06/07/2007 11:00PM

Stephanson well-suited to get trip


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Stephanson, who won the CTHS Sales Stakes this meet, is one of six 3-year-olds in the $22,000 allowance feature at Hastings Sunday. Stephanson has never gone the 1 1/16-mile distance of the race - but, then again, neither have his opponents.

Stephanson beat Thesaratogaexpress in the CTHS Sales Stakes and is the only stakes winner in the field. Being a half-brother to route stakes winner Regal Request, he figures to handle going around three turns. In his latest start he finished third in the Jim Coleman Province Stakes May 21.

There will certainly be a lot of people on the Hastings backstretch cheering for Stephanson. He's trained Allan Jack, who is recovering in St. Paul's Hospital after suffering a near-fatal heart attack in his shed row a couple of weeks ago. According to Jack's assistant trainer, Dale Price, both Jack and Stephanson are doing very well.

"A. J. should be back soon," said Price. "I think they might let him out of the hospital in the next three or four days."

"Stephanson acts like a natural route horse. He's pretty relaxed and I'm pretty sure he'll get the distance."

David Wilson rides Stephanson.

Bad Sneakers is coming off of a sharp win in a $50,000 optional claiming race May 19. Californiatruegrit was very impressive beating older entry-level allowance horses May 26.

Packer Sweep finished fourth in the Province in his latest start. From the looks of his fast-closing fourth-place finish in a one-mile $50,000 claming race on the turf at Gulfstream Park in March, he shouldn't have any trouble stretching out to 1 1/16 miles.