08/30/2012 11:42AM

Northlands: Gone in a Flash cuts back in Sun Sprint Championship


Gone in a Flash will appreciate the move back to a sprint when he runs in the $50,000 Sun Sprint Championship at Northlands Park on Saturday. The 6 1/2-furlong race headlines a nine-race card that also includes the $50,000 Birdcatcher for 2-year-old colts and geldings.

The Sun drew seven horses and for the first time at the meet a horse other than Commander – who is not entered – is going to win an open stakes race for 3-year-olds and up at Northlands. That might not have been the case if Gone in a Flash had a clean trip in Commander’s first win at Northlands in the six-furlong Journal. Gone in a Flash had the lead after the first quarter-mile, but was shut off by Tiny Giant and had to steady sharply approaching the quarter pole. He dropped back to sixth, and it looked like he was done. Stephan Heiler somehow managed to get Gone in a Flash rolling again, and after Heiler angled him off the rail, Gone in a Flash rallied to finish second.

Gone in a Flash has a 5-2-0 record from 7 starts sprinting and, according to trainer Ron Grieves, he didn’t handle the sloppy conditions when he ran in the one-mile Spangled Jimmy in his latest start.

“He really struggled with the track and came back a bit cut up,” Grieves said. “He is a really nice sprinter, though, and we’re pretty excited with the way he is coming up to the race. He drew the rail, which is perfect for a horse with his kind of speed.”

There is plenty of other speed in the field, and the shape of the race could work in Ready Racer’s favor. Trained by Dale Saunders, Ready Racer has won his last two starts, which came in $40,000 optional claiming sprints, and in both races he came from well back with Heiler aboard. Heiler sticks with Gone in a Flash. Hastings-based Fernando Perez will ride Ready Racer.

Hollywood Dreams is coming off a front-running win in the Three & Four-Year-Old Sales Stakes.

Multiple stakes winner Tiny Giant should get a nice trip from a stalking position.

Birdcatcher: Hollywood Drama eyes upset

Trainer Dale Saunders is hoping Hollywood Drama can pull off another upset in the 6 1/2-furlong Birdcatcher, which drew six horses and goes as race 6.

Hollywood Drama rallied to beat heavily favored Leprechaun Kid in the colts and geldings division of the 2-year-old Sales Stakes on Aug. 18. Leprechaun Kid is trained by Greg Tracy, and Saunders pointed to the Tracy-trained Tony the Tank as the one to beat on Saturday.

“I think that’s a pretty nice horse Greg has,” Saunders said. “Mine is doing really well, and hopefully he is good enough.”

Tony the Tank has started twice and is coming off an 8 1/2-length win in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race Aug. 12.

Just Gone won his debut in a maiden special weight race for trainer Rod Cone on July 4 and came back to finish second in the Edmonton Juvenile on July 21.