07/30/2016 11:46AM

Stanz in Command gets another stamina test in B.C. Cup Stellar's Jay

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Stanz in Command wins the River Rock Casino Handicap in June.

Stanz in Command has won four of his five sprints, all in stakes, but finished fourth both times he went around three turns in the Ascot Graduation in his final start as a 2-year-old and in his latest race in the $50,000 Chris Loseth on July 1.

Trainer Charlene Miller is confident he will run a big race when he goes a middle distance again in the $50,000 British Columbia Cup Stellar’s Jay at Hastings on Monday. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds is one of seven stakes on the B.C. Cup Day card that begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific.

The Stellar’s Jay is restricted to horses bred or by a sire standing in Washington state or British Columbia. The seven horses entered were all bred in British Columbia.

Stanz in Command has never shown much in the mornings, but he certainly comes to play in the afternoons. With no flashy works showing, he paid $78.70 when he won the B.C. Cup Nursery in his debut last year. He proved that it was no fluke when he beat open company in his next start in the $50,000 New Westminster.

:: Hastings: Buy pps, watch Monday's card live

Miller is hoping that his bullet four-furlong move in 46.80 seconds with leading rider Richard Hamel aboard July 24 is a good sign that he’s ready to fire a big race in the Stellar’s Jay.

“I am positive he can get the distance,” she said. “He didn’t handle the slop very well in the Ascot Graduation, and the Loseth was an odd race with a slow pace. He usually doesn’t put much into his works, but Richard got his attention, and he really responded.”

Stanz in Command drew the rail, with Hamel retaining the mount.

The speedy Reason for Being ships in from Northlands Park and guarantees an honest pace, which could play into the hands of Crazy Prophet. Crazy Prophet won the Ascot Graduation for trainer Jim Brown last year, but he got stuck behind the slow pace in the Loseth. He will be making his first start for trainer John Snow, who is pleased with the way he is coming into the race.

“I really like him,” said Snow. “I worked him twice just because I wanted to get to know more about him. The first time, he went faster than I wanted, but he came back with a purposely slow five-furlong work. I feel we have gotten to know him pretty well.”

Lord Vancouver, trained by Phil Hall, almost took them all the way in the Loseth. However, with Reason for Being in the field, he won’t get away with a 49.11-second half-mile split like he did last time. He can stalk, though, and could get a nice trip sitting off suspect speed.

◗ Snuggles will be the prohibitive favorite in the $50,000 B.C. Cup Dogwood for 3-year-old fillies bred or owned in British Columbia.

Trained by Dino Condilenios, Snuggles is going for her fifth straight stakes win in the 1 1/16-mile race that drew six horses.

Bred in British Columbia by her owner, Swift Thoroughbreds Inc., Snuggles started her streak with a win over C U At Eau Claire in the $75,000 Fantasy in her last start as a 2-year-old. She is undefeated at the distance, and with plenty of speed in the race, she will be hard to deny if she runs her usual race with Rico Walcott aboard.

C U At Eau Claire is the only horse to finish in front of Snuggles, but she was the runner-up to her rival both times she went around three turns in the Fantasy and in their latest meeting in the Supernaturel. She can be headstrong, and trainer Greg Tracy is hoping she will relax while running without blinkers for the first time.

◗ The $50,000 B.C. Cup Nursery appears to be a wide-open race.

Trainer Mel Snow has two good chances with Driller and The Odds R Even in the 6 1/2-furlong dash for 2-year-olds bred or owned in British Columbia.

Driller won his second start going 3 1/2 furlongs with Silvino Morales aboard June 18. He was the better of the two when he worked five furlongs with The Odds R Even on July 7. Coming out of the work, The Odds R Even won his debut going six furlongs with Morales aboard July 17. Morales sticks with Driller.

◗ Good Luck to You is the one to beat in the $50,000 B.C. Cup Debutante for 2-year-old fillies bred or owned in British Columbia. She could turn out to be a bargain for George Gilbert, who paid $25,000 for her at the September sale of yearlings at Keeneland last year.

The Kentucky-bred daughter of Bellamy Road is out of the Grade 2 winner Jump On In and was impressive when beating males going six furlongs in her second start for trainer Dave Forster.