07/02/2012 3:40PM

Northlands: Locksley Hall could benefit from hot pace in Wednesday feature


It is tough to separate the five older horses running in a $30,000 claiming race that will serve as Wednesday’s feature at Northlands Park. The six-furlong sprint goes as the fourth of nine races and headlines a card that begins at 6 p.m. Mountain.

Robo Willie and Gatwick figure to be winging it early, and if they get carried away up front, deep closer Swiss Sky is capable of getting up in time. Locksley Hall and Reggie Dunlop are also fast, but can stalk.

Locksley Hall was going for his fourth win in a row when he set the pace before being passed late by Reggie Dunlop in a 6 1/2-furlong $30,000 claiming race June 17. Locksley Hall started his streak at Turf Paradise with a 4 1/4-flength romp in a $6,250 claiming race March 9. He was claimed by trainer Rick Wise on behalf of Kirk Sutherland and they were rewarded when Locksley Hall scored a sharp win going 3 1/2 furlongs in a $10,000 claiming race at Northlands on May 1. They only had him for one race, though, as trainer Rick Hedge haltered him on behalf of Al Pitchko. In his first start for his new connections Locksley Hall came from a stalking position to win a $22,000 claiming race going six furlongs June 1. With other speed in the field he could be dangerous if a hot Scott Williams can get him to settle early.

The stakes winner Robo Willie is on top of his game, with two straight wins. Racing for trainer Dale Saunders, Robo Willie was an easy four-length front-running winner for $15,000 May 23 and was claimed out of the race by Wise and Sutherland. He came back with a strong effort, dueling with Montellano through quick fractions before holding off Diamond Dock by 2 1/4 lengths in a $22,000 claiming race June 15.

Gatwick set a quick pace and held on to finish second in a $30,000 claiming sprint June 1 and has since worked sharply for trainer Dale Saunders, who claimed him out of the race. Gatwick raced at Turf Paradise for Rick Wise last winter and his best result was a front-running win in a $16,000 claiming race going about 7 1/4 furlongs on turf Jan. 7.

Reggie Dunlop is an obvious threat to repeat for trainer Kirsty Luft-Nault.

Swiss Ski, trained by Robertino Diodoro, made a strong late move to lose by a neck to Espresso Springs in a similar race June 3.