07/11/2008 12:00AM

Tanika and Beau Spirit a tough pair


EDMONTON, Alberta – Trainer Barry Brown had a plan in mind when he sent out the coupled entry of Tanika and Beau Spirit here in the June 28 Wild Rose, and it worked to perfection.

Beau Spirit dueled for the lead with She’s Italian through quick early fractions in the 6 1/2-furlong Wild Rose, allowing Tanika a perfect stalking trip to capture her third straight stakes race.

The same strategy should be on the agenda here Sunday afternoon in the one-mile John Patrick, but this time Beau Spirit will be asked to hook up against the speedy Holy Nova, who arrives in town fresh from two stakes scores sprinting at Vancouver’s Hastings.

The $50,000 John Patrick drew just six fillies and mares and Tanika is highweighted at 125 pounds. Tanika will be conceding two pounds to Holy Nova, who drew the outside post and will be ridden by Vancouver-based Mario Gutierrez.

Stephan Heiler has his usual assignment aboard Tanika, who drew post 2 and will break just outside her stablemate Beau Spirit, who will ridden by Rico Walcott.

Tanika is now 8 for 13, and the tiny daughter of Orientate has become the darling of fans here with her gritty performances.

Holy Nova poses her biggest challenge to date on this campaign and brings along Beyer Speed Figures that place her squarely in the mix on Sunday.

Bear’s Swan and Tartan Star come into the race off allowance scores but face a much sterner test here. Quincy Welch rides Bear’s Swan, while Jake Barton has the call on Tartan Star.

Debie Ginsburg rounds out the field and is the late threat with Shannon Beauregard back aboard.