07/27/2006 11:00PM

True Metropolitan on nice little roll heading into B.C. Classic

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A total of 111 nominations were received for the seven stakes that make up the B.C. Cup on Monday, Aug. 7.

The $100,000 Classic at 1 1/8 miles features a confrontation between last year's B.C. Derby winner, Spaghetti Mouse, and the top handicap horse in Alberta, True Metropolitan.

True Metropolitan has blossomed this year as a 4-year-old, winning his last two starts in Alberta, including a six-length win in the Spangled Jimmy Handicap at Northlands Park on July 8. He is actually based at Hastings with trainer Terry Jordan, but since May Jordan has run him against easier company in Alberta because he also has last year's local older champion, Quiet Cash, in his barn. This time, however, Jordan has shipped Quiet Cash to run in the City of Edmonton Handicap at Northlands on Saturday, and he will keep True Metropolitan here for the Classic.

"True Metropolitan won't mind going a mile and an eighth, and I just don't think it's Quiet Cash's best distance," said Jordan. "Also Quiet Cash has a few issues right now, and I would like to keep him with a little easier company."

True Metropolitan worked five furlongs in 1:00 on July 21, the best work of the day.

"That was a good work for him, so we'll just gallop him into the race from here," he said. "I've liked him from day one, and he's really coming into himself right now. He was pretty full of himself after his latest win."

True Metropolitan will be facing a tough customer in Spaghetti Mouse. Trained by Gary Demorest, Spaghetti Mouse has won both of his starts at 1 1/8 miles. In his last start, he rebounded from an eighth-place finish in an allowance by scoring a half-length win over Quiet Cash in the Grade 3 Lieutenant Governors at 1 1/8 miles on July 1.

"The horse seems to be right where we want to have him," said Demorest. "He's doing everything we ask, and he's a very happy horse right now. Actually it's pretty scary."

Demorest will also have a very live horse in the Debutante with Chelsey's Image. A 2-year-old filly by Holy Bull, Chelsea's Image is a maiden, but she finished second in the Timber Music Stakes on July 8. The winner, Zaylaway, is a Kentucky-bred and isn't eligible to the restricted Debutante. In the Timber Music, Chelsey's Image found herself on the lead, and Demorest said he is hoping for a different scenario in the Debutante.

"She ended up on the lead because there were problems leaving the gate for about three or four other horses," he said. "That put us where we really didn't want to be. I'm hoping that if she comes out of there straight and can settle in behind other horses she'll be better off. I think she wants something to run at, but that still remains to be seen."

Demorest could have three horses in the 1 1/16-mile Stellar's Jay for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The most accomplished of the three is Dixieland Jazz, who won the CTHS Sales Stakes on June 25. Dixieland Jazz is coming off a dull race at Emerald Downs on July 16, but Demorest said Dixieland Jazz had excuses for his poor performance.

"He didn't ship very well," he said. "He lost some weight, and he just wasn't himself. He's been eating well since he got back and has gained some of the weight he lost. We're hopeful that he'll run a lot better race."

Nice-looking works for Cup nominees

A couple of sharp works were put in Friday morning by horses who were nominated to both the Classic and the Sprint.

Lord Nelson went six furlongs in 1:11, and according to his trainer, Dino Condilenios, he will be entered in the Sprint.

Beau Soleil worked seven furlongs in 1:26.40, and came home the final quarter-mile in 23.60 seconds. Beau Soleil has made only one start this year, a second-place finish to Notis Otis in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race July 14.

His trainer, Steve Henson, has a very good sprinter in My Master heading for the Sprint. Considering that, and the distance of Beau Soleil's work, you would think Beau Soleil would be going in the Classic. But that's not necessarily the case, Henson said.

"Don't read anything into the work," said Henson. "It was just another step on the way to B.C. Cup. I still haven't decided which race he's going in."

Henson will have a very good chance of winning the Debutante with Suva, who looked good winning a six-furlong maiden special weight from well off the pace in her debut July 14. Henson said he likes the way Suva has progressed since the race.

"She's starting to act like she really enjoys doing this," said Henson. "She has more speed than she showed in her first race, but she doesn't leave the gate very well, so I certainly don't expect to see her in the first flight in the Debutante."