11/25/2004 12:00AM

Snow not easing up at finish line


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Daryl Snow has been around the racetrack long enough to know that he shouldn't get overly excited about the way things have been going for him the past few weeks. Snow has been on a roll as the meet winds down, winning six races with his last 18 starters.

Lethal Grande, who races for Cheap Charlie Stable and was claimed by Snow for $15,000 on Sept. 4, has won his last three starts and will try to make it four in a row when he runs as part of an entry with Future Flash in the Jack Short Au Revoir on closing day Saturday. Run at 1 1/8 miles, the Au Revoir is an unrestricted allowance race that carries a $35,000 purse for 3-year-olds and up.

"I was in my first win picture when I was six months old, so I've been on this roller-coaster before," said Snow. "I won't get too big a head over this streak, because I know it's not going to last. I'll just try and enjoy it while I can and get ready for the next valley."

Snow said he is happy with how Lethal Grande is coming up to Sunday's race and also likes the way the race shapes up for Lethal Grande's front-running style.

"There doesn't appear to be a lot of other speed in the race," he said. "Maybe Shacane, but he usually likes to come from just off of it, so hopefully Lethal Grande will be able to control the tempo. I just don't know if he wants to go this far carrying 124 pounds."

Snow, who turned 50 on Oct. 6, is part of a racing family. His father and uncles owned horses in the past, his brother Mel is the president of the local Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association, and his other brother, Wayne, acts as both a jockey and bloodstock agent. Snow began his racetrack career as a hot-walker and groom before becoming a trainer. He also spent nine years as a jockey agent before returning as a full-time trainer in 1988. Snow won the 2002 B.C. Derby with Cruising Kat, and he said he was hoping Future Flash, a full brother to Cruising Kat, would equal Cruising Kat's accomplishment this year. He didn't, but Future Flash has had a successful year, winning two races, including a restricted allowance race Oct. 31.

"That was a good win for him," said Snow. "There have been a lot of hurdles we've had to overcome with him, but he's going well right now and I expect him to run a good race Sunday."

The Au Revoir drew five horses and only four betting interests, so it was a bit surprising that racing secretary Lorne Mitchell let the race go.

"They're the best horses left on the grounds, and all of the trainers involved in the race have supported the program all year long," he said. "I didn't think it was fair to them to have kept these horses in training for the last month or so and then not get to run. It's not something we'll do very often, but I also wanted to send a signal out that the new owners of the track are here to support live racing."

Another trainer who is finishing the meet strongly is Jim Brown. "The Reverend," as he is known on the backstretch, will try to keep his hot streak going when he ships to Turf Paradise at the end of the meet.

"I'm taking about five or six horses with me," he said. "Country Kat will be one of them. She's still eligible for a nonwinners of two, and if she runs well we'll probably give her a shot in the Arizona Oaks."

Country Kat won her maiden in the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy Stakes, and she should appreciate the chance to run on a mile track.

* Leading apprentice jockey Jorge Espitia is also headed south. Espitia, who is from Southern California, is planning to visit his family at Christmas and he'll also see if he can pick up some mounts at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita.