08/23/2009 11:00PM

Otero sharp for stakes


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Highly regarded Otero will tackle B.C. Cup Debutante winner Vying Ty Grr in the $30,000 Lassie Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hastings on Wednesday evening. The 6 1/2-furlong feature drew seven horses and goes as the fourth race. First post for the first of two Wednesday night cards at Hastings this year is 7:15 pm.

The Lassie was originally worth $50,000 but as part of a recent purse reduction at Hastings, it was reduced by $20,000. Friday's New Westminster stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings suffered the same fate.

Trained by Dave Forster, Otero was no secret when she made her debut in a maiden special weight race on July 17. Sent off as the even-money favorite, Otero set fast fractions while on her way to an easy 5 1/2-length win over Delta Bouquet. If her bullet five-furlong work in 59.60 seconds with jockey Frank Fuentes aboard last Wednesday is any indication, Otero could take a big step forward in her second start.

"It was a very good work for her," said Forster. "Like any 2-year-old that runs like she did first time out, she has done everything right from Day One."

Fuentes was impressed with the move.

"It's a good thing there weren't any horses for her to chase because she was looking for something to go after," said Fuentes. "She's a pretty nice filly."

Vying Ty Grr, trained by Barb Heads, is coming off an easy front-running win over Emerald City in the B.C. Cup Debutante on Aug. 3. Vying Ty Grr was a bit of a secret when she paid $18 for winning a maiden special weight race in her debut on June 28. Sent off as the odds-on favorite in the Boulevard Casino in her next start, Vying Ty Grr was upset by Emerald City, losing by three-quarters of a length. In all three of her races Vying Ty Grr went right to the front, and it will be interesting to see if an early duel develops with Otero. Hamel retains the mount.

Trainer Troy Taylor entered Pat's Bid and Watchyourstep. Pat's Bid, is coming off of a sharp win in a maiden special weight race on Aug. 8. She earned a 55 Beyer Speed Figure, which matches Vying Ty Grr as the best last-race figure in the field.