10/09/2009 11:00PM

Cool Ventura eyes four in row


Any way you slice it, second-year trainer Cody Anderson has had a tremendous Northlands Park meet heading in to Monday's closing card. He is looking to close out the meet in style with a win in the $50,000 Harvest Gold Plate Handicap for 3-year-olds and up, and he certainly has the right horse for the job.

Cool Ventura, who will pack high weight of 126 pounds, figures to be a solid favorite in the 1 1/16-mile feature, which drew nine horses and goes as the 10th race on the 11-race card.

Anderson may finish outside the top 10 in terms of wins at the Northlands meet, but heading into the final weekend he was third in money won with $469,108 and second in stakes wins with 5 from just 11 starters. If Cool Ventura runs his usual race, Anderson will end the meet with another stakes win to his credit.

Cool Ventura will be looking for his fourth straight win and is coming off of a dominating performance in the Alberta Breeders Handicap on Sept. 19. The Alberta Breeders was one of two stakes won by Anderson on the Fall Classic Card, and he ranks Fall Classic Day and his win with Cool Ventura in the $100,000 Speed to Spare as the highlights of his year. He is looking for another strong performance by Cool Ventura on Monday.

"He was hurt earlier this year but he's really come around," Anderson said. "He's still a fresh horse, so I'll probably take him with me to Turf Paradise this winter."

Real Simard retains the mount.

Leading trainer Jim Meyaard will look for the upset with Salt Flat Speed. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Salt Lake, Salt Flat Speed has never won a race longer than 6 1/2 furlongs. In his only try going around three turns, he lost by a nose to Smile N Wave, who also is entered in the Gold Plate. Salt Flat Speed is coming off a front-running win in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race Sept. 26. In an effort to harness his good speed, Meyaard is taking the blinkers off Salt Flat Speed for the first time in his 20-race career.

Bringing more speed to the race is Assiniboia Downs-based Rock'n U S A. Trained by Tanya Lindsay, Rock'n U S A led from start to finish to win his last two starts in Winnipeg, including the $59,000 Gold Cup on Sept. 12.

Footprint, the top money earner in the field with $403,003, finished second to Salt Flat Speed on Sept. 26 and should appreciate the added distance.