08/15/2006 11:00PM

Pace sure to make this race


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The type of pace Crystal Gala sets in the seventh race at Hastings Friday will go a long way in determining which of the seven fillies and mares will cross the finish line first.

If they let Crystal Gala get away on her own, there's a very good chance she'll carry her speed the whole way. On the other hand, if she's under pressure from the start then the $8,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles becomes a wide-open contest.

Trained by Gary Demorest, Crystal Gala is stretching out after finishing fifth in a $5,000 claiming sprint July 22. In her previous start she forced a

moderate pace and then drew away to win a $5,000 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles on July 7. With leading rider Pedro Alvarado aboard, she's certainly quick enough to make the lead. How fast she will have to go to make the lead is the big question.

If Ruby of the Amazon, who worked a very fast four furlongs in 46.60 seconds Monday morning, goes with Crystal Gala, the race could set up nicely for Deltadanz.

A 4-year-old B.C.-bred by Alfaari, Deltadanz was an easy winner of an $8,000 nonwinners-of-three claimer July 16 and then finished third to a very sharp Katelyn's Star in a $10,000 claiming race July 30. Both races were at 1 1/16 miles and in both cases she stalked the pace.

Proud Lady didn't really belong in a $25,000 sprint for fillies and mares Aug. 6, but she showed more speed than usual before fading to last.