08/20/2010 1:02PM

Former claimer Notoriously goes for third straight stakes in Sonoma Handicap


EDMONTON, Alberta – Notoriously will try and keep her hot streak at Northlands Park alive when she runs in the $50,000 Sonoma Handicap on Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile feature for 3-year-old fillies winds up the Thoroughbred portion of a 10-race card. Following the Sonoma, there will be three stakes for Quarter Horses totaling $88,500 in purses.

The Sonoma drew 10 horses and Notoriously is clearly the one to beat off her two races at Northlands. Trained by Rod Cone, Notoriously paid a handsome $16.40 when she upset Shifty Time in the six-furlong Chariot Chaser on July 1, and proving her win was no fluke, she came back to romp by 6 1/2 lengths over Shifty Time in the one-mile Northland Park Oaks. Once again she paid a generous $10.60 with Shifty Time going off as the 1-2 favorite.

Cone spent the winter at Golden Gate last winter stabled next to Greg Gilchrist, who was Notoriously’s trainer in California. Acting as an agent, he bought Notoriously for Darrell Landry after she won a $12,500 nonwinners-of-two in February.

“When Greg had her in for $12,500 I asked him if he minded if I claimed her,” said Cone. “He said no, but we didn’t get the paper work filled out in time, and after a couple of weeks of negotiations we bought her privately.”

They lost Notoriously to trainer Steve Henson for $25,000 when they shipped her to Hastings. After she finished fourth in a $50,000 optional race Henson dropped her in for $25,000, a race she won by more than four lengths, and they took her back.

“I felt bad about losing her because I told Darrell I didn’t think anyone would claim her,” said Cone. “You know how trainers are, we like to win races and sometimes get a little too aggressive.”

Shifty Time will be making her third start of the year and the first for trainer Craig Smith. She started out the year with Greg Tracy, who guided her to a local championship as a 2-year-old, but when Tracy had his license revoked, she moved to Robertino Diodoro’s barn for the Oaks.

Notoriously and Shifty Time appear to be too tough for the locally based fillies, and if there is going to be an upset it could come from either Audzeezee, who is shipping in from Hastings, or Woodbine-based Jeppino. Ghost Girl will need to improve off her last two races at Emerald Downs.