08/22/2006 11:00PM

A router, Storm Forcast found perfect sprint


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Very fast interior fractions certainly had a lot to do with Storm Forcast's upset win in the $55,850 Cover Girl Handicap at Hastings on Saturday. With Frank Fuentes aboard, Storm Forcast was still last when the field turned for home, but she rallied between horses to edge April Foolish by a head, finishing the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.30. Storm Forcast paid $14.85, and for her trainer, Dino Condilenios, it was a very profitable day.

"I don't usually bet much, but I actually put out a few dollars on her," he said. "One of the owners asked me just before the race if I really liked her, and I told him he might want to bet a few dollars himself."

On paper, it looked as if Storm Forcast was using the Cover Girl as a prep for the 1 1/16-mile Delta Colleen on Sept. 16, and if she ran well there, she would move on to the Grade 3 Ballerina on Oct. 14. After all, her last five wins were at a mile or longer, and the only sprint she had ever won before the Cover Girl was a seven-furlong $22,500 maiden claiming race at Calder in 2004.

"Really, it was just the way the race shaped up," said Condilenios. "I think she'll be a better horse going long. At first I didn't think she was going to have much of a chance sprinting, but when I read the Racing Form and saw all the speed in the field I thought she might have a chance if a speed duel developed. I just told Frank to take a hold and make one big run. He rode her perfectly, and it couldn't have worked out much better."

The speed duel Condilenios hoped for certainly developed, with Spirit to Spare and April Foolish carving out interior fractions of 21.59 and 44.63.

Condilenios said he liked the way Storm Forcast was coming into the Cover Girl, and he was very happy with the way she came out of it. He said she would probably make her next start in the Delta Colleen, in which Storm Forcast might have to face Monashee, a five-time stakes winner.

"She was pretty nervous when she first got here, and she was still recovering from an operation after almost dying from colic," he said. "She's really coming around now, though. It was nice to get that win, because when we bought her we had the Ballerina in mind. But obviously with a horse like Monashee around, it's going to be a pretty tough spot. I don't know if Monashee's going to run in the Delta Colleen or not, but at least it's a weighted race. The Ballerina's at scale weights, so we're probably running for second money. But you never know, Monashee could run a bad race."

Condilenios made the move from public trainer to private trainer this year. He trains exclusively for Swift Thoroughbreds, which is run by Mark Mache, Nadia Mache, Horatio Kemeny, and Jacqueline Kemeny.

"It was tough leaving a lot of people that were very good to me for a long time, but these guys treat me above and beyond," he said. "They also treat the staff great, so it's a lot of fun working for them. I like to call it quality rather than quantity."

Hurry an Notis impresses again

Hurry an Notis took a big step toward the Grade 3 B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks on Sunday, when she scored an impressive win in a $50,000 optional claiming race Sunday. Stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time, Hurry an Otis set fast fractions of 22.90, 45.90 and 1:10.99, and went on to a four-length win over Real Candy. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Hurry an Otis ran the distance in a very good 1:45.92.

Hurry an Notis was making just her fourth start, and she was coming off of a 14 1/2-length win in a maiden special weight race July 30. She appears to have a big future, especially if she can learn to rate.

"It's too bad she broke a length or two slow," said trainer Tracey McCarthy. "It would have been nice to have her on the lead without being sent so hard. Once she broke slowly, Mario had to send her a bit, and she just took a hold of the bit and took off. He couldn't pull her up after the race, so I don't think she'll have any problem going a mile and an eighth."

McCarthy said that Hurry an Notis would make her next start in the 1 1/16-mile Hong Kong Jockey Club Sept. 16.

* Justice Jacqueline Borgan has dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Hastings Conservancy against the City of Vancouver challenging the authorizing of slots at Hastings.