07/28/2006 12:00AM

She's Italian goes after repeat win

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EDMONTON, Alberta - She's Italian, runner-up to Gabe's Prospect in the Penny Ridge at Stampede Park, heads a field of five in a one-mile optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies here at Northlands Park Sunday.

She's Italian, owned by Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stable, is coming off a victory under similar conditions in mid-July as the 7-5 favorite. She's Italian finished fourth to Mia Cat Dancer in the Lilac Handicap earlier this spring. Trained by Doug MacDonald, She's Italian will retain the riding services of Ron Blinston.

Awesome Deal is another filly with considerable stakes experience. Awesome Deal launched her 2006 campaign impressively with a runner-up finish in the Mount Royal and then was third in the Lilac and fourth in the Penny Ridge.

A Florida-bred, Awesome Deal could improve on those performances Sunday with her early speed from the rail, but will be hard-pressed to gain the lead against Nashwaak Dancer.

Awesome Deal's trainer, Ernie Keller, has given the return call to Leanne Painter, who rode Awesome Deal to a fifth-place finish in the Northlands Oaks last Saturday.

Nashwaak Dancer is coming off a victory that saw her wire an eight-filly field in the slop here July 7. Rising from the $12,000 plateau, Nashwaak Dancer has won three races in her last four appearances. She defeated $20,000 claimers and was second in an optional claimer.