06/03/2010 11:00PM

Nordic Truce looks like king of Hill Prince


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Christophe Clement has purposely spaced out Nordic Truce's starts with an eye toward some of the major races for 3-year-old turf males later this summer.

While Friday's Grade 3, $100,000 Hill Prince at Belmont Park would not necessarily qualify as a major race, it looks like the perfect spot for Nordic Truce to use as a springboard for the summer. Undefeated in three starts -- all on turf -- Nordic Truce looms a prohibitive favorite in the one-mile Hill Prince against five horses who have combined to win three races from 17 turf starts.

Because of the short field, the Hill Prince was spotted as race 4 on a 10-race program that begins at 1 p.m. Eastern and includes the Grade 2, $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap.

Nordic Truce, a Kentucky-bred son of Yes It's True, won a maiden race last November at Calder. Two months later, he won the Dania Beach Stakes, coming from last on the speed-favoring turf at Gulfstream to win by a neck. Eleven weeks after that, Nordic Truce rallied to win the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes, sitting relatively close to a fast pace before running down Strike the Tiger in the final two jumps.

"He ran very fresh last time, so being a bit fresh he was a touch rank," said Clement, whose horse is the 123-pound highweight and will spot five to seven pounds to the field. "He's got to give a lot of weight. Let's hope he's good enough."

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has entered the uncoupled entry of Krypton and Lethal Combination against Nordic Truce. In his turf debut last October, Krypton won a one-mile maiden race in gate-to-wire fashion. In his two most recent turf starts, Krypton has come from off the pace, which McLaughlin believes may be his preferred style of running.

"It is, but maybe not in this race with only six in it," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin is running Lethal Combination back six days after he finished fourth in the Lamplighter at Monmouth. Lethal Combination had to steady after a horse came out in front of him in upper stretch and missed second by less than a length.

"I don't normally do it, but he's a gelding and after this I can give him a little time," McLaughlin said of running the horse back in less than a week.

Completing the field are Avenging Spirit, a maiden; Noah's Dream, seventh in his only turf start; and Gold Medallion, a recent allowance winner on Woodbine's synthetic surface.