07/10/2013 12:27PM

Northlands: Catchtheconnection may be primed for sprint feature

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Catchtheconnection couldn’t quite catch Call Me Lou when he made his first start of the year in a second-level allowance race June 21, but if he takes the expected move forward he could be tough to handle in a similar race that will serve as Friday’s feature at Northlands Park.

The six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up drew six horses and goes as the second of eight races.

Trained by Jennifer Shafer, Catchtheconnection will have a sixteenth of a mile less to work with than he did in his seasonal debut, but there should be an honest pace to set him up. He also came back to work a bullet five furlongs in 1:01.60 July 6 and he could be a little sharper with a race behind him. Last year, he won twice, and he went home following his win in an optional $32,000 claiming race Sept. 29 where he earned his career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 72.

Tony Maragh retains the mount.

Rum Ruckus, trained by Twylla Bensmiller, forced the issue early and held on well to finish third in the same race. The strong effort came on the heels of a dull effort in his first start of the year in an optional $25,000 claiming race May 20. He could take be ready for a peak effort in the third start of his form cycle, and leading rider Rico Walcott figures to make good use of his speed leaving from the inside post.

The only 3-year-old in the field is the lightly raced Swiss Idol, who won both of his starts this year and hasn’t finished worse than third in any of his six races.

Trained by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame member Red Smith, Swiss Idol set the pace in both of his wins and he was in complete control from start to finish in his four-length romp in a first-level allowance race with Walcott aboard June 22.

This is clearly the sternest test of Swiss Idol’s career, but he passed his latest exam with flying colors and being lightly raced he could have plenty of upside potential.

Quincy Welch picks up the mount from Walcott.

Hombre Hughes dueled for the early lead before fading to finish fifth in a $17,500 claiming race June 19, but he romped by 9 3/4 lengths in a $15,000 claimer for nonwinners-of-two when he came from a stalking position in his first start at Northlands on May 10. He could be dangerous if he can avoid getting into another duel.

Six Pack and the 4-year-old filly Bonita Bella complete the field.