10/11/2006 11:00PM

Youngsters figure tough in Ballerina

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - If recent history is any indication, then the first three finishers in the British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks, Real Candy, Hurry an Notis, and Langara Lass, are the ones to focus on in the Grade 3, $150,000-added Breeders' Cup Ballerina at Hastings Saturday. The last three renewals of the 1 1/8-mile Ballerina have been won by 3-year-old fillies, and there's a very good chance that could happen again when a full field of 12 square off in the premier race for fillies and mares in the Pacific Northwest.

It's a wide-open race that includes a strong contingent of fillies and mares shipping in from Emerald Downs. A Classic Life, Gins Majesty, and Karis Makaw have made the three-hour trip up I-5 and all three would appear to be very live.

Hurry an Notis is the one they will have to catch, and if she progresses off of her very good second-place finish in the Oaks, she could give her trainer, Tracy McCarthy, a second straight win in the Ballerina. Hurry an Notis led every step except the last one in the Oaks, and with the move to an inside post, she should have very little trouble establishing a clear lead. Chad Hoverson will ride.

Real Candy pulled off a big upset in the Oaks, and according to her trainer, Quint McCabe, "she's improved dramatically." Real Candy will be ridden by Frank Fuentes.

Trainer Robbie Anderson is hoping he has Slewpast fit enough to go 1 1/8 miles. A winner of five stake races in 2005, Slewpast didn't race for three months after finishing fourth in the Strawberry Morn Stakes June 10. She won a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race when she returned Sept. 9 and then finished a very good second to Gins Majesty in a one-mile $50,000 optional race at Emerald Downs Sept. 29.

"She started tying up, so we gave her the time off," he said of her summer layoff. "It would have been nice if she had at least one more route going into this."

Anderson had a very good perspective regarding the Ballerina.

"It's a tough race to pick a solid favorite," he said. "Real Candy ran a big race to win the Oaks and Hurry an Notis was unlucky to lose the race. Gins Majesty has really come around since they added blinkers. Karis Makaw is coming off of a very good race to Queenledo. A Classic Life could be the best of the bunch, and I wouldn't count out Socorro County."