09/18/2009 12:00AM

Pace could suit Till the Storm


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Till the Storm and Trick of the North, second and third in the $110,000 B.C. Cup Classic, look like the main players in Sunday's feature race at Hastings. The second-level allowance race for older horses going 1 1/16 miles drew six horses and goes as the seventh race. There also is a claiming option in the conditions of the race, and all of the horses entered are either in for the top price of $50,000 or $45,000.

Following the 1 1/8-mile Classic won by Krazy Koffee, both Till the Storm and Trick of the North won their next starts.

Trained by Terry Clyde, Till the Storm cut back to 6 1/2 furlongs to win a $25,000 optional sprint on Aug. 28. It was his first win this year, but he has been a model of consistency. In eight starts, he has been second four times and third once to go along with his win. What could give him the edge over Trick of the North is his tactical speed in a race where they probably won't be in any hurry up front. He also drew the rail, and it wouldn't be surprising if Pedro Alvarado, who rode him for the first time in his last start, puts him right on the lead.

It is hard not to love a horse like the Barbara Heads-trained Trick of the North. An 8-year-old B.C.-bred gelding by Western Trick, Trick of the North shows up just about every time he runs. In 48 starts, he has compiled an enviable record of 11-10-9 for earnings of $302,080. He certainly doesn't show any sings of slowing down. In eight starts this year, he has won four times, placed twice, and finished third once.

In his latest win in a similar race, Trick of the North received a masterful ride by Robert Skelly. Trailing the field early, Skelly moved Trick of the North into contention going into the stretch turn. There wasn't a lot of room, and Skelly somehow maneuvered Trick of the North around a horse that was tiring in front of him on the rail. Then when it looked like he was going to have to go four wide around the turn, Skelly found the smallest gap between horses and didn't hesitate urging Trick of the North into the tight spot. Once he was through, there wasn't much doubt about the outcome.

Kwik, second to Trick of the North in his last start, looks like the main threat to the top two.