09/17/2009 11:00PM

Royal Tiara can rate


Royal Tiara goes for her third win in a row at Northlands Park on Sunday, and her versatility could help her get it. A six-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares running for a top claiming price of $10,000, her race drew seven horses and goes as the eighth race.

Trained by Rick Hedge, Royal Tiara forced the pace in both of her last two wins, the latest at this price on Aug. 23. Nonetheless, she is capable of coming from a little farther off the pace, and with speedsters Cedar Fever and Ibegyerpardon in the field, she doesn't want any part of what figures to be a fast and contested pace. A B.C.-bred, Royal Tiara started her career at Hastings, but she has found a home at Northlands, compiling a 6-5-0 record from 14 starts. A bit surprisingly, Stephan Heiler, who has been aboard Royal Tiara for her last five wins, abandons her to ride Cedar Fever. Leading rider Rickey Walcott picks up the mount.

Ibegyerpardon, trained by Douglas Smith, scooted to a front-running win for $7,500 on July 12 and then couldn't keep up when she tried to run with Ghost Pirate in a $13,000 claiming race for older horses on Aug. 19. She should appreciate being back with fillies and mares, and there isn't much doubt that she will be put right on the lead by Desmond Bryan.

Trainer Doug Oberg did a terrific job of bringing Cedar Fever back from a long layoff to win a $7,500 claiming race on Aug. 19.