06/09/2009 11:00PM

Good luck betting against this team


The trainer-jockey combination of Jim Meyaard and Rico Walcott has been just about unstoppable at Northlands Park this year. They have compiled an enviable record of 7-1-1 in 10 starts at the meet, and they have an excellent chance of enhancing their record with Rare Crystal, who heads a classified allowance race for fillies and mares in the seventh race on Friday. The 6 1/2-furlong feature also carries a $40,000 claiming option.

Rare Crystal is stepping up in class, but she is by far the sharpest horse in the field and will likely be favored. A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred, Rare Crystal has taken a real shine to the Northlands surface, dominating her opposition in both her starts there. Rare Crystal came from just off the pace to win a $22,000 claiming race by seven lengths May 13, and she scored a front-running victory over Hello Haley in a $30,000 claiming race on May 22. Both races were at six furlongs.

From the looks of her bullet four-furlong work on June 5, Rare Crystal appears to have retained her edge.

Minimus looks like the main threat to Rare Crystal. Trained by Red Smith, Minimus is coming off of a fifth-place finish in the Sales Stakes on May 23 and she figures to move forward in her second start of the year. In her final start of 2008 she won the $75,000 Fall Classic Distaff in September. She will be ridden by Quincy Welch.

Briars Flash won two of her first three starts in 2008 and went on to place in four stakes races. She could be ready for a big effort in her first start this year.