03/21/2007 11:00PM

Dixie Magic faces new challenges


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer William Morey Jr. will send out the unbeaten Dixie Magic to make her stakes debut in the $50,000 Hillsborough Handicap at Bay Meadows on Saturday.

Although she is 4 for 4 in her career and has shown great heart, Dixie Magic will be a longshot in the wagering in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes, thanks to the presence of Somethinaboutlaura, a graded stakes winner who is the best older female runner in Northern California.

"How many years do you find a graded stakes winner in one of these $50,000 races?" asked Morey. "What's she going to be, 1-9?"

Morey would rather not send out Dixie Magic against a graded stakes winner in what is not only her stakes debut but also her first start on turf.

"We're not here because of the chance to get black type or Cal-bred money," Morey said, citing the additional $15,000 available in the race to statebreds. "No other race went. We were kind of herded into the spot because she's out of conditions in Northern California. There's nothing else you can do."

Dixie Magic has been a pleasant surprise for Morey, who trained her millionaire sire, Dixie Dot Com.

Bred by Carole and Don Chaiken, who owned Dixie Dot Com with the late Bart and Ronelle Heller, Dixie Magic is, in Morey's words, "an average-looking filly" who trains a little above average.

"I never would have dreamed she'd be undefeated after four starts," he said.

She won her debut in a $32,000 maiden claimer, then reeled off wins in a starter allowance and two one-mile optional claimers that carried first- and second-level allowance conditions.

Dixie Magic was only the second of Dixie Dot Com's offspring to win at first asking. As a sire, Dixie Dot Com is 2 for 7 with first-timers on grass.

Dixie Magic may finally face a challenge she can't overcome with Somethinaboutlaura.

Somethinaboutlaura is spotting her six rivals a minimum of 10 pounds and would be odds-on even with a greater impost than her 126 pounds.

Two Ron McAnally entrants, turf stakes winner Private Banking and Charm the Giant, turf stakes-placed, will also provide a challenge for Dixie Magic, as will defending champion Strong Faith and Nakaba, a Grade 2 winner in her native Brazil.