05/22/2002 11:00PM

Promising gelding gets real test

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Blowin in the Wind earned an average Beyer Speed Figure and beat a weak field when he debuted in a straight maiden race for

3-year-olds and up on May 1. But the way he won indicates he could be a lot better than just average.

Blowin in the Wind will face a much sterner test in a $50,000 optional race for 3-year-old non-winners-of-two Saturday. The field for the 6 1/2-furlong race includes Regal Rebel, who finished second to Commodore Craig in the City of Vancouver Stakes, and Tens Are Wild, who also showed a lot of potential beating no-tag maidens in his debut May 4.

Blowin in the Wind won his race by just over a length, but it would have been by a lot more if he had been able to find running room earlier. Boxed in most of the way, Blowin in the Wind accelerated when jockey David Wilson turned him loose approaching the eighth pole.

A Dumaani gelding, Blowin in the Wind worked a very good five furlongs in 59.60 seconds over a sloppy track on Monday. His trainer, breeder, and part-owner, David Forster, likes the way Blowin in the Wind is progressing.

"He could be a nice one," said Forster. "I just hope he comes back and runs real well on Saturday. All I'm looking for is him to make some progress and then we'll go on from there."

Regal Rebel came from well back to finish a clear second in the City of Vancouver Stakes May 5, and there should be an honest pace Saturday to set up his late move. He shipped here from Golden Gate, where he beat no-tag maidens at a mile March 16.

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