06/30/2005 11:00PM

Timeless Passion using Coleman as springboard

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Carl Lausten is hoping that Timeless Passion will emerge from Sunday's Jim Coleman Province Stakes as a legitimate prospect for the Grade 3, $250,000 British Columbia Derby. The derby won't be run until Sept. 24 but the Jim Coleman Province should help separate the contenders from the pretenders.

Lausten said he has felt all along that Timeless Passion belongs among the elite at Hastings.

"The proof is in the pudding, and Sunday night we'll be a lot wiser," he said. "He showed a lot of potential last year, and our plan from Day One was to aim for the derby."

Timeless Passion has faced stakes company only once, finishing a distant fifth to Alabama Rain in the Ascot Graduation last November. He came within a nose of beating Alabama Rain in an allowance race in October and he's coming into Sunday's race off of an impressive win in an open allowance race June 19. Timeless Passion's margin of victory was only a length, but he was trapped behind horses before a hole opened up midstretch, and he made a visually impressive move when he eventually found running room.

"He had the usual assortment of 2-year-old problems, nothing serious, but enough so that he wasn't at his best going into the Ascot," said Lausten. "What I like about him is that he's a big horse - he stands over 17 hands - but he has a good motor and can kick it in when he needs to. Like in his last race, when he finally found a hole he just accelerated through it. With most horses his size if they get stopped in a race, they're in big trouble, but he seems to be able to shift gears right now."

Lausten also feels that Timeless Passion is still learning and that his best races are ahead of him.

"He seems like the kind of horse that will improve with racing," he said. "We haven't really pushed him so far and he still has a lot to learn. Like I said earlier, we'll know more about where we stand Sunday night but I think we're headed in the right direction."

Timely Brush big threat

Steve Bryant, racing manager for Ross McLeod, appears to have a knack of picking out promising 3-year-olds. Bryant's best purchase for McLeod, General John B, finished second in this year's Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and was a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender before being injured a week before the Derby.

Another of Bryant's recent excellent buys is Timely Brush, who will be making his first stakes appearance in the Jim Coleman Province.

Timely Brush is a lightly raced Florida-bred colt by Timely Bandit, and in his first race at Hastings, he beat Timely Passion by a head in a $50,000 optional sprint June 10. Before that he had only started three times, all at Oaklawn Park. He won a $30,000 maiden race in his second start and then ran evenly to finish a close fifth in an entry-level allowance race March 18. Along with One Special Hoss, he has the best Beyer Speed Figure at a middle distance in the Jim Coleman Province field, and he figures to get a good trip leaving from his rail slot.

You'll need powerful binoculars to spot him though, especially if he's trapped inside of Timeless Passion.

"There's not much to him," said his trainer, Arnie Turner. "He's a very small horse but he has a big heart. He also seems to have moved forward off of his first start here and he should run a decent race Sunday."

Actually, it's not a bad thing to be on the smallish side at Hastings, which is just over five furlongs in circumference.

Tough post for Spaghetti Mouse

Spaghetti Mouse looked very sharp in his five-furlong work in 59.60

June 26, and he will need to be at his best to win the Jim Coleman Province leaving from post 8. He certainly won't get the dream trip he had while winning the Burnaby Breeders' Cup in his last start on June 5. In the Burnaby, the plan was for his rider, David Wilson, to sit behind what figured to be a very fast pace set by Hall Dancer. When Hall Dancer broke poorly, Wilson guided Spaghetti Mouse through moderate fractions and had plenty of horse left to ward off a late charge by Alabama Rain.

"It won't be easy from out there," said his trainer Gary Demorest.

"Hopefully, Davie will be able to work out some kind of a trip, but I'll leave that up to him."