05/30/2010 11:00PM

Jasper's Valentine on familiar path


Jasper's Valentine and Jules J figure to take most of the action in Wednesday's featured race at Northlands Park, a six-furlong classified allowance race with a $40,000 claiming option for fillies and mares.

Jasper's Valentine, trained by Jim Meyaard, is coming off of a third-place finish in the $26,000 Al Swihart Memorial Stakes at Fonner Park on May 1. A 5-year-old California-bred mare by Twin Spires, Jasper's Valentine also ran third in the Swihart last year and then reeled off two straight wins at Northlands.

Jasper's Valentine hasn't won since then, but she ran well to finish third in the 1 1/16-mile City of Edmonton Distaff before winding down her season with a second to Ochoa in a $40,000 optional claiming sprint on Sept. 6. Ochoa came back to finish second in the B.C. Oaks.

Rico Walcott rides Jasper's Valentine, and there isn't much doubt Walcott will be trying to put her on the lead leaving from the rail.

Jules J will be making the move to dirt after finishing second on the turf in a $32,000 claiming race at Golden Gate on May 8. Trainer Rod Cone claimed Jules J out of the race. In the past five years, Cone has won with 22 percent of the horses he has claimed and shipped to a new circuit.

Minimus and Eye Scarey have good speed and might be able to put enough pressure on Jasper's Valentine to set things up for Jules J.