10/09/2010 11:01AM

Double Shuffle looks to turn tables on Cherokee's Goal


Northlands Park will close its 2010 meet with a strong 10-race card headed by an excellent field in the $50,000 Harvest Gold Plate for 3-year-olds and up. The 1 1/16-mile feature attracted nine horses and appears to be a wide-open race.

Adding excitement to the closing-day festivities is the late move by jockey Shannon Beauregard. Through Friday, Beauregard was just four wins shy of Anthony Salgado in the standings.

Trainer Robertino Diodoro doesn’t need a win by Double Shuffle to guarantee his first training title at a single meet. Diodoro was the leading trainer in Alberta in 2008 when he finished second in the standings at Stampede Park and Northlands.

Diodoro is hoping Double Shuffle will atone for his loss as the heavy favorite to Cherokee’s Goal in the $72,000 Gold Cup at Assiniboa Downs on Sept. 18. Double Shuffle went into the Gold Cup on a five-race winning streak, including a score in the $75,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands on Aug. 21.

“He wasn’t himself in Winnipeg,” Diodoro said. “He might have been a little too sharp. He wasn’t going to beat Cherokee’s Goal, but it probably cost him second when he got fanned out on the turn.”

Assiniboia Downs-based Cherokee’s Goal posted his career-best Beyer Speed Figure, an 85, for his win in the Gold Cup. A 3-year-old, Cherokee’s Goal won the Sasketchewan Derby at Marquis Downs by six lengths in his previous start. Trained by Clayton Gray, Cherokee’s Goal will be making his first start at Northlands.

Mr. Shadar will be looking for his fifth straight win after disposing of Charterhill in the restricted 3- and 4 year-old Sales Stakes on Oct. 2.

A very sharp Footprint is another strong possibility.