06/04/2008 11:00PM

Pearson rivals get rematch


CALGARY, Alberta - Tanika, winner of the Ken Pearson Memorial by a neck over the dead-heated duo of She's Italian and Debie Ginsburg in the best stretch duel of the local stakes campaign to date, heads Saturday's $50,000 Duchess of York for fillies and mares. All three runners return for the rematch.

The three laid it on the line in the closing yards, with the tiny but game Tanika prevailing despite an overland journey from post 8.

Tanika was off a step slowly and jockey Stephan Heiler was forced to use her early. She's Italian came into the race off works alone and predictably tired after dueling early, and Debie Ginsburg was in tight quarters in the first turn prior to making her bid.

Tanika draws inside in the 1 1/16-mile Duchess of York, and Heiler will attempt to ration her energy more carefully.

She's Italian draws post 3, with Jake Barton back aboard, and will undoubtedly benefit from having a race under her belt.

Debie Ginsburg drew post 5, with jockey Shannon Beauregard looking for a cleaner trip.

Of their five rivals, Banjo Babe looms as the upsetter but needs to rebound off her poor effort in the Pearson, where she stopped abruptly after being in the thick of the fight at the quarter pole.

Tsarmina closed ground late in that race to finish a nonthreatening fourth.

Dixietwostepper has the unenviable task of challenging She's Italian for the lead again.