06/06/2002 11:00PM

This time, Katabatic the favorite


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Kid Katabatic was a big overlay when he won the Spring Sprint Stakes May 18, but he is likely to be a short price over five other older horses stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time this year in the $40,000 John Longden 6000 this Sunday.

Kid Katabatic may be 9, but he looked like a youngster winning the Spring Sprint Stakes in his first outing this year. His age and the fact that he hadn't won a race since the British Columbia Cup Classic were the likely reasons he paid a very generous $10.50 to win. It's hard to see him being anything less than the heavy favorite in the Longden. With King Jeremy, I'm Free, and Danzilation all wanting to be in front early, Kid Katabatic should get a dream trip behind a fast and contested pace. He came out of the Spring Sprint Stakes in great shape and his five-furlong move in 59.80 seconds June 1 indicates he's ready for another strong effort.

Diglett should also benefit from a lively battle up front. Diglett made a strong late run to get up for second in the Spring Sprint Stakes and after Kid Katabatic, his

100 Beyer figure is the highest in the race. He earned it when he won the Washington Owners Breeders' Cup at Emerald by 6 1/4 lengths last year and because of that powerful performance was made the favorite in the Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Derby where he finished fourth.

I'm Free has won all three times he's gone 1 1/16 miles, and while King Jeremy and Danzilation appear to need to be in front to win at this distance, I'm Free is ratable.