07/17/2002 12:00AM

Strategy, strategy, strategy


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Strategy will play a key part in the sixth race at Hastings Park Friday evening. Nine older fillies and mares will line up to go 6 1/2 furlongs in a $35,000 optional race and many scenarios are possible.

Lilsisterlightning, Secret Bullet, Actxotic, and Princess Premier all like to be in front, but they have also won races by coming from slightly off of the pace. The last time Secret Bullet and Lilsisterlightning ran in the same race, a $35,000 optional sprint May 12, they got involved in a suicidal battle for the lead that set things up nicely for Sideline Duchess, who is also entered here. Secret Bullet won the battle up front and held on for third. She's coming off of a gate-to-wire win at this level June 22, and jockey Frank Fuentes will probably try similar tactics here. Lance Giesbrecht trains.

Lilsisterlightning has won 4 of 5 starts at the meet and went unplaced when she hooked up with Secret Bullet. A daughter of Alybro, Lilsisterlightning stalked a very quick pace to win a $25,000 sprint July 7 and was claimed out of the race by trainer Toni Jacobson Cloutier. It was the third time Lilsisterlightning has changed hands at the meet. She drew the rail slot, and Jose Alferez, who will be riding her for the first time, will have to make a quick decision whether to send her early or try to stalk.

Princess Premier won back to back sprints at this level and then ran in the four-horse, 1 1/16-mile Vancouver Sun Handicap June 15 and finished last by 5 1/4 lengths. She won both of her races on the lead but her outside draw will make it difficult for her to make the lead here.

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