07/08/2011 1:07PM

Arapahoe: Sweet Dixie Van takes on open company

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Sweet Dixie Van could get an ideal stalking trip on Sunday, when she seeks her first stakes win against open company in the $40,000 Front Range for 3-year-old fillies at Arapahoe Park. Sweet Dixie Van is a two-time stakes winner against Colorado-breds, and as a result will start as one of the top contenders in the seven-furlong race, which drew eight others including New Mexico stakes winner Golden Springs.

Sweet Dixie Van has tactical speed, and might be able to settle in behind the rail-drawn Perfect Finesse, Lone Star Park shipper Crhossgo, and the quick Nena’s Niner. She used off-the-pace tactics to win the $19,000 fillies division of the Colorado Stallion Stakes at seven furlongs in her last start June 17. And at this same track a year ago, Sweet Dixie Van was a stalk-and-roll winner of the $38,000 Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Lassie, romping by more than nine lengths in the sprint run at Arapahoe.

Sweet Dixie Van, who races for Bill Vanlandingham, is trained by Tyrone Gleason. She is a daughter of Majorbigtimesheet and her dam, Spooner, is a half-sister to Gold Nugget, a six-time stakes winner who earned more than $630,000. Jockey Jose Rivera Jr. has the mount from post 2.

An honest pace as well as the move to seven furlongs might suit Golden Springs. The winner of the $50,000 Island Fashion at a mile at Sunland Park in February, she made her Arapahoe Park debut last out and after pushing the pace in the six-furlong Molly Brown finished fifth. Golden Springs drew an outside gate, post 9, and that could give her rider, Kelsi Purcell, some pace options. James E. Jones trains the filly for Donna Eaton.