07/08/2004 11:00PM

'Secret' the right upsetter

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Dancewithavixen has been sick, missed three weeks of training, and might not be up to a peak performance in the $40,000 Senate Appointee at Hastings Sunday. She will also carry 123 pounds over nine furlongs, so this race may be a good opportunity to beat her.

The logical candidates for the top spot are Victor's Secret and Hanselina. However, neither has been successful going this far.

Hanselina, A New York-bred 4-year-old filly, was recently purchased by Ross McLeod, and is trained by Steve Bryant. She has several obstacles to overcome. She has never raced outside of New York and this will be her first time going around three turns. Also, she just arrived at Hastings Friday morning, and the effects of a cross-continental trip could affect her performance Sunday. In her favor, her last start on dirt was a good one. She won over Holiday Lady in a nonwinners-of-two allowance race, earning a 92 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest in the race. That win was at a mile, though, and she finished up the track in a subsequent race on the turf in the 1 1/8-mile restricted Mt. Vernon Handicap. Pedro Alvarado will ride.

On the other hand, Victor's Secret has just about everything going for her right now. She easily won her last two starts, and should get a perfect trip from her rail slot under Chris Loseth. The distance is the only question, and her trainer, Lance Giesbrecht, is confident she'll be able to handle the extra yardage. "She's a different horse than she was last year," he said. "She's matured a lot and is much more settled. I think she'll be able to relax enough, and she's coming up to the race perfectly."