05/27/2006 12:00AM

Canterbury: 'Nicole' tackles males

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Nicole's Dream, an accomplished 6-year-old mare, will take on six colts and geldings at five furlongs in the $40,000 Honor the Hero Turf Express at Canterbury Park.

Nicole's Dream is a turf sprint specialist who has won seven stakes, including two consecutive wins in the Mamzelle, the traditional Derby week turf fixture for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Larry Rivelli, Nicole's Dream was shipped to Sha Tin Racecourse at the end of last season to compete in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint, where she set the pace before finishing last.

Nicole's Dream was unable to win her third Mamzelle when making her seasonal debut in that race at Churchill three weeks ago and finished eighth after stalking the pace.

Rocky River might be the first to challenge the pacesetting Nicole's Dream. A winner of the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Arlington in 2004, Rocky River makes his third start of the season and will have the services of leading rider Derek Bell.

Trainer Mac Robertson saddles Outsmoken, a pace-pressing son of Smoke Glacken who will break from the rail, a favorable post in turf sprints at Canterbury.

America West should benefit from fast early fractions. Trained by David Van Winkle, America West has won twice in mile races on the grass while racing at Turf Paradise this past winter.