09/04/2009 12:00AM

Approval Rating simply looks best


Woodbine-based Approval Rating figures to have a big edge over the four local horses entered in the $100,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands Park on Sunday. The 1 3/8-mile feature is the premier race for older horses at the Northlands meet.

Trained by Terry Jordan, Approval Rating is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup at Woodbine on Aug. 3, and he hasn't gone this far in his 15-race career. Nonetheless, he was given a 99 Beyer Speed Figure when he finished second in the 1 1/4-mile Grade 3 Dominion Day on July 1, and if he runs a similar race they aren't going to beat him.

It also looks like Approval Rating will be able to control the race right from the start. A 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, Approval Rating can handle any surface. He has won on dirt, turf and Polytrack. According to Jordan he didn't have any trouble getting around the tight turns at Northlands when he worked six furlongs in 1:14.80 on Aug. 26.

"It was a good work for him," said Jordan. "I just hope he likes the company he'll be keeping. If he can beat Cool Ventura he should win the race."

Quincy Welch will ride Approval Rating.

Cool Ventura appears to be coming up to a big race for trainer Cody Anderson. In his last start, Cool Ventura came from last to win a one-mile $40,000 optional race by over six lengths on Aug. 22. It was just his second start this year, and the only time he went 1 3/8 miles he finished third in last year's Grade 3 Canadian Derby.

Following the Canadian Derby Cool Ventura easily won the $50,000 Beaufort Stakes and then shipped to Woodbine where he finished second in an $80,000 optional race at 1 1/16 miles. The horse that finished a length behind him in third was Approval Rating.

Real Simard retains the mount.

I'm the Guy has quickly come to hand for trainer Robert Kingston. Beginning with a sharp score in a $20,000 maiden race on July 4, I'm the Guy has rolled to three straight wins. He came back to win a $15,000 nonwinners of two and then stepped up in class to post a mild upset in the $50,000 Westerner Handicap Aug. 8. This is clearly a much tougher spot, however, and he will need to improve dramatically to keep his streak intact.

Beau Brass and Royalty Boy round out the field.