07/08/2009 11:00PM

Smokin Danielle dangerous


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Smokin Danielle could prove hard to catch in the second race at Hastings on Friday evening. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for fillies and mares running for a top claiming price of $12,500 drew six horses and will serve as the feature on the eight-race card that begins at 7:15 pm.

Simply put, Smokin Danielle is the fastest horse in the race, and if she breaks alertly from post 2, she is probably going to be the winner. Trained by Rob Gilker, Smokin Danielle is running for a tag for the first time this year. The last time she ran in a straight claiming race she was an easy winner over Destiny's Home last Nov. 1.

In her most recent start, Smokin Danielle set the pace and then held on to finish second in a $25,000 optional claimer on June 13. Her sharp five-furlong work in 59.20 seconds on July 5 is a good sign that she is ready for another strong effort.

Frank Fuentes retains the mount.

Big Bertha looks like the main threat, but she will need to stalk in order to win. A 5-year-old German-bred, Big Bertha scored a front-running win in a $12,500 race on June 12 and then tired after setting the pace when she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles for $17,500 on June 27. She came from well off the pace to win a maiden race on turf in Germany in 2006 and also won from a stalking position over the Del Mar turf course in 2007. With the speedy Angel Came Down in the field, it makes sense that Mario Gutierrez will try to ease Big Bertha off the pace here. She is trained by local hall of fame trainer Alan May.

Our Gin Girl could be the sleeper. Trained by Carl Lausten, Our Gin Girl came from behind when she won a $7,500 sprint for B.C.-breds on June 21, and if a battle develops among the three speed horses in the field, she could be the beneficiary.

Kokeeno set moderate fractions when she won a $12,500 claiming race on May 17, but she couldn't keep up to the wicked pace set by Smokin Danielle on June 13. She doesn't need the lead to win, however, and should also get a nice trip breaking from the inside post.

Angel Came Down and Kachina Dream will need to improve. Both are stepping up in class after being claimed out of their last races.

An earlier version of this article listed an incorrect trainer for Smokin Danielle. She is trained by Rob Gilker.