06/09/2004 11:00PM

'Vixen' gives boys another shot


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Owner-trainer Tom Longstaff has decided to give his extraordinary 4-year-old filly Dancewithavixen another try with colts and geldings in the $45,000 John Longden 6000 at Hastings on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile fixture drew a full field of 10 horses, including the 2003 local horse of the year, Roscoe Pito.

The pace of the race could favor Dancewithavixen. Roscoe Pito and Commodore Craig are both confirmed front-runners, and Dancewithavixen, with usual rider Felipe Valdez aboard, should get a perfect stalking trip just behind them. She ran an exceptional race to finish third behind Lord Nelson in the Hong Kong Jockey Club sprint May 23 and has never lost in five tries going 1 1/16 miles.

There are a couple of reasons Longstaff has opted to run Dancewithavixen in the Longden as opposed to running her back with her own sex in the Brighouse Belles next weekend.

"Weight is certainly a consideration," said Longstaff. "She only has to carry 117 pounds here and I'm not sure how much they'll make her pack in the Brighouse. Plus, this gives Felipe a chance to ride Mark of Diablo in the Alberta Derby next weekend. I was very moved that he was going to ride 'Vicky' in a $40,000 race here instead of one of the favorites in a hundred-grander."

* Three-year-olds run in the co-feature, the $40,000 Klondike Handicap, which goes as the fourth race. Lord Samarai is the highweight in the 6 1/2-furlong race at 121 pounds.