07/14/2010 11:00PM

Kaweah Princess seeks a cure for seconditis

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The connections of Kaweah Princess have to be pleased with how well she has performed since arriving at Hastings this spring. Nonetheless, there has to be a bit of frustration creeping in as Kaweah Princess has been the runner-up in three straight stakes. Once again, she figures to be the second choice to Summer Song when she runs in the $50,000 Strawberry Morn Handicap on Saturday.

The 1 1/16-mile feature for fillies and mares drew seven horses and goes as race 7.

Trained by Robert Gilker, Kaweah Princess is no stranger to the winner's circle, with a 4-5-0 record from 13 starts. She also has the kind of tactical speed that wins a lot of races on any track, particularly a bullring like Hastings. She was unfortunate to run into a very tough sprinter in Concert Music in the Brighouse Belles and the Senate Appointee in her first two sprints here. When Kaweah Princess stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the Vancouver Sun, she was up close to fast pace set by Include the Grand, and after taking the lead at the top of the stretch she couldn't hold off the strong late move by Summer Song. Gilker is hoping Kaweah Princess gets the kind of trip that will see her finally get over the top Saturday.

"Hopefully, someone else will do all the shoulder work," Gilker said. "We have a lovely horse, she is running great, and I'm not going to complain about getting second money. But it would be nice to get her into the winner's circle."

Pedro Alvarado retains the mount.

Clearly the horse to beat is Summer Song. Trained by Troy Taylor, Summer Song has won 4 of her 5 starts going 1 1/16 miles. Since she was stretching out in the Vancouver Sun following just one sprint at the meet, she figures to move forward.

Trainer Dave Forster is going to give Otero a shot with older fillies and mares. A Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly by Honour and Glory, Otero stretched out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time in the Supernaturel Stakes on July 1 and just missed after setting the pace. She can stalk, however, and with other speed in the field it is likely she will be eased into a stalking position.