06/05/2013 3:30PM

Northlands: Jaws 'n Paws, Claresmieze clash in Wild Rose Handicap

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The first stakes at Northlands Park this year goes Friday night and it is a good one, with Jaws n’ Paws trying to win her fourth straight race and third stakes in a row in the $50,000 Wild Rose Handicap for fillies and mares. Standing directly in her way in the six-furlong sprint is the multiple stakes winner Claresmiezie, who couldn’t have looked any better winning an optional $35,000 claiming race by 6 1/4 lengths here May 17.

Included in the six-horse field is Northlands Parks Oaks winner Tempered Sapphire and Plethora, who became the only horse to ever beat Claresmieze at Northlands when she won the $50,000 Red Smith Handicap last year.

Speaking from Canterbury Park, where he has 23 horses stabled, trained Robertino Diodoro said Jaws n’ Paws is one of his favorite horses.

“She is a big, good-looking mare and she tries every time she runs,” said Diodoro. “You can’t help but love her.”

Since Diodoro claimed her back for $20,000 on behalf of Stateside Racing on Feb. 12, 2012, Jaws n’ Paws has reeled off wins in six of her seven starts. She took the rest of the year off after she finished second in an optional $40,000 claiming race at Northlands last June but returned with a vengeance at Turf Paradise in February, winning an optional $30,000 claiming race by eight lengths. After winning the $35,000 Mesa Handicap for the second straight year, Jaws n’ Paws scored a front-running win going six furlongs in the $50,000 Czaria Stakes at Sunland Park.

Jaws n’ Paws has excellent speed but can stalk. Diodoro is leaving the strategy on how to ride her to Quincy Welch.

“When you have a guy that has won as many riding titles and races that Quincy has you don’t give them any instructions,” said Diodoro.

Claresmieze also likes to be involved early but she looked comfortable sitting in second behind Plethora before she took complete control of the race at the quarter pole in her last start. Claresmieze’s previous win came in the $50,000 Assiniboia Downs Oaks last August.

Trainer Greg Tracy is expecting another strong performance from the talented 4-year-old Claresmieze.

“She ran a big race last time and has trained well since,” said Tracy.

Trainer Craig Smith is taking the blinkers off Plethora after she wore them for the first time in her 10-race career when she finished fifth in her first start of the year.