06/18/2010 12:00AM

Jasper's Valentine in sharp form at Northlands


Jasper's Valentine will try to defend her title in the $50,000 Wild Rose Handicap at Northlands Park on Sunday. The six-furlong sprint drew a small but competitive field of five fillies and mares.

Jasper's Valentine, trained by Jim Meyaard, should be full of confidence following her 10-length front-running win over Jules J in a $40,000 optional race June 2. Jasper's Valentine has led from start to finish in all five of her wins, but could be vulnerable with plenty of other speed in the field.

The expected lively pace should help Salsa Express, who is going for her fourth win in a row. Salsa Express will be making her first start at Northlands Park for trainer Craig Smith. She was sent to Smith after being claimed by Curtis Landry for $20,000 at Golden Gate on June 6. A 5-year-old Idaho-bred, Salsa Express has been a gem of consistency since she began her career at Boise in 2008, compiling an 8-6-2 record from 19 starts. In her last three wins, including the $27,000 Princess of Palms at Turf Paradise April 3, she came from off the pace. The other horses in the field do their best running on the lead so it could set up perfectly for her.

Shakenwithanolive and Littlemiss Allison also ran in the Princess of Palms. Shakenwithanolive set the pace and held on to finish third while Littlemiss Allison got off to a poor start and never got involved.