third year in a row; Krazy Koffee, the horse of the year in British Columbia last year; B R Remark, the top sprinter in B.C. in 2007 and 2008; and Spaghetti Mouse, the all-time leading money winner among B.C.-breds.

Despite the star power headlining the field, trainer Dino Condilenios likes his chances of pulling off an upset with Teide. Condilenios has also entered Rallying Cry, who actually has better credentials than his stablemate. Condilenios, however, likes the way Teide is coming up to the George Royal.

"On paper Rallying Cry looks like the better horse," said Condilenios. "But Teide has really impressed me since he arrived here. I think he could be a pretty nice horse."

Teide and Rallying Cry were part of a package of horses bought by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. from Darley Stable in March. One of the horses in the package, Pop Artist, was a very impressive winner of a first-level $50,000 optional race for 3-year-olds last Sunday.

Teide is coming off a fourth-place finish in a second-level allowance race at Keeneland on Oct. 12. He has never won sprinting. Rallying Cry, who was stakes-placed in a six-furlong turf sprint at Belmont last July, finished a close second in a $75,000 optional race going seven furlongs on yielding turf at Belmont on Sept. 10.

Frank Fuentes rides Rallying Cry. Teide will be ridden by Chad Hoverson. They are coupled in the wagering.

True Metropolitan, who is looking to add to his $1.1 million in earnings, tailed off at the end of 2008, but is still the horse to beat. Trained by Terry Jordan, True Metropolitan has looked sharp in his works this spring and has enough speed to take advantage of his inside post.

Sir Gallovic, who won the Grade 3 Premiers in 2007, will be making a comeback attempt. He last raced in July 2008.