07/14/2004 11:00PM

Tough test for Slewpast


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Slewpast has a lot to overcome in the Timber Music Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hastings on Saturday. She's never gone around two turns before and she drew post 9.

It's always tough to win a sprint at Hastings from an outside post, and with plenty of other speed drawn inside of her, Slewpast could end up going very wide around the first turn. She might be good enough, though. She was extremely impressive winning a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race in her debut, and according to her trainer, Robbie Anderson, she galloped out very strongly in her final five-furlong tune-up July 7.

"She's had two very good five-furlong works, and she galloped out the six furlongs in 1:12 and change in her last one," he said. "She's fast and she's pretty quick leaving the starting gate, so I'm not too worried about her outside post. At least she won't get into any trouble out there."

Anderson also trains the sensational 3-year-old filly Regal Red and compared the two fillies.

"Regal Red never worked 59 and change at this stage in her career," he said. "But we never really asked her to, because she had done everything so easily. We wanted a good work from Slewpast and we got it. It's hard to get too excited about them until they go 6 1/2 furlongs, so we'll know more about her after Saturday's race. She certainly seems like a nice filly, though."

As for Regal Red, she was given a week off following her latest win, another dominating performance in the Liberation Stakes on July 1. It was her first try going a route. She is back in training and will make her next start on British Columbia Cup Day, Aug. 2, in the Stallion Stakes.

"We wanted to give her a break before we head into the big races in the fall," said Anderson. "It was either now or after the Washington Oaks, and this seems to make more sense."

Anderson will be happy to get past the Stallion Stakes. Regal Red carried 123 pounds in the Liberation, and the Stallion Stakes will be the last time she will be handicap-weighted this year. She figures to be a prohibitive favorite in the Washington and B.C. Oaks, both scale-weight races.

Hanselina looking sharp

Hanselina, who shipped in from New York and won the Senate Appointee last Sunday, came out of her race in good shape and could start in the Boeing Handicap at Emerald on July 24.

"I was thinking of giving her some time off, because that was her third race in five weeks," said Hanselina's trainer, Steve Bryant. "But she came out of it bouncing, so we might run her there."

Dancewithavixen, who dead-heated for second with Defrere's Image in the Senate Appointee, also came out of her race in excellent shape and will be a heavy favorite when she runs back in the B.C. Cup Distaff on Aug. 2. Dancewithavixen had missed three weeks of training before the Senate Appointee and ran a courageous race to finish second.

"She came back a little tired is all," said her trainer, Tom Longstaff.

* Speaking of the Distaff, Notis Otis, who figures to be the odds-on favorite in the Ladnesian Stakes on Saturday, is the first foal out of Sky Borne, who won the B.C. Cup Distaff in 1999 and 2000.

* Longtime owner Jim Duffy died on July 9 at age 79. A funeral will be held on Monday at the Fairview Presbyterian Church, 2725 East 1st Ave., in Vancouver. Services are scheduled to begin at 11 am.