06/22/2011 4:07PM

Northlands Park: Bears Home Run thrives at the distance


Bears Home Run is worth a look at what should be a decent price when he runs in a $22,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up at Northlands Park on Friday. The one-mile feature drew seven horses, and the main reason for taking a shot with Bears Home Run is the distance.

Trained by Dale Greenwood, Bears Home Run has won 4 times from 5 starts going one mile, and he tuned up for this with an even race going six furlongs May 27. Overlooked in the wagering at Turf Paradise in his final start of 2010, Bears Home Run paid $46.80 when he came from off the pace to win a $25,000 optional race at one mile on Nov. 26. Throw in the fact that over the past five years Greenwood has a 27-percent strike rate with horses going from a route to a sprint and you have the makings of another upset.

Stephan Heiler rides.

Rule by Force figures to be favored. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Rule by Force is dropping in price following a third-place finish behind Western Woods and Commanding Ace in a $30,000 claiming race going six furlongs. Before shipping to Northlands, he won the $25,000 Coyote Handicap at Turf Paradise. He received a 91 Beyer Speed Figure, which is easily the best in the field, plus he is proven at the distance, with a couple of wins including a minor stakes race at Yavapai Downs.

Robo Willie will likely be the one they are chasing, and though he is capable of carrying his speed the whole way, he has only done it once. Trained by Dale Saunders, Robo Willie is coming off of a front-running win going six furlongs in a $17,500 claiming race June 4. His lone win going around three turns came in the $50,000 Ky Alta as a 3-year-old in 2009.

Sax closed with a rush to lose by a nose to Robo Willie in his first start at Northlands. He has won three times going one mile; twice on dirt and once on turf, but this will be the first attempt at going around three turns.