08/25/2009 11:00PM

Three to vie for runner-up


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The only question regarding the $30,000 New Westminster Stakes for 2-year-olds at Hastings on Friday is: Who is going to run second? There is not much doubt about the winner. Huitzilopochtli is an absolute standout in the 6 1/2-furlong feature, which goes as the second race.

Only four horses entered the race, and it is pretty obvious that Huitzilopochtli is in a class by himself. Trained by his owner, Juan Olmos, Huitzilopochtli is undefeated in three starts, and he couldn't have been more impressive winning the $54,000 B.C. Cup Nursery Stakes on Aug. 3 by 8 3/4 lengths. He was also an easy winner over Dyna Stroll in the River Rock Resort Stakes in his previous start.

Huitzilopochtli has a strong pedigree and would appear to have unlimited potential. He is a half-brother to Grace for You, who won the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 3 Ballerina, and Ronaldino, a double sprint stakes winner with $149,290 in earnings.

Huitzilopochtli had an easy five-furlong breeze in 1:02.60 on Aug. 19, and he figures to breeze to an easy win in the New Westminster with Perez retaining the mount.

Olmos has also entered Macondo, who will break from the rail with Pedro Alvarado in the irons.

Trainer John Snow knows he is up against it, but he likes the way Hampton Wick is coming into the race. A Florida-bred gelding by Halo, Hampton Wick is coming off of two-length win over Simply Sam in a maiden special weight race on Aug. 9. In his previous start, he finished last in the River Rock Stakes won by Huitzilopochtli.

"He has been fighting shins all year, but they seem to be fine now," said Snow. "He ran a much better race last time, and he should give a good account of himself on Friday. That's a pretty nice horse were running against, though."

Country Kid took a big step forward in his second start and he has the second-best Beyer Speed Figure in the field. His Beyer Figure of 55 does come in pretty light compared with the 79 Huitzilopochtli was given for his win in the Nursery, however. Trained by Frank Barroby, Country Kid finished fifth when he debuted going 3 1/2 furlongs in a $30,000 maiden claiming race on June 27. In his next start, he set honest fractions while on his way to a 3 1/2-length win over Bernie the Bandit in a six-furlong $20,000 maiden claiming race on Aug. 7.