05/03/2007 11:00PM

Catching Tanika no easy task


CALGARY, Alberta - A case can be made for each of the eight 3-year-old fillies in Sunday's $50,000 Mount Royal here at Stampede Park. While the outcome of the six-furlong race is a mystery the pace scenario is not, as Tanika is expected to be on the early lead.

Tanika has displayed blazing early foot in both of her victories and is regarded by many as the fastest 3-year-old filly on the grounds. Tanika tries six furlongs for the first time on Sunday, and trainer Rod Haynes has taken his time with her following her half-mile tally here opening weekend, sending her out for a string of steady but unspectacular works.

Stephan Heiler retains the mount on Tanika.

Miss Sassy Sue, winner of the 6 1/2-furlong Bird of Pay from just off the pace last September, has tactical speed and makes her seasonal debut for trainer Greg Tracy.

Hail to Dawn, from trainer Joan Petrowski's barn, has plenty of ability, as evidenced by her stakes victory in the one-mile Sturgeon River last September. Hail to Dawn's intractable nature led Petrowski to give the mount to Kenyatta Davis because "he was the only one who could get along with her in the morning," Petrowski said.

Sender Smokin is the "now" filly in the field with a pair of impressive tallies against easier company.

Calendar Girl comes off a victory in a maiden $32,000 claimer at Gulfsteam Park on Feb. 26 and has trained well in the interim for Terry Jordan at Hastings.