06/03/2013 1:46PM

Northlands Park: Arctic Ceal gets class relief in Wednesday feature


Arctic Ceal is going to appreciate the considerably easier company Wednesday night at Northlands Park when he runs in a $15,000 claiming race for horses that have never won two races. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up drew six horses and headlines an eight-race card that begins at 6 p.m. Mountain.

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Arctic Ceal chased a fast pace before capitulating and finishing sixth in a first-level allowance race won by Call Me Lou on May 10. Call Me Lou came back to finish first in a second-level $25,000 optional claimer last Saturday but was disqualified for causing interference in midstretch. Bull Time, third in the May 10 race, romped by six lengths when he ran in a $15,000 claiming race for nonwinners of two May 24.

Arctic Ceal also figures to move forward in his second start following a layoff. His previous race was at Turf Paradise on Dec. 26, where he stalked the pace before tiring to finish sixth in a in a first-level allowance race going six furlongs. The 4-year-old Alberta-bred is not only dropping in class but he owns the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure and retains the services of Rico Walcott. Walcott is dominating the jockey standings at Northlands, with 30 wins, 19 more than apprentice Amie Poolie, who sits in second place with 11 wins.

Trainer Lianne Knechtel had Captain Fiesta well prepared for his first start since he finished fifth in a six-furlong race July 29 last year. With Kyle Carter aboard in a $22,000 maiden claiming race May 18, Captain Fiesta vied for the early lead while going three wide before emerging in front at the quarter pole in the six-furlong sprint. He took a 4 1/2-length lead into the stretch, and under strong urging, he widened his margin to 5 1/4 lengths at the wire.

Captain Fiesta came back with an easy half-mile move in 49.20 seconds May 28 and could do some damage if he breaks alertly from the inside post.

Other speed in the field includes Gilded Eagle, who is stepping up in price after finishing second as the favorite in a $7,500 claiming race for nonwinners of two. He was claimed out of the race by trainer Tim Rycroft. In the past five years, Rycroft has a respectable 16 percent strike rate with claimed horses running back for the first time.

He’s Italian also figures to be heard from early.

The Acid Test and Double It complete the field.