06/15/2006 12:00AM

Quantis faces others with speed

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Quantis will try to win his third straight race at the meet when he faces a tough group of older sprinters running for a top claiming price of $15,000 in the sixth race at Hastings Saturday. With Williwaw and Guard Force in the field there should be a lively pace in the 6 1/2-furlong feature, which drew nine horses.

Trained by Gary Demorest, Quantis is stepping up in price following two wins for $11,000. He led from start to finish to beat Dubious Command going 6 1/2 furlongs

May 14, but changed tactics in his latest race, on May 28. Coming from slightly off the pace, Quantis seized control on the stretch turn and drew off to post a 3 1/2-length decision over Dubious Command.

With the excess of speed in the field it's likely that Anderson Ward, who will be riding Quantis for the first time, will try and place Quantis in a stalking position again. Pedro Alvarado, who was aboard for both of Quantis's wins, will be at Stampede Park to ride Halo Steven in the Alberta Derby.

Williwaw, trained by Robbie Anderson, looks like a serious threat. He broke a step slowly in his first start this year, and for a horse that likes to be in front, he ran well to finish fifth. He's dropping from the $25,000 level, moves inside, and could be tough to get past if he breaks with the field. Williwaw will be ridden by Robert Skelly.

Strategic Intrigue has tired in both of his sprints this year, but he could be dangerous if his rider, apprentice Mario Gutierrez, can ease him off of the expected duel up front.