09/03/2003 11:00PM

Plenty of speed in Speed

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Speedsters Celt and Commodore Craig figure to hook up early and set it up late for either likely favorite Bold 'n Keen or Kalfaari in the $40,000 Hastings Speed on Saturday. The 6 1/2-furlong handicap drew seven horses and goes as the eighth race.

Celt, Commodore Craig, and Bold 'n Keen all met in the British Columbia Cup Sprint, where Bold 'n Keen scored an impressive 1 1/2-length victory over Celt. The expected speed duel between Celt and Commodore Craig didn't materialize as Commodore Craig broke a step slowly and never really got into the race, finishing a distant third.

"Hopefully he'll break a little better and get to run his race," said Robbie Anderson, trainer of Commodore Craig. "I'm not sure that he'll go head and head with Celt, but at least he should be close early and I think he'll be able to pass him in the stretch."

Commodore Craig, who races for Linwood Stables and will be ridden by Chris Loseth, has won two allowance races, placed in four stakes, and earned $72,748 in 2003. He was a sprint stakes winner last year.

Kalfaari, who is owned and trained by Clint Willson, had won seven races in a row before finishing fifth in the 1 5/16-mile Westerner at Northlands Park Aug. 15. He's more suited to the 6 1/2 furlongs of the Speed, and with his tactical speed should get a good trip from his rail slot. Sean Evans will ride.

Bold 'n Keen has won the last two sprint stakes for older horses at Hastings and earned a career best 98 Beyer Figure for his win in the B.C. Cup Sprint.