07/23/2010 12:19PM

Dancing Melody should get her way at Northlands

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Dancing Melody might be stepping up in class after finishing third in a $17,500 claiming race July 10, but the shape of Sunday’s feature at Northlands Park could set up perfectly for her. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for fillies and mares running for a $20,000 claiming price drew five horses and goes as race 5.

Dancing Melody, who races for owner-trainer Elly Rutherford, will be glad to get away from You and Me Baby, who beat her in back-to-back races June 26 and July 10. Both times You and Me Baby was the lone speed. Sunday there is a good chance Desperate Dancer and Calmcoolncollected will hook up early and set an honest pace for Dancing Melody to close into. Dancing Melody hasn’t been worse than third in four starts at the meet and in her lone win she rallied to beat Here Comes RayRay in a $13,000 claiming race going six furlongs on June 11.

There is no guarantee a duel will develop, however. The last time Calmcoolncollected and Desperate Dancer faced each other, Calmcoolncollected broke on top and never looked back while setting quick fractions in a $22,000 claiming race June 22. Trained by Darcy Hawkes, Calmcoolncollected led for the first half-mile before fading to sixth for $30,000 July 11 in her last start.

Despite running at “B” tracks in Alberta for most of her career, Desperate Dancer is the top money earner in the field with $130,168. The first of her 13 wins came in a $20,000 maiden race at Northlands in 2006, but the rest were at either Grande Prairie or Whoop Up Downs in Lethbridge. She is coming off of a third-place finish in a $20,000 claiming race at Northlands July 2.