05/18/2013 12:43PM

Northlands Park: Bond James Bond steps up after win


Trainer Greg Tracy got what he was looking for when Bond James Bond easily won a $25,000 optional claimer in his seasonal debut at Northlands Park on May 4. A triple stakes winner at 2, Bond James Bond had not won a race since he scored a front-running win in a $75,000 optional claimer at Hastings in his first start as a 3-year-old in 2011.

“I was hoping for an easy win to help him regain his confidence,” Tracy said. “That was a good race for him, and it was nice to see him in the winner’s circle again.”

Bond James Bond will need all of his confidence and more when he runs in an allowance race for 3-year-olds and up that have not won a first-place prize of $20,000 since Jan. 1, 2012. There is a $35,000 claiming option available, and the only horse not eligible for the conditions and running for the price is Wild Crush, who won the $50,000 Alberta Breeders Handicap last year. Wild Crush wants more distance, however, and doesn’t figure to be a serious factor in the six-furlong sprint, which drew eight horses and will serve as Monday’s feature. The Victoria Day holiday card begins at 1 p.m. Mountain.

Bond James Bond drew the rail, where Rico Walcott figures to make good use of his excellent speed. He has won from a stalking position in the past and might need to reserve some of his speed with Boomtown Brat breaking from post 2.

Trained by Tim Rycroft, Boomtown Brat set brisk fractions on his way to a three-length win over Gone in a Flash in a race with the same conditions May 4. Boomtown Brat won stakes at 2 and 3, and his two wins last year came in $30,000 claiming races.

Apprentice jockey Amie Poole retains the mount.

Gone in a Flash was heavily favored when he finished second to Boomtown Brat and could make amends if Quincy Welch is able to get him to relax from a stalking position. Trained by Ron Grieves, Gone in a Flash has never won a stakes race, but he has compiled an excellent 6-4-1 record from 11 starts in sprints.

Minutesandtouches closed out 2012 with a blowout win over Bobby Handy and Bond James Bond in a one-mile $30,000 claiming race Oct. 3. He will be making his first start for trainer Dale Saunders, who claimed him out of the race.

Double stakes winner Tiny Giant has been firing bullets while preparing for his first start of the year. He is trained by Joan Petrowski.

Barfly’s Survivor and Storm’s Battle complete the field.