Thursday, 12 September 2013 11:03

Northlands Weekend Preview

Written by Jason Beem
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Commander and jockey Jorge Espitia 'reunited' to win the Spangled Jimmy Commander and jockey Jorge Espitia 'reunited' to win the Spangled Jimmy Coady Photo/Ryan Haynes

Salsa Express looks to stay hot on Saturday at Northlands

Salsa Expresswill look to make it three wins in a row as she takes on four fast fillies in Saturday’s $20,900 feature for $35,000 claiming/allowance runners.  Salsa Express has been competing at or near this level all season long and has racked up four victories and three second place finishes in eight starts for trainer Ernie Keller.  Salsa Express is in for the $35,000 claiming tag, as is Tempered Sapphire who’s drawn right to her outside in post 5.  Tempered Sapphire was dominant in the John Patrick Handicap earlier this season and has spent most of the year competing in the stakes ranks.  She’ll get a bit of class relief as she takes one small step down in class, and she’s going to be running at a distance, six and one half furlongs, that she’s 1 for 1 at. 

Claresmiezie will pick up the services of Fernando Perez for this race and he has been red hot as of late.  Claresmiezie shipped over to Hastings for a couple of races, most recently a sixth place finish in the Ladies Express Stakes.  She returns to Northlands, a track she’s 3 for 6 at.  Silver City Sizzle returns to the allowance level after getting thumped in the Red Smith, a race she was never involved in.  Her win two starts back would make her a contender in here though. 

Proud Victor comes to Northlands on Saturday

Proud Victoris a multiple stakes winner from Hastings, and trainer Greg Tracy will bring him to Northlands for his Alberta debut in Saturday’s 7th race.  Proud Victor racked up multiple stakes wins and over $100,000 in earnings during his two year old season.  He won a stake in his second try as a three year old and most recently ran third in an allowance, beaten just a neck.  He’s making the trip over the Rocky Mountains for this event and will square off against some salty rivals.  Bosco will be making his second start off of over a year long layoff.  Last year’s Edmonton Juvenile Champion was third in his comeback and should be even fitter for this start second off the layoff. He’s also trained by Greg Tracy.  There’s a ton of speed in this race, and don’t be surprised if Cattle Hauler shows the most early foot, having drawn the inside post.  He won first off the claim for Rod Cone and steps up the ladder for this spot.  Hardly Forgotten has turned in two very sharp wins and is another who is stepping up in class.  Jorge Espitia has been on board for both those two wins and seems to hold the key to this Ron Smith trainee.  Smith will also send out Swiss Idol, who is very quick early.

Weekend Preview 9/13-9/14

 

Simulcast Weekend Action at Northlands Park

Sunday is Woodbine Mile Day

 

Woodbine Race Course in Toronto will be the center of the racing world on Sunday afternoon.  Wise Dan, maybe the top horse on the continent will go for his second straight win in the $1,000,000 Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.  Entries will be drawn on Thursday afternoon and the card will not only feature the Woodbine Mile, but the Grade 1 Northern Dancer and the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes.  First post is at 11am. 

Kentucky Turf Cup headlines another big Saturday at Kentucky Downs

 

The $400,000 Kentucky Turf Cup will be the headliner on a big Saturday card at Kentucky Downs on Saturday afternoon.  The card will feature five stakes events, with the field of nine in the Kentucky Turf Cup the showcase.  Temeraine has the role of morning line favorite and deservedly so as he’s been competing against some very tough company, including a fifth place finish last time out in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, a race he was only beaten three and three quarter lengths.  He has tried Kentucky Downs before and it was a fourth place finish in an allowance event, but he’s a much better horse than he was for that race.  Suntracer drew right to Temeraine’s outside and has a pair of second place finishes in a row.  He was second in the Grade 3 Stars n Stripes at Arlington and followed that up with a good second in the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes.  Najjaar was third in the American St. Leger that day and made a huge middle move that might have cost him in the later stages.  James Graham is back on board and he could be dangerous in this spot. 

The undercard is loaded with great racing including a pair of juvenile stakes as well as the Turf Dash and the Franklin Simpson Mile.  The Juvenile Fillies drew nine runners including Lien on Kitten who is the morning line favorite off a good maiden debut win.  JJ Julep could be the play though at 4/1 on the morning line and is coming off a big maiden win on the grass at Ellis Park for Kellyn GorderBoji Moon will be making his first try outside of Iowa in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile and he has won both his first two starts by double digit lengths.  Here’s Johnny is just to his inside and was a maiden breaker at Churchill before trying a stakes event in France.  Saint Leon got a slight nod on the morning line in a fantastic edition of the Turf Dash.  Good Lord won this race last year and is 12/1 on the line and although he’s stayed mostly on dirt, that win on the grass last year was his best career effort.  The red hot Utley gets the nod in the Franklin Simpson Mile, as he’s won two in a row for trainer Jonathan Sheppard and this seems the right next step, even though the layoff is a bit of a concern. 

Northlands Selections for the Kentucky Turf Cup

  1. Najjaar
  2. Suntracer
  3. Olympic Thunder

                Longshot: Royal Bench

Northlands Selections for the KD Juvenile Fillies

  1. JJ Julep
  2. Pocket Gift
  3. Lien on Kitten

                Longshot: Saturday Storms

Northlands Selections for the KD Juvenile

  1. Here’s Johnny
  2. School On a Hill
  3. Pure Luxury

                Longshot: Mister Special

Northlands Selections for the KD Turf Dash

  1. Good Lord
  2. Ancil
  3. Longhunter

                Longshot: Havelock

Northlands Selections for Franklin Simpson Mile

  1. Utley
  2. OL Army
  3. A Diehl

                Longshot: Lonesome Street

 

Grade 3 Pucker Up is Arlington’s Saturday Showcase

The Pucker Up Stakes offers up a $175,000 purse and Grade 3 status and a field of eight will contest it at Arlington on Saturday.  My Option, Frivolous, and IO Ireland have been trading off beating one another in recent starts.  IO Ireland scored a big win in one of the divisions of the Hatoof Stakes at Arlington Park last time out.  I’m Already Sexy won the other division of the Hatoof and did it in nearly a second faster time.  However she got a very clean trip that day up close to the lead and took advantage and drew off late.  I’m Already Sexy is now two for two at Arlington Park and goes for Chicago kingpin Wayne Catalano, who trains at a 29% rate at the meeting.  Remember Then will put her undefeated record on the line in the Pucker Up.  She’s three for three so far and has worked her way steadily up the class ladder for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.  Her allowance win last time out at Delaware was the best effort of her career and if she improves once again she could be tough.

Northlands Selections for the Pucker Up

  1. Remember Then
  2. Frivolous
  3. My Option

                Longshot: Miss Scout

 

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