10/04/2012 3:25PM

Northlands Park: Madeira Park giving weight to oder rivals in Duchess of York


Madeira Park will take on her elders in the $50,000 Duchess of York at Northlands Park on Saturday. Despite being the only 3-year-old in the five-horse field of fillies and mares, she has been assigned high weight of 119 pounds for the 1 1/16-mile race.

Trainer Dave Forster isn’t concerned about the weight.

“That’s not a lot of weight so it doesn’t matter,” said Forster. “The main thing is she is doing well and she likes the track at Northlands.”

The last time Madeira Park ran at Northlands she romped by 8 1/4 lengths in the $50,000 Sonoma on Aug. 25. She returned to her home base at Hastings but wasn’t much of a threat when finishing fifth to Evelyn’s Dancer in the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks. Evelyn’s Dancer is one of the reasons Forster opted to send Madeira Park back to Northlands instead of running her in the Grade 3 Ballerina at Hastings on Monday, when Evelyn’s Dancer will take on the top older filly or mare at Emerald Downs, Class Included.

“It is a tough race and I also have Heidi Maria running in the Ballerina,” said Forster.

Madeira Park signaled her readiness with a bullet five-furlong move at Northlands on Sept. 30.

Richard Hamel retains the mount.

Miss Victoriana looks like the main threat. Trained by Red Smith, Miss Victoriana was an easy 6 1/2-length winner of the $50,000 Matron at Assiniboia Downs on Sept. 14. In her previous start she finished a distant second to Heidi Maria in the City of Edmonton Distaff on the same card on which Madeira Park won the Sonoma.

A deep closer, Miss Victoriana should have an honest pace to run at.

Last year Miss Victoriana also won the mile and an eighth Matron but came back with a dull effort in the Duchess of York, finishing sixth.

Mageans Princesses drew the rail, and jockey Rico Walcott will likely put the speedy 4-year-old on the lead if she breaks alertly. Trained by Greg Tracy, Mageans Princessess will be trying stakes company for the first time since she forced the pace and tired to finish third in last year’s Sonoma. She is coming off a second-place finish going one mile in a $30,000 optional claiming race Sept. 12, and she was a front-running winner of a similar race Aug. 17.

Fleet Mama, third in the City of Edmonton, is looking for her first win of the year.

Inca Beauty will need to improve off her third-place finish in the same race Maegans Princessess exits to make an impact.