07/23/2009 11:00PM

Sir Gallant looking for a clear run at Hastings


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - There doesn't appear to be any standouts in the feature race at Hastings Sunday. The first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up, which includes a $25,000 claiming option, drew eight horses and goes as the eighth race.

Sir Gallant could be the lukewarm favorite. Trained by Jim Ellickson, Sir Gallant is coming off of a fourth-place finish in a similar race July 12, when he had a bit of traffic trouble. With Frank Fuentes aboard, Sir Gallant broke sharply and was eased off the pace. He appeared to be full of run when he had to check behind horses approaching the quarter pole. Sir Gallant moves to the outside post on Sunday and he could be dangerous if he gets a clean trip. He also has plenty of back class with 16 wins and $358,493 in earnings.

Fuentes retains the mount.

Tom Quinn appears to have the best speed in the field, and in three starts here he has a win and two seconds. In his nine starts he has finished out of the money only twice. A 3-year-old gelding by Joey Franco, Tom Quinn forced a quick pace and held on to finish second in a $50,000 optional race for 3-year-olds July 4. Trained by Pete Gregory, Tom Quinn came back with two very sharp works and could be sitting on a big race. Richard Hamel rides Tom Quinn.

There is other speed in the field and a lively pace would certainly help the chances of Till the Storm, who is trained by Terry Clyde. Till the Storm comes out of the same race as Sir Gallant, and while Sir Gallant was waiting for room, Till the Storm was making a strong move while going four wide. He hung a bit in the late stretch to finish second. In his last 10 starts dating back to Aug. 10, 2008 Till the Storm has compiled an impressive 3-3-3 record.

Garry Cruise will be aboard Till the Storm for the first time.

Afleet Deal is a lightly raced 3-year-old and would appear to have plenty of upside potential. Afleet Deal won his first two races - a $25,000 maiden race going six furlongs on April 26 and a $25,000 claiming race on May 16. In his only other start he ran a decent race to finish fourth when he stretched out in the 1 1/16-mile CTHS Sales Stakes on June 14.

Mr. Apple Cider has speed, drew the rail, and is going for his third win in a row.