08/06/2015 11:45AM

Meadowlands: Bee A Magician the dominant force in Fresh Yankee

Derick Giwner
Bee A Magician has only lost once in nine starts this year.

What a difference a year makes.

Bee A Magician, the Hambletonian Oaks winner and Horse of the Year in 2013, returns to the Meadowlands on Saturday as the featured attraction in the $181,450 Fresh Yankee. The race for trotting mares is the sixth on the afternoon program and the 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra will also start from post six.

“I think it’s the perfect spot for her,” said trainer Richard (Nifty) Norman.

Bee A Magician was undefeated in 2013. In 2015 she’s been nearly as flawless, winning in eight of nine starts. She enters the Fresh Yankee off a dominant performance at Yonkers this past Saturday night.

“I was very happy with her race at Yonkers,” said Norman. “It was a training mile and it set her up nicely for this race.”

It is nice to have a horse that can win a $48,000 race while training a 1:54 3/5 mile over a half mile track, but Norman has that kind of power.

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“She’s a joy to be around. Physically she’s huge. She’s big and strong and nothing seems to bother her. She hasn’t seen a vet in some time,” said Norman. “She’s actually 200 pounds heavier this year than she was last year.”

Bee A Magician is the true heavyweight in the 11-mare field. The added distance and distinct international flavor make this year’s Fresh Yankee deserving of attention. D’One, a 5-year-old mare and the product of world champions Donato Hanover and Giant Diablo, makes her U.S. debut after 15 wins in Europe and earnings nearing $900K. Roger Walmann owns and trains the mare with top pilot Orjan Kihlstrom in the sulky. D’One cruised to a qualifying victory two weeks ago in preparation for the Fresh Yankee, but will have her work cut out from post 10.

Last year’s top 3-year-old filly, Shake It Cerry, didn’t have her best day in the Oaks here a year ago but could atone with a big performance in the Fresh Yankee. Johnny Takter will guide her from post 11 in the second tier. Shake It Cerry is unofficially the fastest trotting mare in the sport’s history having been timed in 1:49 4/5 in the record-setting Graduate performance of JL Cruze.

Trainer Benoit Baillargeon sends out a pair of Ontario-based mares in White Becomes Her (post 2) and Rockin With Dewey (post 5).

Midwest invader Allie Labrook showed a wicked closing kick of 27-flat finishing third in her Meadowlands debut last Friday for catch-driver Andy Miller. The 5-year-old by Here Comes Herbie drew the pole for the Fresh Yankee.

Norman has kept Bee A Magician pretty much close to home all season long and he expects to continue that. “After Saturday her next start will be the Muscle Hill (August 21) at Vernon. I haven’t yet decided whether we’ll go in the Maple Leaf Trot.”

Of course the connections of Bee A Magician would love to be invited to the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers on October 10. The daughter of Kadabra just needs to keep winning to earn a spot in that select field. She’s a heavy favorite to do so on Saturday with regular pilot Brian Sears in the bike.