08/07/2007 11:00PM

Victory a Classic case of rider doing his homework


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Apprentice jockey Rocco Bowen gave a flawless ride on Shacane to pull off a stunning upset in the $107,100 B.C. Cup Classic at Hastings on Monday.

According to Shacane's trainer, Shauna Ferguson, it really helped that Bowen spent a lot of time looking at races Shacane ran when he was the top 3-year-old at Hastings in 2002.

"Rocco saw that in his first couple of races he was on the pace, but once he learned to settle he became a much better horse," said Ferguson. "After Rocco saw the tapes he knew what he had to do. At first I thought he might have moved too soon, but obviously he timed it just right."

Last early, Shacane took the lead on the stretch turn and then held off the late bid of Timeless Passion by a half-length.

Shacane was a huge overlay at an $81.30 payoff. Along with Spaghetti Mouse, he was the only graded stakes winner in the race, and he had run third in the 2006 Classic. Granted, his graded win, which came in the Grade 3 Premiers, was in 2002, and he has been sparingly raced because of a bowed tendon. Nonetheless, he was coming into the Classic off of a good effort in a 1 1/16-mile $75,000 optional race July 21, and he figured to move forward in his third start this year.

One of the reasons for the late start at the meet was that Ferguson didn't want to hit some of the off tracks during the early part of the season.

"We didn't bring him in until the middle of March," she said, "partly to protect the tendon he bowed when he was 3, but we also wanted a fresh horse for the Classic. He's 8 years old now, but he hasn't had that many starts, so he doesn't have all the wear and tear that a horse his age usually does at this time in their careers."

Shacane has started 24 times, won 8 races, and has earned $338,685 for his owners and breeders, Bellevue Oaks.

According to Ferguson, Shacane came out of the race in good shape and will finish out the year at Hastings. His next start will likely be in the S.W. Randall Plate on Sept. 3.

Heavily favored Spaghetti Mouse has been know to be a little unsettled in some of his races, and that seemed to be the case in his fifth-place finish Monday. It looked like he was going to settle in nicely behind Forceful Intention early, but when Tobe Suave rushed up on his outside, Spaghetti Mouse took off after him.

"He never really felt comfortable after Tobe Suave went by him," said Spaghetti Mouse's jockey, Dave Wilson. "I think if he hadn't broken so sharply it might have been a different race."

According to trainer Ned Sams, Spaghetti Mouse came out of the race in good shape and will be pointed to the Randall Plate.

Suva set for Hong Kong Jockey Club

The most exciting finish on B.C. Cup Day was in the Dogwood, where Suva nosed out Napa. They could meet again in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sept. 1.

According to trainer Steve Henson, Suva came out of the race in excellent shape and will be pointed to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

As for Napa, trainer Dino Condilenios wasn't sure if she would start there or wait for the Grade 3 B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks Sept. 22.

"She came out of the race in good shape, but she has a few minor issues," he said.

Napa was a bit unlucky to lose the Dogwood. She broke a step slowly and then went wide around the stretch turn while making a big move.

Starlite Strike vs. Monashee?

The most impressive winner Monday was Starlite Strike. A 4-year-old filly by Smart Strike, Starlite Strike ran a faster 1 1/8 miles, 1:49.93, in the Distaff than Shacane, 1:50.05, did in the Classic.

According to her trainer, Rob VanOverschot, Starlite Strike could make her next start in the $100,000 Edmonton Distaff at Northlands Park Aug. 25. She could meet Monashee in that race.

"We're going to watch Monashee's race Friday night before we make up our minds," said VanOverschot.

VanOverschot was referring to the $50,000 Mademoiselle Stakes at Northlands Park, where Monashee figures to be a short-priced favorite in her quest to win her eighth stakes win in a row.

Ookashada may try Canadian Derby

Following his easy win in the Stellar's Jay, Ookashada could also be headed to Northlands Park for the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby Aug. 25.

Another option trainer Toni Cloutier is considering for Ookashada is the $100,000 Emerald Downs Derby on Sept. 3.

Feature looks like a speedy one

Lethal Grande and Tango Mango figure to be the favorites in the feature race Friday, a $35,000 optional claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs that drew seven older horses.

Trained by Tom Longstaff, Lethal Grande led from start to finish to nose out Tango Mango in a similar race July 20, and it looks like Lethal Grande will be the one they'll be chasing Friday.

If a speed duel does develop, it could set up nicely for Golden Pursuit who is coming off of a sharp win in a $25,000 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles July 20.