10/10/2008 12:00AM

A weighty concern in the Premiers


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Management at Hastings had good intentions when they changed the conditions of Sunday's $100,000 Premiers from a handicap to an allowance stakes. The main reason for the change was that they were sensitive to the fact that True Metropolitan carried 129 pounds when he lost by a neck to Sir Gallovic in last year's Premiers. Nonetheless, their good intentions clearly didn't turn out the way they planned.

It seems grossly unfair that True Metropolitan, who has been the top older horse in Canada for two straight years and hasn't been worse than second in six starts this year, is getting four pounds from Spaghetti Mouse, who will pack 126 pounds. What is really out of whack is that Rosberg will carry the same weight as True Metropolitan.

When weights were assigned for the Sept. 21 Sir Winston Churchill here, a 1 1/8-mile handicap both True Metropolitan and Spaghetti Mouse skipped, Spaghetti Mouse was assessed at 127 pounds and True Metropolitan 126. Considering that Spaghetti Mouse hasn't won going the 1 3/8-mile distance of the Premiers and that True Metropolitan has three wins at the distance, it is safe to assume that they would have been within a pound of each other if the Premiers was a handicap. You could actually make a strong case that True Metropolitan should carry more weight than Spaghetti Mouse because the last four times they have met, True Metropolitan has won the battle each time.

Rosberg has won just four races in his career and has earned $197,556. Compare that to True Metropolitan at $1.1 million.

Krazy Koffee has dominated the local sophomore division and comes into the Premiers off a convincing win in the B.C. Derby. Nonetheless, he has never faced the likes of True Metropolitan. He gets in at 121, only a pound less than True Metropolitan

The trainers of Spaghetti Mouse, Rosberg, and Krazy Koffee weren't very happy with the weights, but they aren't conceding the race to True Metropolitan.

Cindy Krasner, who trains Krazy Koffee, has been on quite a roll lately. In addition to winning the derby, she won the $107,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity with P. S. Good N Ready last weekend. Krasner has a lot of confidence that Krazy Koffee can compete with True Metropolitan and Spaghetti Mouse.

"He came out of his win in the derby in great shape," she said. "I think he'll get the distance, and it's just a matter of how the race shapes up. I don't think a 3-year-old - I realize that he has won everything around here - but it seems ludicrous that he only gets one pound from a horse that has won over $1 million. Spaghetti Mouse probably got the worst of it."

Krasner also added that P. S. Good N Ready came out of her race in good shape and will be pointed to the $100,000 Fantasy on Oct. 25.

Condilenios optimistic for Rosberg

Rosberg, who is trained by Dino Condilenios, carried 116 pounds when he finished a close second to Spaghetti Mouse in the S.W. Randall Plate on Sept. 1.

"I think the Premiers should either be a handicap or a weight-for-age stakes like the Ballerina," Condelinios said. "It's a championship race, and nobody could complain if it was a weight-for-age stakes. Rosberg has never been better and he should run a good race. Hopefully, it will be good enough."

Condilenios also is going into the Premiers on a high. He won the Jack Diamond Futurity with Almost Time last Sunday. Almost Time figures to be a solid favorite when he runs back in the $100,000 Ascot Graduation on Oct. 25.

Spaghetti Mouse a lock for title

The connections of Spaghetti Mouse, owners Nick and Pauline Felicella and trainer Lenore Daponte, were the most upset about the conditions of the race and they seriously considered keeping him out of the race.

"It's not fair, but what are you going to do?" Daponte said. "He worked a very strong mile last Sunday, and we have been pointing to the race since he won the Randall Plate."

Regardless of the outcome of the Premiers, Spaghetti Mouse is a lock to win older handicap horse of the year in British Columbia at the annual industry awards on Nov. 15. He has carried highweight while winning four straight stakes races at Hastings.

The Felicellas have another reason to attend the awards dinner. They were recently voted into the B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame and they will be inducted at the awards dinner. They go into the Hall of Fame under the owners category. They have won just about every major race at Hastings since they became involved in the sport in 1979.

* Bryant McAfee also will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a builder. In 2006, McAfee received the first ever Special Service Award from the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents horsemen across North America.

He was recognized for his role in establishing substance-abuse programs for backstretch personnel. He has been the executive director of the British Columbia HBPA since 1970.