06/24/2010 12:00AM

Mootoo on the rise at Northlands

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Trainer Ron Grieves said he was expecting Mootoo to run a big race when he came back from a long layoff June 11. Grieves got what he wanted and more as Mootoo dominated his rivals while posting a 6 1/2-length win over Midtown Bullet in a first-level allowance race going six furlongs. Mootoo could be tough to handle if he moves forward in a second-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up going 6 1/2 furlongs at Northlands Park Saturday.

Bourbon Shooter appears to be the main threat in the eight-horse field.

Mootoo battled through honest fractions in his impressive win, and other than Bear Famous Trip, there doesn't appear to be a lot of other speed in this field. Mootoo drew the outside post and he should have enough speed to clear early. Shannon Beauregard takes over the riding duties from Quincy Welch, who is suspended.

Bourbon Shooter is certainly no pushover. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Bourbon Shooter is coming off of a second-place finish in a second-level allowance race June 6 and he has enough tactical speed to stay in touch with Mootoo early. If Bear Famous Trip can soften Mootoo up a bit, it could set up nicely for Bourbon Shooter. Two starts back, Bourbon Shooter was moved up to first via disqualification in a one-mile first-level allowance race on the turf at Turf Paradise April 27.