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She'll By Flying In The Stretch

Published: November 24, 2010 8:24 pm ET

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Cherry Tree Nicole is quickly becoming the Zenyatta of the working-class trotters, using her powerful closing kick to win five of her last eight starts and stamping her as strictly the solid favourite in Friday night’s finale of the Turkey Trot at Cal Expo.

The four-year-old daughter of British Sterling is owned by Denise Maier and Alan Kirschenbaum with Denise’s husband Tim doing the driving and training. She overpowered her rivals in last week’s elimination heat with a dazzling rally through the stretch.

“Going back a few years, there was a beautiful chestnut trotting mare that Nicol Tremblay raced out here named Yankee Reflection,” Kirschenbaum related. “I had a great respect for both the horse and her driver-trainer. Nicol bred her a few times and got a couple of nice foals, and when he was ready to sell her, I was ready to buy her.

“Sadly, Nicol passed away not long after that, way before his time, and I wanted to honour his memory by naming Yankee Reflection’s next foal after him. Wouldn’t you know it, she proceeded to have a filly, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. That’s how Cherry Tree Nicole got her name.”

The mare isn’t the swiftest trotter in the early stages of a race, but she can really turn it on when it counts, as evidenced by her recent string of trips to the charmed enclosure.

“She’s not the best-gaited mare in the world,” Alan continued. “Having driven her a few times myself, I know that you can’t rush her early in the race.

“But when she gets squared away and finally takes hold of the bit, she wants to pass horses, which is just what British Sterling and Yankee Reflection liked to do. They were two of the most honest trotters to race in California over he last twenty years, and it’s only fitting their daughter is carrying on in her parent’s footsteps.”

She Is So Glad and Betty Elizabeth will attempt to continue sweeps at Cal Expo in Friday night’s two $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the three-year-old fillies, while Cherry Tree Nicole is the one to beat in the $7,700 finale of the Turkey Trot.

There is also a $3,539 carryover in the Pick 5. The 50-cent minimum wager is conducted on the fifth through ninth races on the evening and the pool is estimated to be $12,500 when all is said and done.

Looking at the Sire Stakes for the pacing distaffers, She Is So Glad is a homebred daughter of Power Of Art who competes for Jim Wilkinson Jr., Hans Karge, Billie Schwartz and Jay Rosenberg with Wilkinson the trainer and Rich Wojcio handling the lines. She has won four of her six appearances on the year and is seeking her third straight stakes tally.

The first added-money score came on October 29 in a romping six-length decision in a sparkling 1:55 flat. She just missed with a strong rally in a conditioned event at next asking, then was a handy victress in the most recent stakes clash two weeks ago.

Betty Elizabeth is a Panama Hanover offspring, who is owned, trained and was bred by Lisa Pilcher and will once again be guided by Steve Wiseman. She closed out the spring with an impressive stakes score and has started off this meet with a pair of solid decisions at the head of the sophomore filly trotting class.

Post time Friday night at Cal Expo is 5:45 p.m. (PST).

(Cal Expo)


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