05/11/2011 1:39PM

Hastings: Cherokee Notion has been risky as a favorite

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Cherokee Notion figures to be a solid favorite in a first-level allowance race that will serve as Friday’s feature race at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up drew seven horses and goes as race 7 on the eight-race card that begins at 7p.m.

British Columbia-breds with two wins are eligible for the first-level conditions, and one of Cherokee Notion’s wins came in the B.C. Cup Stellar’s Jay last year.

The main concern for chalk-players is that the five times Cherokee Notion has been favored, he has failed to deliver. He came close when he was the 1-2 favorite in his second start as a 2-year-old, losing by a neck in a maiden special weight race. His connections’ biggest disappointment came in last year’s Grade 3 British Columbia Derby. Sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the 11-horse field, Cherokee Notion came into the stretch holding a one-length lead with the world’s leading rider, Russell Baze, aboard. The addition of Baze wasn’t enough, as Cherokee Notion tired late to finish third.

Cherokee Notion, trained by Troy Taylor, comes into Friday’s race off of a solid second-place finish behind Crew Leader in a first-level allowance race going six furlongs. With leading rider Mario Gutierrez retaining the mount, there isn’t much doubt he will receive most of the public’s money.

Sense of Humor appears to have the best speed in the field, and he figures to move forward in his second race at the meet for trainer Mel Snow. In his first start he battled through honest fractions before tiring to finish fourth behind Crew Leader and Cherokee Notion. If he can shake loose early with Jorge Espitia aboard he could take them a long way.

Victor’s Magic had a perfect trip when he split Cherokee Notion and Sense of Humor and could move forward enough to spring an upset.

Peace Bear will be making his first start since he won a $5,000 maiden race in his debut on August 9, 2009. He has looked very sharp this spring, especially when he worked five-furlongs in company with Silly Fella May 7. Silly Fella, also entered, won the Jack Diamond Futurity in 2009 and a first level allowance race last year. He finished ninth in Crew Leader’s race in his only start this year. Silly Fella and Peace Bear are trained by Lenore Dubois and will run uncoupled.