07/17/2003 11:00PM

Stratoplan looks solid in Coleman


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Stratoplan, a five-length winner of the 1 1/16-mile Burnaby Breeders' Cup June 28, figures to be a solid choice over five other 3-year-olds in Sunday's Jim Coleman Stakes at Hastings.

Also on Sunday's card is the Senate Appointee Stakes for fillies and mares. Grace for You is making her first start since winning the Grade 3 Ballerina Breeders' Cup last October.

Both races are worth $40,000 and are at 1 1/16 miles.

Stratoplan, owned by Canyon Farms and trained by Rob VanOverschot, moved to the top of the 3-year-old division at Hastings with his win in the Burnaby. With Nicky Wright aboard, Stratoplan stalked a quick and hotly contested pace before taking control of the race at the quarter pole.

What was so impressive about his performance is that he was up close to sprint-like fractions and still had plenty left at the finish. He's been assigned high weight of 119 pounds, six more than he carried in the Burnaby.

The horse that appears to have the best chance of pulling off an upset is Roscoe Pita. He was a bit rank in the Burnaby and his rider, Sam Krasner, couldn't get him to settle. They ended up in a heated duel for the lead with Gamblin Caper. After putting away Gamblin Caper, Roscoe Pita didn't have enough left to hold off Stratoplan. The pace shouldn't be as fast this time, and trainer John Snow said he is hoping that by taking the blinkers off of Rosco Pita, he will be more relaxed in the early stages.