08/09/2007 12:00AM

Tanika can hit new heights in Sonoma


EDMONTON, Alberta - With her breakthrough victory over some talented competition in the Northlands Oaks now behind her, Tanika has the opportunity to mark herself as one of the top fillies in Western Canada in the $100,000 Sonoma here Saturday.

Going to the Oaks, Tanika was regarded as perhaps the best of the locally based fillies but a notch below invaders from Hastings and Woodbine. So, while she had been an easy winner of the Chariot Chaser in her previous start, Tanika was let go at almost 7-2 in the five-horse field for the 1 1/16-mile Oaks.

Tanika proved herself to be superior to all her peers that day, prevailing by a neck and registering a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 84.

In the 1 1/16-mile Sonoma, Tanika and jockey Stephan Heiler will look to grab another $100,000 purse but must prove themselves against a pair of new invaders and some quality local fillies they have not met before.

Leading the shippers this time around is Alpine Garden, who comes to Northlands by way of Churchill and Woodbine. Unable to win her maiden over the turf at Gulfstream and Churchill this spring, Alpine Garden moved north to Woodbine and found the Polytrack surface much to her liking, winning and recording a solid 78 Beyer Speed Figure going 1 1/16 miles.

New to the stakes scene is Beau Spirit, who comes into the Sonoma off three straight victories against local allowance types.