Two grade III stakes at Hastings Racecourse, the Ballerina and British Columbia Premier's Handicap, highlight the Columbus Day holiday program at the Vancouver, B.C. track Oct. 8.
The $100,000 Ballerina, for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, brings together the two top females in the Northwest in Class Included and Evelyn's Dancer.
Michael and Amy Feuerborn's Kentucky homebred Class Included is on a three-stakes win streak for trainer Jim Penney. The 4-year-old daughter of Include is coming off a 3 1/2-length tally at Hastings in the Delta Colleen at the Ballerina distance Sept. 9.
Class Included has won five of six starts this year, all in stakes. She was a neck short as the 6-5 pick in last year's Ballerina to Orchid's Silver, who returns as well. Russell Baze, who was last aboard the bay filly in the 2011 race, will travel from Northern California for the mount.
Dr. Mark Dedomenico and North American Thoroughbred Horse Company's 3-year-old Evelyn's Dancer will try older rivals for the first time in the Ballerina. Trained by Troy Taylor, the Songandaprayer filly has won four straight, all in stakes. She is coming off a 5 1/4-length romp Sept. 9 in the 1 1/8-mile British Columbia Oaks at Hastings.
Mario Gutierrez rode the bay filly for the first time in the BC Oaks and will have the return engagement.
Under weight-for-age conditions, Class Included will carry 123 pounds from post 2. Evelyn's Dancer, the only 3-year-old in the seven-horse field, leaves from post 5 with 120.
Delta Colleen runner-up Heidi Maria, a 7 1/4-length winner of a stakes at Northlands Park in her prior start Aug. 19, returns for trainer David Forster.
Orchid's Silver has dropped six in a row since her 26-1 upset in last year's Ballerina. She ran fifth in the Delta Colleen. Leading Hastings rider Amadeo Perez has the call.
The Ballerina is the fourth on the card with a 3:23 p.m. PDT scheduled post.
Commander, on a five-race tear for North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, is a clear favorite in the $100,000 BC Premier's, the eighth on the card with a probable 5:27 p.m. post. The Premier's, for ages 3 and up, is contested at 1 3/8 miles.
The 4-year-old Broken Vow gelding shipped to Hastings from Northlands with a four-stakes win streak and proceeded to romp in the S. W. Randall Plate Handicap by 6 3/4 lengths Sept. 9 in front-running style. Commander, who shoulders top weight of 123 pounds, earned a 100 Beyer speed figure for his Randall effort.
Taylor assumed training duties for Commander at Hastings, replacing Dennis Terry, and has tabbed Mario Gutierrez to ride.
Taylor also conditions Hoist, a 3-year-old who ran third in the B.C. Derby (Can-III) Sept. 9 over the track and distance. The Kentucky-bred Mineshaft gelding has had prior success against older horses in allowance conditions in New York.
Defending Premier's champion Jebrica returns for trainer Penney and will be ridden by Baze. The 4-year-old Liberty Gold gelding ran third in a restricted stakes at Emerald Downs Sept. 9 as a 9-10 favorite.
Northern Causeway won the 2011 B.C. Derby and comes off an allowance/optional claiming win going 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 30 at Hastings. It was the 4-year-old Giant's Causeway colt's first start in nearly three months for trainer Len Kasmerski.
$100,000 Ballerina Stakes (Can-III, Race 4, 3:23 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Orchid's Silver (BC), A Perez, 123, L Dubois
2. Class Included (KY), R A Baze, 123, J Penney
3. Heidi Maria (KY), R H Hamel, 123, D Forster
4. P. S. Touch Down (BC), J Burningham, 123, C Krasner
5. Evelyn's Dancer (KY), M Gutierrez, 120, T Taylor
6. Terlani (KY), F H Perez, 123, F E Barroby
7. Queen's Vicar (BC), M Dunn, 123, R J Anderson
$100,000 BC Premier's Handicap (Can-III, Race 8, 5:27 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 3/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Wilo Kat (BC), A A Reyes, 110, J Snow
2. Northern Causeway (KY), J Burningham, 113, L Kasmerski
3. Three Wood (FL), R H Hamel, 113, P Leaney
4. Hoist (KY), A Perez, 118, T Taylor
5. Brass Plate (KY), F P Fuentes, 111, S Henson
6. Jebrica (WA), R A Baze, 117, J Penney
7. Commander (KY), M Gutierrez, 123, T Taylor
8. Crew Leader (KY), C Hoverson, 114, D K Condilenios