05/04/2006 11:00PM

Questions surround the favorites


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Asong for Billy and My Master have some questions to answer when they run in the feature race at Hastings Sunday. The 6 1/2-furlong optional $35,000 claiming race for older horses goes as the seventh race.

Trained by Pete Gregory, Asong for Billy has plenty of back class. He won the 2002 Pomona Derby at Fairplex Park and the March Madness Stakes at Santa Anita in 2003. He was in good form last May, winning a $50,000 claiming race at Santa Anita. But he hasn't started since he was pulled up after going six furlongs in a 1 1/16-mile, $25,000 claiming race at Hollywood Park on July 10.

Asong for Billy has earned $272,860 but has had only one sprint in his 21-race career, finishing sixth in his debut. Apprentice rider Justin Pang will ride.

My Master has posted triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in 2 of his last 3 races, but he hasn't raced since finishing third to Grade 1 winner Taste of Paradise in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park Dec. 5, 2004. Also, he's been entered twice at the current meet and scratched both times. The first time his registration papers weren't on file in the racing office in time for the race, and last weekend he failed the morning vet inspection.

It's encouraging that leading rider Pedro Alvarado accepts the call on My Master, and all three of the horses trainer Steve Henson has started at the meet have hit the board.