05/20/2007 11:00PM

Rabbit sets up Napa perfectly


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Napa ($26.90), with a little help from her stablemate, Sophisticated Star, came from last to win the $55,733 Emerald Downs Stakes at Hastings Racecourse on Sunday.

Trainer Dino Condilenios's strategy of using Sophisticated Star as a rabbit to help set up Napa's good late move in the 6 1/2-furlong feature worked perfectly. Over a track rated sloppy, Sophisticated Star set a fast opening quarter-mile fraction of 22.01 seconds before she tired and finished last.

Napa, with Frank Fuentes aboard, stumbled at the start, but then settled in comfortably as the other three horses in the race took early runs at Sophisticated Star. Napa rallied strongly around the stretch turn and then gained control from Restless Lady, who had taken the lead approaching the quarter-pole. Restless Lady held on well to finish second, a length behind Napa.

Heavily favored Suva made a four-wide move at the quarter-pole and then hung, to finish third.

The final time was 1:19.25. Napa earned $33,440 for her owners, Swift Thoroughbreds.