06/16/2009 11:00PM

Claimers get rematch at Northlands

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A competitive field of older fillies and mares running for a top claiming price of $17,500 headlines the Friday evening card at Northlands Park. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew seven horses and goes as the seventh race.

It is very difficult to separate the horses that appear to be the contenders in the well-matched field. Avonmore and Chela finished a neck apart when they ran for the same price going six furlongs on June 5.

Trained by Rick Wise, Avonmore was taking a substantial step up in class after winning a $7,500 nonwinners-of-three claiming race by more than seven lengths on May 15. She forced the early pace in her facile win, but she came from fifth when she edged Chela in her latest.

Chela also forced the issue when she won a $15,000 claiming race going six furlongs in her seasonal debut May 15. Trip handicappers will give her the edge over Avonmore. They both made decent moves around the stretch turn when they met June 5, but Avonmore snuck through along the rail while Chela was hung out three wide and lost a considerable amount of ground.

Chela has won 5 of her 11 starts.

Awesome Deal is the top money earner in the field, with $126,965. She hasn't started since she finished second in a $17,500 claiming race at Northlands on Oct. 4. She has been working steadily for leading trainer Robertino Diodoro and could be a serious threat as a fresh horse.