06/19/2009 12:00AM

Shintaro back from stall injury


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Troy Taylor doesn't know what to expect when he brings Shintaro back for his second start at Hastings on Sunday. Shintaro heads a 6 1/2-furlong first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up that drew nine horses and goes as the eighth race.

The one thing Taylor does know is that Shintaro is a very fast horse. Shintaro used his good speed to beat El Sinaloense by five lengths in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race in his only start as a 2-year-old last year. El Sinaloense went on to win four stakes races and was named the champion 2-year-old in British Columbia.

According to Taylor, the reason it has taken this long to bring Shintaro back to the races is because he injured himself last year when he kicked a wall in his stall.

"He is training well enough," said Taylor. "Do I have him tight enough to beat a pretty decent field of horses? I don't know. I guess we'll find out Sunday."

Shintaro will be ridden by the barn's main rider, Mario Gutierrez.

Shintaro will have to deal with other speed in the field, especially Zip the Storm. Trained by Jerome Partington, Zip the Storm romped to a 13-length front-running win when he debuted in a $7,500 maiden race for B.C.-breds on May 13. Zip the Storm forced the issue early and then faded in two subsequent starts, a $50,000 optional race on May 17 and an entry-level allowance race on June 7. In the latter race, he held on a lot longer before tiring to finish fifth.

Richard Hamel will be back aboard Zip the Storm for the first time since his effortless win.

If a speed duel develops between Shintaro and Zip the Storm, Road Risk could pick up the pieces. A 4-year-old gelding by Cahill Road, Road Risk came from well back to finish second in the same race Zip the Storm exits. Trained by Rob VanOverschot, Road Risk could also be ready for a big effort in just his third start of the year. There is a good chance for rain this weekend, and if the track comes up wet it will improve Road Risk's chances considerably. He posted a career-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure when he won a maiden special weight race on a sloppy track last October. His second-best figure is a 69.

Aztec Ruler looked good winning a $25,000 maiden race in his only start this year and could be dangerous from off the pace.