06/19/2003 12:00AM

Orchid's Son drops from stakes

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Orchid's Son couldn't keep up with the horses in the Hong Kong Jockey Club, but he figures to be one of the favorites in the Saturday feature at Hastings Park, a $25,000 claiming sprint for older horses.

Orchid's Son looks like the speed of the race, and prior to his last-place finish in the Hong Kong Jockey Club, he won a $35,000 optional sprint May 19. It was a strange race for Orchid's Son, who at odds-on gave the chalk players a scare. He zipped along in front for the first quarter-mile but dropped back to fourth around the stretch turn before rallying to win by a half-length over Ekati.

Orchid's Son has won half of his six starts at Hastings, and with an inside post he figures to be tough to get past. Sam Krasner rides for trainer David Dahl.

Slew's Carousel shipped up to Hastings after being claimed at Santa Anita for $16,000 April 20 and beat a weaker group of $25,000 sprinters May 24. But he's worked only once since then, and his half-mile move in 51.20 seconds pales in comparison to his four-furlong work in 46.20 seconds prior to his winning race. His trainer, Gary Demorest, is off to a quick start at the meet with six wins from 18 starters. Nicola Wright rides.

J V Bennett has won four of his last five races at Hastings, but he hit the board just once in his last four starts, all at Sunland Park.

River Run, who finished third behind Orchid's Son and Ekati May 19, brings additional speed to the race. If they get carried away up front it could set up nicely for Smiles are Free, who is making his first start since being claimed for $20,000 June 1. Kelly Rycroft is his new trainer.