03/29/2007 12:00AM

Cedar Fever likely to be out and gone


CALGARY, Alberta - Cedar Fever enjoyed a productive 3-year-old campaign in 2006, which began with a victory in a half-miler here at Stampede Park last April. Cedar Fever returned to her home course at Hastings following her successful invasion of Alberta, and won three more races and was claimed twice. From nine starts, the Texas-bred went 4-3-1 and earned $64,380.

On Saturday, Cedar Fever should be well supported when she faces older rivals for the first time in an open $30,000 claimer going four furlongs. Leading rider Quincy Welch is signed up to ride. Cedar Fever drew the outside post in the five-horse field, which should be fine because she appears to have the best turn of early foot in the field. If Welch is able to cross over prior to reaching the turn, then Cedar Fever could be long gone.

Fellow Vancouver invader Ice Machine drew the rail, a tough post in these races unless you break extremely well. She was unable to handle Cedar Fever in their two meetings last summer.

Ella Maria ran well here last Saturday in an allowance race and is a threat at a price. Stephan Heiler retains the mount.

Jade Peony and Smoking Bear sport fine records at this course but both prefer six furlongs.

Jade Peony has a pair of seconds and thirds at this distance, but at age 9 she has lost a step to her younger foes in these short sprints. She breaks from post 3 and will be rolling late.