10/01/2010 12:07PM

McDougall entry figures to be a short price

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Trainer Pam McDougall has a solid one-two punch with Honey’n Roses and Among the Willows in Sunday’s feature at Northlands Park. The one-mile conditional allowance race for 3-year-old fillies drew seven horses and will go as race 5.

Honey’n Roses would likely be favored on her own merits and being coupled with Among the Willows guarantees a short price for the McDougall pair.

They complement each other well. Honey’n Roses will likely be involved early, and Among the Willows figures to be heard from late. Beginning in a $7,000 nonwinners-of-two claiming race July 24, Honey’n Roses has used her good speed to win four straight races. In her last start, she cruised to an easy score in a 6 1/2-furlong second-level allowance race that had a $40,000 claiming option Sept. 17. Honey’n Roses also is versatile and her usual rider, Rafael Zenteno, has options if the pace is too hot. In her second win of her current streak, she won a one-mile $12,000 claiming race, so the added distance shouldn’t be a problem.

While Honey’n Roses was moving up the ladder, Among the Willows was running with the best fillies at Northlands. After winning a first-level allowance race June 30, Among the Willows finished third behind Notoriously in the $50,000 Northland Park Oaks. She tried Notoriously again in the $50,000 Sonoma, but, like the rest of the field, she couldn’t keep up, finishing a distant fifth. In her most recent start, she made a late move to finish a close third behind Disco Damsel in a second-level allowance race Sept. 19.

Malakwa looks like the main threat. Trained by Lianne Knechtel, Malakwa is coming off of a strong effort in the $50,000 Alberta Oaks on Sept. 18. Stretching out to a middle distance for the first time in the one-mile Oaks, she set the pace and then held on well to finish second to My Lavern. Malakwa undoubtedly will be part of the pace. In all seven of her starts, she has held the lead after the first quarter and only once has she failed to finish in the top three.

Disco Damsel took a big step forward in her win over Ochoa and Among the Willows in her latest start. Trained by Ron Grieves, Disco Damsel was making just her second start of the year and is eligible to continue her progress Sunday. In her initial start at the meet, she forced the pace before fading in a $32,000 optional claimer won by Honey’n Roses on Sept. 6.