07/06/2013 1:42PM

Northlands: Monday racing experiment begins


The experiment to race on non-holiday Mondays begins this week at Northlands Park with an eight-race card beginning at 1 p.m. Mountain. Mondays will be part of the racing schedule through Sept. 2.

The main reason Northlands dropped Sundays and added Mondays for the first time is to try and increase its export handle.

“Sundays haven’t been that strong in recent years, and we think we can increase our export numbers by running on Mondays,” said Chris Roberts, venue director at Northlands.

Hume could be favored in a first-level allowance race that drew six horses. The one-mile feature for 3-year-olds and up goes as the seventh race.

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Hume just toyed with his opponents in his first start at Northlands. Breaking alertly with Rico Walcott aboard in a one-mile $22,000 maiden claiming race June 21, Hume was never threatened as he cruised to a five-length win over Smoke n’ Mirrors. He received a 59 Beyer Speed Figure, which is easily the highest last-race figure in the field. He was coming off two solid efforts in $30,000 optional maiden races at Turf Paradise, the latest on turf, where he received identical 58 Beyers.

Hume began his career in Southern California, where his best race in six starts was a third-place finish in a one-mile $30,000 maiden claiming race at Santa Anita Jan. 17.

Walcott retains the mount on Hume, who is the only horse in the field with a win at a middle distance.

It is never easy facing winners the first time, and Hume should get a good test from Just Gone, who finished second in three straight stakes races as a 2-year-old last year and could be rounding into form for trainer Rod Cone.

Just Gone hasn’t come close in any of his three races this year, but each race was dominated by a horse who won by a wide margin. In his latest race June 22, he finished second in a one-mile first-level allowance race that Deadly Truth won by more than 10 lengths. Just Gone could do some damage in his second straight route, with Ismael Mosqueria retaining the mount.

Sharp as Ever won the $38,000 Esquirol Farms Sales Stakes in his second start as a 2-year-old and could be coming up to a big race for trainer Gerry Marks. Sharp as Ever is coming off an improved effort in a first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs and will be running on Lasix for the first time.