08/13/2010 12:36PM

Woombroom Express tries to turn it around at Hastings

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Woombroom Express will try and win his first race of the year when he drops into a $35,000 optional race that will serve as Sunday’s feature race at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up drew six horses and goes as race 4 on the eight-race card, which begins at 1:40 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Quint McCabe, Woombroom Express was good enough to win three races in 2009, including the $55,000 B.C. Cup Sprint. This year his best finish was a second by a head to Cardinal Zin with an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in a $50,000 optional race June 5. Since then his Beyer Speed Figures have diminished in two straight races and he earned a 57 for his fourth-place finish in the B.C. Cup Sprint Aug. 2.

Of course, Beyer Speed Figures don’t tell the whole story, especially in the case of the Sprint, where he wilted after getting fried in a speed duel with Sense of Humor. There doesn’t appear to be as much speed in Sunday’s race, and Woombroom Express could be tough to handle if he breaks sharply leaving from the rail under Pedro Alvarado.

Bearrock N Roll, trained by Craig MacPherson, does have good speed but he would have to be sent very hard to have any chance of clearing Woombroom Express going into the first turn. He will be ridden by Fernando Perez, who also rode Sense of Humor in the Sprint, and Perez probably learned a valuable lesson. Riding very aggressively, he was able to put Sense of Humor on the lead going into the first turn, but he paid the price late. Sense of Humor struggled home last after setting extreme fractions of 21.23 seconds and 44.27.

Bearrock N Roll doesn’t need the lead, and with Woombroom Express possibly heading in the wrong direction it wouldn’t be surprising to see Perez ease him into a stalking position and hope the front-runner comes back to him.

If a duel does materialize it will help the chances of Slews’s Boy. With Chad Hoverson aboard, Slew’s Boy had a perfect stalking trip in the Sprint, and while he couldn’t hold off Almost Time, he finished a clear second over Dee’s Victor. Trained by Robbie Anderson, Slew’s Boy hasn’t won a race this year, but he has compiled a 0-2-2 record from 5 starts.

Soldiers Return could be a factor from off the pace.