07/09/2009 12:00AM

Challenger emerges to Robo Willie


Trainer Roberto Diodoro is excited about running Feel the Moment in the $50,000 Ky Alta Handicap at Northlands Park on Saturday. The one-mile feature for 3-year-olds drew six horses and goes as the ninth race.

Robo Willie will likely be favored. Diodoro, however, thinks Feel the Moment is up to the task. Feel the Moment is stepping up in class after winning a first-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs on June 21. It was his second straight win at Northlands.

"He is certainly going in the right direction," said Diodoro. "He is a pretty high-strung horse, but he has really matured lately. I hope I can say this on Saturday night, but I think the farther he goes the better he's going to be."

Rico Walcott picks up the mount from his brother Rickey, who rides Robo Willie.

Robo Willie has been pointed to the Ky Alta since his win in the six-furlong Presidents Handicap on June 6. Trainer Greg Tracy passed on the 6 1/2-furlong Western Canada Handicap on July 1 to run here.

"The races would have been too close together and I figured most of the speed would run in the July 1 race," said Tracy.

Robo Willie has good speed, and he has used it to win four stakes races for earnings of $132,573, easily the most in the field.

Cool Diablo, trained by Cody Anderson, is undefeated at the distance and is coming off of a sharp score over Tease the Tiger in a one-mile $32,000 optional race on June 28. Last year he cruised to an eight-length victory in the one-mile Alberta Premiers.

Tease the Tiger is coupled with It's Good to Be Me. Quiet Approach rounds out the field.