10/06/2004 11:00PM

Which figure is for real?


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It's tough to throw out any of the seven horses entered in the feature race at Hastings Saturday, a 1 1/16-mile $25,000 claiming race for older horses. But it's equally difficult to jump all over any one of them.

Woody's Dancer is the only horse in the field coming off of a win, and while his lofty 87 Beyer Speed Figure stands out, it's somewhat misleading because he earned it while posting a 13 1/2-length win at the seldom run distance of 1 1/2 miles. His career best for 1 1/16 miles, 76, is the second lowest such figure in the field. He was claimed out of his winning race by trainer Don Morison for $11,000, and Saturday's field is a significantly tougher group. Frank Fuentes rides.

Trainer Gary Demorest has entered two horses, Fearsome Foursome and Weepinbell, and they are coming from completely different directions. Fearsome Foursome began the year running for $5,000. He has won two races this year and finished second for this price and at this distance Sept. 4. In his latest start, he finished fifth to J B Bennett in a $35,000 optional race Sept. 25.

Weepinbell, on the other hand, had shown a lot of potential as a 3-year-old and started out the year running against some of the top older horses on the grounds. But he hasn't been a threat in any of his five starts this year.

Ekati has the best Beyer Speed Figure at the distance, 89, and excluding Woody's Dancer, he also has the best last-race figure, an 80.