07/12/2006 11:00PM

Vaca City Flyer difficult to deny


Aptly named for her task Saturday, Vaca City Flyer will be gunning for her fourth straight stakes victory when she meets four rivals in the six-furlong $50,000 Vacaville Handicap at the Solano County Fair.

A 5-year-old mare who has won 12 of 22 starts, Vaca City Flyer has five victories and a fourth in the Grade 3 Las Flores since joining Art Sherman's barn in December.

She will make her first start since capturing the May 13 Monterey Handicap at five furlongs on the turf at Bay Meadows, beating Royal Kleven, one of her rivals Saturday.

Given a bit of a breather, resumed working on June 7 and hasn't missed a beat in five works since then, including a five-furlong move in 59 seconds on July 7, the best of 27 at the distance that day.

"She looks good, kept her weight up nice, and has a nice coat," said Steve Sherman, handling the family string in northern California while his father prepares a string for racing at Del Mar. "She needed to freshen because we ran her close together a couple times."

Vaca City Flyer appears a prohibitive favorite.

If Steve Sherman has any concerns, it's that Vaca City Flyer has drawn post 4 with the speedy Cut the Mustard in post 5.

"On a perfect day, she would have drawn outside the other speed, but she doesn't need the lead," Sherman said. "She's drawn well, and I think everything's all right.

"Her fractions are as fast as the other filly's, and she finishes better. She does everything right, and she knows where the finish line is."

Vaca City Flyer's jockey, Dennis Carr, will make the call early as to how fast he wants to go. Carr should be able to maintain good position with Vaca City Flyer and keep Cut the Mustard wide all the way.

Vaca City Flyer won her lone race here, an $8,000 maiden claimer, two years and one day ago.

Royal Kleven, coming off a solid victory at Pleasanton, will be a threat in the lane.

Beezer, making her first start since last Oct. 10, is the defending champion.

The X factor is Secret Corsage, who has 3 wins and 6 seconds in 17 stakes tries. She has sprinted only three times in her 25-race career, although she did win her debut at 5 1/2 furlongs and beat Vaca City Flyer at a mile, in Vaca City Flyer's lone two-turn try.