04/29/2009 11:00PM

Fitness may give an edge


Conditioning could be the key in finding the winner of the seventh race at Northlands Park on Saturday. The first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds attracted seven colts and geldings, and the 3 1/2-furlong distance of the race makes it hard to separate them.

It's Good to Be Me, who finished second in the one-mile Canadian Juvenile at Northlands last September, could have a fitness edge over the rest of the field. Over the winter It's Good to Be Me trained at the Pegasus Training Center in Washington, which has a Polytrack surface. It's Good to Be Me wouldn't have missed any training due to weather conditions, while horses based at Northlands would have been frozen out more than once.

Trained by Monica Russell, It's Good to Be Me also ran well when he debuted in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race last July, finishing second. A Kentucky-bred colt by Vindication, It's Good to Be Me probably wants more distance. Nonetheless, his advantage from training over Polytrack could be an equalizer.

Stephan Heiler will ride It's Good to Be Me.

Gold Omega and Runaway Swiss appear to have the best speed in the field.

Gold Omega could have the edge over Runaway Swiss because he has been training at Sagebrush Downs in Kamloops, British Columbia. According to his trainer, Rod Cone, Sagebrush Downs was in excellent condition all winter and Gold Omega never missed a beat.

"They did a great job there," said Cone. "Gold Omega has been training well and hopefully he's ready to run."

Gold Omega won going 3 1/2 furlongs when he debuted in a maiden special race at Northlands last July. In two subsequent sprints going around two turns, he flashed good speed, but tired both times.