06/15/2011 12:22PM

Northlands Park: No Hesitation looks to rebound

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No Hesitation will try to get back on track when he runs in a $40,000 optional claiming race at Northlands Park on Friday. The six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up drew nine horses, but most of the attention will be zeroed in on No Hesitation, the 2010 horse of the year in Alberta who has gone winless in three starts since he won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby last August.

Trained by Jim Meyaard, No Hesitation ran well in his first start following the Canadian Derby, finishing fourth in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. Meyaard gave No Hesitation the rest of the year off and brought him back in an allowance race at Fonner Park on May 1. Sent off as part of a heavily favored entry with the winner Salt Flat Speed, No Hesitation ran a very dull race, finishing last in the seven-horse field going six furlongs. According to Meyaard, No Hesitation got bogged down on the rail and had a hard time handling the deep going. Meyaard was expecting a strong performance from No Hesitation in a $40,000 optional claimer at Northlands on May 22, but he had a rough trip and never threatened while finishing fourth.

Friday’s race should give Meyaard a good indication of what direction No Hesitation is heading. His 3-year-old year was sensational, but he still has to prove he can compete with the best older horses in Alberta.

Mr. Shadar was one of the best older horses at Northlands last year and will give No Hesitation a real test. Trained by Rich Hedge, Mr. Shadar compiled a 5-2-2 record from 11 starts. After edging Zuri Mwana in a $40,000 optional claimer Aug. 21, Mr. Shadar reeled off three straight wins in stakes races. He was voted the champion sprinter and top older Alberta-bred. This will be his first start of the year.

Tiny Giant will likely be the one they have to catch. He held a 4 1/2-length lead turning for home in a similar race May 28 but tired to finish second behind Paseo Alegro.

Professor Pollard figures to be heard from late.