09/29/2011 11:05AM

Northlands offers two stakes on 13-race card


When Northlands Park recently cancelled the final three Sundays at the meet, management said it would run extra races if there were enough horses entered. The track lived up to its promise with 13 races carded Saturday, including both divisions of the $50,000 Three and Four Year Old Sales Stakes.

My Lucky Thirteen and Hollywood Dreams figure to take most of the action in the colts and geldings division, which drew six horses and goes as race 11. Topsannah, an upset winner of the 2010 Sales Stakes, heads the six-horse fillies division that appears to be a wide-open event. Both races will be contested at one mile and are restricted to horses foaled in Canada that went through a Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Sale.

A 4-year-old, My Lucky Thirteen is proven at a middle distance and could have a slight edge over the very sharp 3-year-old Hollywood Dreams. They both are coming off strong efforts in stakes races restricted to Alberta-breds that were part of Fall Classic Day Sept. 17.

My Lucky Thirteen broke slowly, but recovered quickly to set the pace before giving way grudgingly in the $50,000 Alberta Breeder’s Handicap going 1 1/16 miles.

Hollywood Dreams was an impressive winner when he beat older horses in the 6 1/2-furlong $50,000 Red Dial Express.

Trained by Twylla Bensmiller, My Lucky Thirteen won’t mind the slightly shorter distance. He came from a stalking position to win a one-mile $40,000 optional claiming race July 27 before finishing fourth in the $75,000 Speed to Spare going 1 3/8 miles Aug. 20. The poor start combined with early pressure from longshot First Fire probably cost My Lucky Thirteen the win as the favorite in the Alberta Breeder’s. He could make amends if his usual rider Heribert Martinez can get him to settle into a stalking position early.

Hollywood Dreams has been favored in and won three of his last four starts, all for trainer Dean Martiniuk. The only time he tried a middle distance he finished third after setting the pace in a $32,000 optional claiming race going 1 1/16 miles Aug. 24. He appears to be maturing, however, and in both of his latest wins he came from slightly off the pace.

The fillies division features a matchup between Topasannah, third in the Fall Classic Distaff, and Lynnwood, who is coming off a win in the $50,000 Alberta Oaks on the same card.