06/27/2008 11:00PM

Spaghetti Mouse goes for hat trick


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Spaghetti Mouse will be going for his third straight win in the Grade 3, $100,000 Lieutenant Governors Handicap at Hastings on Tuesday's holiday card.

If Spaghetti Mouse is on his best behavior, he'll be tough to beat in the 1 1/8-mile feature that drew seven horses and goes as the eighth race. Sir Gallovic and Lord Avalon appear to be the horses with the best chances of preventing Spaghetti Mouse from pulling off the hat trick.

Trained by Lenore DaPonte, Spaghetti Mouse is coming off of a smart win in the $53,000 John Longden on June 7. With Pedro Alvarado in the irons, Spaghetti Mouse rated comfortably behind a slow pace before rallying to take control of the race on the stretch turn. He took a half-length lead into the stretch and never looked threatened as he held his margin over Bank Emblem.

Spaghetti Mouse can be a bit of a rogue, though. After winning the Lieutenant Governors in 2007, he was very rank in his next two starts and he was turned out for the year after finishing fifth as the even-money favorite in the S.W. Randall Plate on Sept. 3. Spaghetti Mouse, who's most important win came in the 2005 British Columbia Derby, looked very comfortable when he worked a mile in 1:39.20 on June 21.

"That was a nice easy work for him," DaPonte said. "He's a very happy horse right now and hopefully he'll have his mind on business when he runs Tuesday. Really, it's all up to him."

Alvarado, who also serves as Spaghetti Mouse's exercise rider, retains the mount.

In his two starts at the current meet, Sir Gallovic just hasn't looked like the same horse that was good enough to beat two-time Sovereign Award winner True Metropolitan in the Grade 3 Premiers last year.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Sir Gallovic is coming off of a disappointing third-place finish as the 4-5 favorite in the Longden. Taylor isn't exactly overconfident going into the Lieutenant Governors.

"He just hasn't bounced back the way I would like," Taylor said.

According to Taylor, Sir Gallovic had a small growth removed from his lungs after he finished fifth in the Grade 3 All American Handicap at Golden Gate on Nov. 17.

Lord Avalon will get a serious class test in his first start at Hastings.