09/01/2004 11:00PM

Vye Me to the Moon looks live


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Last year trainer David Milburn referred to himself as a better lawyer than horse trainer. After the success he has had this season, he might want to reevaluate that statement. Going into this weekend Milburn has won six races from 28 starts and he has been sharp in his claims.

One of his recent claims, Vye Me to the Moon, appears to have a legitimate shot at winning Sunday's 6 1/2-furlong Cover Girl Stakes.

Milburn, along with his partner and fellow lawyer, Donald Muldoon, claimed Vye Me to the Moon for $15,000 out of a win July 31. They ran her back for $25,000 Aug. 15 and she scored an impressive 3 1/4-length win at 6 1/2 furlongs in a fast 1:16.65. Not only is that the best final time for any filly or mare at the meet but she could have run faster if she hadn't swerved at the start. Milburn gave a lot of credit to Vye Me to the Moon's former trainer, Peter Stephen.

"I really didn't do much with her after we got her," he said. "Peter is one of the best horsemen around, and she was in great shape when we claimed her. We just ran her back off his training."

Vye Me to the Moon is a 4-year-old who didn't win until her ninth start, at Sunland Park in New Mexico in March. She's progressed since, and has won four of her last six races.

"One of the reasons we claimed her was because she appeared to be getting better with racing and is still relatively lightly raced," said Milburn. "Plus, the last time she won for $15,000 she had to go five wide to do it. It looked like she could be worth the money, and so far it appears like we made a good decision."

With Dancewithavixen finished for the year, the Cover Girl came up relatively easy. Milburn thinks it makes sense to take a shot at some added-money.

"She also has the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure in the field and she's doing extremely well right now," he said. "The tough one could be Lasting Code, but she's been routing at Emerald and she could be vulnerable on the smaller track. I know she ran well here as a 2-year-old but that was a long time ago, and it could be worth taking a shot at beating her.

Lasting Code began her career at Hastings for Canmor Farms in 2001 with wins in the Timber Music and Lassie Stakes. She kicked off her 3-year-old campaign at Emerald with two straight impressive stakes wins and was sold to her current owner, Northwest Farms. She won two more stakes that year but missed all of 2003. She came back strong this year, and after a good second in an allowance race at Emerald, she was a 2 1/4-length winner of the Hastings Park Handicap at Emerald. She tired in her last couple of routes, but she looks live with the move back to a sprint.

Lasting Code was shipped up to trainer Dave Forster a couple of weeks ago, and he was pleased with her half-mile work last week.

"She's a very nice mare and she seems pretty happy here," he said. "I expect her to run a good race."