08/17/2004 11:00PM

Northlands invader on the way


AUBURN, Wash. - Trainer Red Smith has confirmed that Northlands Park star Deputy Country will run in Sunday's 69th renewal of the Grade 3, $250,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.

"I'm making the arrangements and filling out the health papers right now," said Smith on Wednesday morning. "I entered him at Hastings Park on Saturday just in case there is a hang-up getting across the border, but I don't have any reason to believe there will be a problem."

Deputy Country, a 6-year-old son of Silver Deputy, is coming off three straight stakes wins at Northlands, capped by a seven-length win in the Sun Sprint Challenge Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 2.

"He is as good as he can be right now, so this is the time to try him in the Mile," said Smith.

The addition to the field of Deputy Country balanced the defection of Daunting, who will remain at Del Mar with trainer Mark Glatt. That means Best on Tap and Jake Slate, who were both weighted at 110 pounds, will have to shake for the final spot in the 12-horse gate.

As of Wednesday morning, the field for the Mile, with weights and riders, is: Royal Place, 118 pounds, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Poker Brad, 117, Ricky Frazier; Deputy Country, 115, Richard Hamel; Salt Grinder, 115, Gallyn Mitchell; Adreamisborn, 114, Russell Baze; Demon Warlock, 114, Adalberto Lopez; Metatron, 114, Chad Hoverson; American Fury, 113, Octavio Vergara; Gratitude Attack, 113, Dave Wilson; Verkade, 113, Sandi Gann; Mr. Makah, 112, Scott Saito; and either Best on Tap at 110 pounds with Ben Russell up, or Jake Slate at 110 with no rider named.

Trainer Terry Gillihan put the finishing touches on Demon Warlock's preparation on Wednesday morning with a leisurely five-furlong breeze in 1:04.20.

"It wasn't what I was looking for, but they tilled the track on Tuesday and it was still pretty deep," said Gillihan. "He seems to be feeling really good, and I think a flat mile is the right distance for him."