07/04/2001 11:00PM

Two horses stand out in $35K race


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Castle Mountain and Lady's Jewel stand out in the $35,000 Emerald Downs Handicap Saturday at Hastings Park.

Ivy Lane and Sabrinas Spirit are also entered in the 6 1/2-furlong race, but they are probably running for a minor award.

Castle Mountain was undefeated going into the 1 1/16-mile Liberation Stakes June 17, but couldn't overcome a slow beginning and finished a fast-closing third to Lady's Jewel. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Mountain Cat, Castle Mountain had completely dominated her rivals in three previous sprints and with the move back to 6 1/2 furlongs, she figures to be extremely tough.

"We're not sure why she ran the way she did but she's been very sharp leading up to Saturday's race," said Teri Forster, assistant trainer to her husband, Dave.

Castle Mountain gave a good indication of that sharpness with a very fast five furlongs in 59.60 seconds July 1. "She did it comfortably," Teri Forster said. Castle Mountain will carry high weight of 120 pounds.

Supporters of Lady's Jewel have been rewarded handsomely in her last two starts. She paid $37.50 when she won her maiden against straight maidens at 6 1/2 furlongs May 19. Then she paid $44.80 for an upset over Castle Mountain in the Liberation. A homebred daughter of Baron de Vaux, Lady's Jewel has natural speed and should lay close to the likely pacesetter Ivy Lane.

"She's always been fast," said her trainer Andrew Collins. "I've spent a lot of time teaching her that she doesn't have to go all out all of the time, and it really paid off last time."