07/11/2012 3:46PM

Northlands: Fly Ruudy Fly a strong contender


Trainer Ron Grieves isn’t expecting impressive debut winner Fly Ruudy Fly to go on and become one of the elite horses at Northlands Park. Nonetheless, Grieves is hopeful Fly Ruudy Fly will be good enough to get through his conditions. If Fly Ruudy Fly moves forward following his smart debut, he could have the first step taken care of Friday night when he runs in a one-mile first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up that drew eight horses.

Fly Ruudy Fly showed a lot of talent while racing greenly in his debut. He broke alertly from the rail and set quick fractions under pressure from Captain Fiesta. He lost his action briefly while drifting out turning for home, and when it looked like Captain Fiesta was going to go by him in midstretch, he re-broke and went on to win by three lengths. Captain Fiesta was another four lengths clear of Famequest, who finished third.

Grieves is hoping he is wrong in his assessment of Fly Ruudy Fly’s ability.

“I’ve been wrong more than once but usually it’s the other way when I thought the horse was going to be a good one,” said Grieves. “I don’t think he is going to be a star but hopefully he’ll fool me.”

Fly Ruudy Fly fooled more than just Grieves when he paid $13.60 for his debut win.

Stephan Heiler retains the mount.

Fly Ruudy Fly is facing a tough assignment and will have to beat a couple of sharp horses trained by Twylla Bensmiller.

Heading the uncoupled entry is Rum Ruckus, who is coming off back-to-back second-place finishes in first-level allowance sprints June 15 and 29. In his first start this year he won a six-furlong $22,000 maiden claiming race by 6 1/2 lengths.

Royal Grand rallied to finish third in the June 15 race and figures to move forward in his second start this year. In his second and final race in 2011 he won a one-mile $10,000 maiden race at Churchill Downs July 2.

U Play U Pay forced an honest pace before drawing off to win a one-mile maiden special weight race June 27. Heiler abandons him to ride Fly Ruudy Fly, but trainer Rod Cone has found an able replacement in leading rider Scott Williams.

Delta Court, trained by Rick Hedge, is a serious threat coming off a second-place finish in a one-mile $32,000 optional race for 3-year-olds July 2.