05/18/2007 12:00AM

Suva runs with target on her back


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainers Ned Sams and Dino Condilenios will try double-teaming tactics to try and beat Suva in the $50,000 Emerald Downs Stakes at Hastings Sunday.

The 6 1/2-furlong feature for 3-year-old fillies drew five horses, with Suva the likely favorite off of her powerful win in the CTHS Sales Stakes April 28.

Sams and Condilenios appear to have similar things in mind.

Chelsey's Image, who is trained by Sams, has very good speed and will probably be on or near the lead. Her stablemate Restless Lady came from slightly off the pace to win her third race in a row April 28, and her rider, Mario Gutierrez, will probably ease her off the pace in the Emerald Downs.

Gutierrez rode Chelsey's Image when she finished third to Suva in the CTHS Sales Stakes. Chelsey's Image will be reunited with Anderson Ward, who was her regular rider when she won two stakes races and earned $135,650 in 2006.

Sams sent Chelsey's Image out for a very fast three-furlong work in 34.60 seconds May 16.

"She was a little dull in the Sales Stakes and I just wanted to sharpen her up a bit," he said.

There is no doubt that Sophisticated Star, who was claimed by Condilenios out of her front-running win in a $15,000 maiden race April 29, will be sent right to the front in order to help set up her stablemate Napa. Condilenios was hoping to run Sophisticated Star for $25,000 this weekend, but the race didn't fill.

"I didn't really want to use her as a rabbit," said Condilenios. "But it's either that or sit in the barn."

The strategic moves by Sams and Condilenios might all be for naught if Suva, who is trained by Steve Henson, runs her best race.