08/21/2002 11:00PM

Weekend features four stakes

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Four stakes highlight a big weekend of racing at Hastings Park. Saturday's 12-race card features Elana D'amour in the $50,000, 1 1/16-mile Free Vacation for 3-year-old fillies, and Raglan Road, a $100,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders Sale this April, as a likely favorite over seven other 2-year-olds in the 6 1/2-furlong New Westminster Stakes.

Grey Tobe Free is coming off a win in the British Columbia Cup Distaff on Aug. 5 and will be odds on to beat Queen of My Nights and Catahoula Rose in the Senate Appointee on Sunday. The Lassie Stakes, for 2-year-old fillies, appears to be wide open.

Elana D'amour has been first or second in all five of her races this year. She had won two in a row before a thrilling renewal of the British Columbia Cup Stallion Stakes on Aug. 5. Carrying high weight of 122 pounds, Elana D'amour came up a neck short after a thrilling stretch duel with Grace for You. With Grace for You skipping the Free Vacation in order to be fresh for the $175,000 Breeders' Cup B.C. Oaks on Sept. 7, Elana D'amour will be extremely tough to handle Saturday.

Lady Vye came close to beating Elana D'amour in the Liberation Stakes on June 16 but finished a distant third in the Stallion Stakes. Her trainer, Rick Kamps, is adding blinkers, hoping that it will help Lady Vye stay closer during the early stages of the race. "She's been getting pretty far behind, and the blinkers might help her stay focused early on," said Kamps. He also said that Lady Vye had a bit of a cough the morning of the Stallion Stakes, and he is expecting a big effort Saturday.

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