10/07/2004 11:00PM

Rules of War just needs a little luck


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Sunday's headliner, a 1 1/8-mile allowance race for 3-year-olds and up, couldn't set up much better for Rules of War. With speedsters Five Point Star and Treasured Friend likely to carve out a very quick pace, Rules of War should be able to secure a perfect stalking position and take control of the race at the appropriate time.

Of course, he'll need a little better luck than he had in the British Columbia Derby, where he stumbled a few strides after leaving the starting gate and unseated his jockey, Roberto Ramirez.

Rules of War went into the B.C. Derby off of a convincing win in the Richmond Derby Trial, and his trainer, Rob Gilker, was expecting a big effort in the derby, the most prestigious race in the province.

Gilker is pleased that Rules of War wasn't hurt by the incident and likes the way he's coming into Sunday's race.

"He worked a strong six furlongs last Saturday, and luckily he wasn't hurt by what happened," he said. "Now we just want to get his confidence back up and this looks like a pretty good spot for that."

Ramirez retains the mount.

Treasured Friend is a tough one to figure, but when he's in the mood he can dominate a race, like he did when he won the Derby Consolation by 6 3/4 lengths Sept. 26. He wants the lead, though, and with two-time sprint stakes winner Five Point Star breaking inside of him, he'll likely be hard pressed the whole way.