09/24/2009 12:00AM

Meyaard looking to stay on top


Trainer Jim Meyaard will try to extend his lead in the trainer standings when he drops Chela into a $13,000 claiming race for fillies and mares at Northlands on Friday. The one-mile feature drew seven horses and will go as the eighth race.

With a month left at the current meet that ends on Oct. 25, Meyaard holds a seven-win lead over Robertino Diodoro. If he continues to win races at a 43 percent clip he will be tough to catch.

Chela has won two of her six starts this year, but all of her wins have been in sprints, and this will be just the second time in her 15-race career that she has tried a middle distance. Chela hasn't won since Meyaard claimed her for $17,500 out of a winning race on June 19, but in all three starts since being haltered she has been running against males. In her latest race Chela ran evenly to finish fourth in a $22,000 claiming race going 1 1/16 miles.

Rico Walcott rides Chela.

Here Comes Ray Ray looks like the main threat off her nose loss for this price going 6 1/2 furlongs last Friday. Trained by Rod Cone, Here Comes Ray Ray was stakes-placed in the one-mile John Patrick Handicap. She seems to be back on her game now after three dull races in a row.