06/23/2011 12:28PM

Northlands feature matches Inca Beauty vs. Summmer Song


Just how good is Inca Beauty? We should find out when she tackles a tough group of fillies and mares in a $40,000 optional claiming race at Northlands Park Saturday.

The one-mile feature attracted eight horses, including Summer Song, who was the champion older filly or mare in Alberta in 2009 and the queen of the same division in British Columbia last year.

Despite Summer Song’s strong credentials, Inca Beauty looks like the one to beat. Trained by Rod Cone, she has won her last three races by a combined margin of 21 3/4 lengths. She was claimed by Cone for $8,000 on behalf of Curtis Landry at Tampa Bay March 20. In her first start for her new connections she easily won an $8,000 claiming race for nonwinners of two going 1 1/16 miles at Tampa. In two sprints at Northlands she hasn’t been tested. She cruised to an easy win in a $20,000 claiming race May 22 and then romped by over eight lengths for $30,000 June 5.

Cone gives all the credit for Inca Beauty’s success to his wife, Jennifer.

“I was in Kamloops when Jennifer claimed her,” said Cone. “She also made the changes that helped turn her around.”

According to Cone, the main change his wife made was taking Inca Beauty off of all of the medication she was running on in Florida.

Apprentice Scott Williams rides Inca Beauty.

She will have to be at her very best to beat Summer Song, who is easily the class of the field with five stakes wins to her credit. Summer Song also has a fondness for Northlands, having won the Madamoiselle and City of Edmonton Distaff in her only two starts there. She has been trained for most of her career by Troy Taylor, but both of her wins at Northlands were for Alan May, who is the trainer of record Saturday. She is coming off of a second-place finish behind Caged Mistress in a 1 1/16-mile $50,000 optional claiming race at Hastings June 5.

Miss Victorian will appreciate the added distance after finishing third in the $50,000 Wild Rose June 12.