The feature race tomorrow at Hastings Park will be a handicap race sharing the same name of this fine blog site.  It’s a route race for fillies and mares, and there’s a good possibility of a rainy afternoon at the track.  Here’s a look at the field:

STAKES. 1 1/16 Mile Dirt.Purse $50,000.Vancouver Sun Handicap. FOR FILLIES AND MARES, THREE YEAR OLDS AND UPWARD.
# Horse Odds Jockey Wgt A/S M/E Trainer
1 Caged Mistress (ID) 5/2 Mario Gutierrez 119 4 F L Troy Taylor
2 Wando Woman (BC) 8/1 Francisco Perez Fuentes 116 4 F L Cindy Krasner
3 Tierra Del Feugo (BC) 4/1 Amadeo Perez 117 5 M L Barbara Heads
4 Finality Philly (BC) 6/1 Keveh Nicholls 117 4 F L Elizabeth E. Stolzenberg
5 Wind Storm (BC) 9/2 Richard Harvey Hamel 118 7 M L David Forster
6 Kimmyv (KY) 3/1 Chad Hoverson 120 5 M L o Dino K. Condilenios
7 Dearest Princess (BC) 15/1 Marlo Dunn 113 4 F L Mel Snow
8 P. S. Touch Down (BC) 12/1 David Wilson 114 5 M L Cindy Krasner

I’m expecting an honest pace to this race, with 3-4 horses here showing an affinity for an early lead.  Being a route, I’ll tip my hat towards horses that might be able to come off the pace and take advantage of a stronger pace.  #5 Wind Storm has placed third in two sprints this year.  She was a late closing fourth in her last route race, the Ballerina stakes.  I think she could benefit from stretching out in distance and should go off at a good price.  On the downside, she’s the lone 7 year old horse running in this field.  While not impossible, most horses tend to be in their prime between the age of 3-6 years.

#1 Caged Mistress gets the nod as the morning line favourite, and on paper she’s certainly the one to beat.  Trained by Troy Taylor, she’s won both her starts at Hastings, including an impressive win at a route on June 5th.  She’s also won all her starts on off tracks.  I suspect the betting public will be hammering the odds on this horse, and therein lies the problem.  While the horse has a great shot, it’s just a poor bet at say 3-5.  As we’ve seen in the Triple Crown races, you have to expect the unexpected sometimes.

This is a tough race to handicap, so good luck if you’re going to bet it.  I’ll continue with playing against the favourite, and take #5 Wind Storm across the board.

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