05/07/2015 8:47AM

Meadowlands: Bee A Magician feeling stronger in 2015

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Derick Giwner
Trainer "Nifty" Norman says the 2015 version of Bee A Magician is more mature and stronger.

“I think expectations were too high,” said Richard “Nifty” Norman in regard to Bee A Magician’s four-year-old campaign in 2014. The then defending Horse of the Year, undefeated as a three-year-old, could never sustain such a high winning percentage, but that didn’t mean she had a bad year.

“She raced well,” said Norman. “She had a lot of seconds.” Indeed Bee A Magician earned over $400K during her four-year-old campaign and ended the year on a high note capturing the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. The five-year-old daughter of Kadabra returns to the scene of that triumph on Saturday night in a $50,000 Prep for the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial that will be contested on May 16.

“I thought she raced really well last week,” said Norman of the victory against Open company at Yonkers this past Saturday night. “Actually it was better than I had expected.”

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The 1:54 4/5 mile over the half-mile oval at Yonkers was a strong first outing for the mare and Norman believes 2015 could be even better for Bee A Magician than last year. “She’s definitely more mature. She’s eating better and feels much stronger,” said Norman. Then again, Bee A Magician is going to have to be considering that much of her competition this year will be against the boys rather than a large dosage of mare competition.

“There just aren’t that many races out there for the mares,” said Norman.

Bee A Magician landed post 10 in the prep carded as race six on the Meadowlands 13-race Saturday showcase.

“It is a prep race, “said Norman, pretty much defining that Bee A Magician is not likely to get overworked from the outside, though she may not have to be considering the company she will meet.

Melady’s Monet has already surpassed the $100,000 mark in seasonal earnings for trainer Kevin McDermott and returns to the Meadowlands after a powerful victory in the $62,100 Meadows Maturity last Saturday at The Meadows. The six-year-old by Revenue S has won six of nine starts during his break-out season and is the likely favorite from post three.

The Ron Burke-trained D Ws NY Yank has been feasting on Open company at Yonkers this spring and enters the Cutler Prep with four straight victories. Combine that form with the rail draw and the gelding should prove a solid choice in this field.

The $3.6 million winner Market Share will make his 2015 debut in the Cutler Prep from post four with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. The Linda Toscano-trained stallion looked solid in both qualifiers despite finishing a distant second to Father Patrick in his most recent effort on May 1 at the Meadowlands.

Trainer Daryl Bier returns with Wind Of The North to the big track. The Cantab Hall-sired gelding won two straight at the Meadowlands in April before moving to Harrah’s Philadelphia and finishing fourth in a winner’s over event. David Miller will guide Wind Of The North from post six.

Trainer Jimmy Takter has entered Master Of Law in the Cutler and the five-year-old drew post eight for driver Brett Miller. Master Of Law has exhibited extreme closing speed at times but has never managed to consistently put solid races together.

Bee A Magician’s five-year-old season may be a little different from a strategic standpoint. “I don’t want to travel with her so much,” said Norman hoping to keep the mare close to home as often as possible.

Certainly the trainer would love to have another chance at the top horses in the world when the Yonkers International Trot comes around in October.

“She gets over a half-mile track very well,” said Norman. “She finished third in the International Preview last year.”

The Cutler is the first of many stakes events for the aged trotting ranks and by summer time more of the top talent will be in action. Norman isn’t sure yet whether this year’s Aged company will be as strong as last year’s but he’s confident that Bee A Magician will be a stronger horse. She’s already undefeated as a five-year-old but that streak may not last very long.