08/02/2008 12:00AM

Spaghetti Mouse sharp for Classic

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Once again Spaghetti Mouse looks like the one to beat in the $100,000 B.C. Cup Classic at Hastings on Monday. The Classic, for B.C.-bred or owned 3-year-olds and up, headlines the 11-race B.C. Cup Day card, which includes seven stakes races totaling $450,000.

Spaghetti Mouse was favored when he won the 2006 Classic and he was sent off as the odds-on choice in the 1 1/8-mile feature last year. He was very rank, however, and finished fifth. The winner, Shacane, paid $81.30, a record for the 13 previous editions of the Classic.

Trained by Lenore DaPonte, Spaghetti Mouse is coming off two straight wins, and he looked very strong pulling away in the stretch to win the Grade 3, $106,000 Lieutenant Governors on July 1.

Spaghetti Mouse, who has been assigned high weight of 125 pounds, looked sharp working three furlongs in 34.40 seconds with Pedro Alvarado aboard Thursday. According to DaPonte, he is coming into the race in excellent shape.

"He probably went a little faster than I wanted," she said. "But it didn't take anything out of him and it didn't seem to rattle him, which is always a concern."

Alvarado retains the mount.

It wouldn't be surprising if Zounds, who is trained by Terry Jordan, went off as the favorite in the seven-horse field. Zounds has won 3 of his last 4 starts at Woodbine, and in his most recent race he won a seven-furlong $62,500 optional claiming race on turf on July 2. He has never raced on dirt. Nonetheless, Jordan has won with 34 percent of his starters this year and he wouldn't have shipped Zounds across the country if he didn't think he could win the race. Jordan is confident that Zounds won't have any trouble handling the traditional dirt surface at Hastings.

"He's a nice horse and he'll run over anything," Jordan said.

Texas Wildcatter, who is trained by Troy Taylor, will be looking to become the first 3-year-old to win the Classic. In his last start, he finished fifth in the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Stakes, which was won by Pyro at Churchill Downs on June 14.

Winter Warning, who also is trained by Taylor, could be the one to catch.

"Unless someone else occupies that spot, he should be in front," Taylor said. "I also think he'll move up a lot off of his last race."

Winter Warning set the pace and then tired to finish third in the Lieutenant Governors.