04/27/2005 11:00PM

Regal Red pointed for the Sun

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It wasn't her usual dominating performance, but Regal Red was still good enough to win the $42,000 Strawberry Morn Stakes at Hastings last Saturday. A homebred daughter of On Target, Regal Red beat a fast-closing Overact by three-quarters of a length for her sixth straight stakes win. Her Beyer Speed Figure of 79 for the race equaled the lowest of her career, but her trainer, Robbie Anderson, was still pleased with the effort.

"She should take a big step forward in her next start," Anderson said. "Because of all of the wet tracks we've had, we just haven't been able to train her the way we would have liked. She came out of the race in great shape and we'll sprint her again in the Sun." The six-furlong Sun is scheduled for May 14.

Leading rider Frank Fuentes echoed Anderson's comments regarding Regal Red's fitness.

"She got a little tired, but that was expected," he said. "She should be very tough to beat next time."

Computer crash hits betting

Regal Red paid $2.80, but the Strawberry Morn, which went as the third race on the card, came very close to being run as an exhibition race with no wagering.

According to Michael Brown, general manager at Hastings, there are three computers that deal with the information regarding the mutuel pools. Within a minute of the second race, two of the computers went down.

"With only one computer in operation, there was just too much information to process at once," he said. "That slowed things down, and because of the malfunction we couldn't be sure if any money from out of province came through after the race had started. So we had to refund that portion of the pool."

Brown made the decision to run the stakes whether the tote system was up and running or not. It came back on a few minutes before post, and the total handle for the race was just over $23,000.

"I didn't think it was fair to keep the horses waiting in the paddock any longer," he said. "It also wouldn't have been fair to our fans."

Notis Otis keeps in shape

Notis Otis needed a good work before heading to Stampede Park for the President's Stakes next weekend. He got it Tuesday morning, going five-furlongs in an impressive 58 seconds, easily the best work of the year here.

"He did it quite easily," said his regular rider, Chris Loseth, who was aboard for the work.

Overload for Condilenios

Trainer Dino Condilenios has a problem most trainers would like to have. He has nominated four horses to the Hong Kong Jockey Club on May 7, but obviously doesn't want to run all four.

"If all goes well, I'll probably run Lord Nelson and Five Point Star," he said. "They both came out of the George Royal in good shape, and right now they're the most advanced.

"I'm not sure where I'll run Maxwell. He's out of conditions, and I don't think he's seasoned enough to take on the best ones here just yet. It will be hard to find an allowance race for him, so I might try him in a stakes in Seattle."

Condilenios also nominated Golden Mark who finished second for $25,000 last Saturday. He is hoping to find an easier spot for Golden Mark than the Hong Kong.

Carbon dioxide testing in place

Horses running at Hastings are now being tested for carbon dioxide levels in their systems. One horse per race will be randomly selected by the stewards to be tested. The horse will have a blood sample taken at the trainer's shed row 20 minutes before post time.

High levels of carbon dioxide can reveal the presence of alkalizing agents, thought to put off fatigue.

The program began last Sunday.

"I don't think we've had any problems here," said Sam Hawkins, director of racing for the province's Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch. "It's more about the public's perception."

Hawkins said the branch had read about problems in other jurisdictions, and both it and the local horsemen's association "want to make sure they don't happen here."