09/17/2012 12:36PM

Northlands Park: Boomtown Brat can take another at same level


The $30,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up that will serve as Wednesday’s feature at Northlands appears to be a wide-open event. Boomtown Brat is one of many possibilities in the six-furlong sprint that drew eight horses and goes as race 8 on a nine-race card that begins at 6  p.m. Mountain.

A stakes winner as a 3-year-old last year, Boomtown Brat didn’t win his first race as an older horse until he beat Espresso Springs in a $30,000 claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 29. He is coming right back for the same price for trainer Tim Rycroft and he should get a similar stalking trip.

Ruben Lara retains the mount.

Minutesandtouches has tailed off recently but he is dropping into a straight claiming race for the first time this year. Trained by Robert MacDonald, Minutesandtouches won his first two starts in first- and second-level allowance sprints and after going unplaced in the $50,000 Journal Handicap he won a one-mile $40,000 optional claiming race July  7.

In his latest start he was the outside horse in a three-horse duel in the $30,000 Sun Sprint Handicap and understandably tired to finish fifth. He drew post-position 2 and could be tough to get past if he breaks alertly with Stephan Heiler aboard.

Reggie Dunlop forced the pace before tiring to finish fourth as the favorite in Boomtown Brat’s win Aug. 29. Trained by Kirsty Luft-Nault, Reggie Dunlop was coming off a second-place finish behind multiple stakes winner Salt Flat Speed in a $30,000 claiming sprint where he also forced the issue from the start. He can stalk, however, and in his only win this year he sat just off a contested pace before rallying to take a $30,000 claiming race June  17. If Scott Williams can ease him into a stalking position behind what should be a contested pace he could be the winner.

Bobby Handy has won two of his last three races for trainer Rod Cone, who claimed him on behalf of Can Media Inc. for $15,000 on June 30. All three of his wins this year, his latest in a one-mile $30,000 claiming race Aug. 22, have been around three turns. Three of his eight wins have been in sprints, however, so he shouldn’t mind the cutback in distance.

Mr. Shadar is coming back in just four days after finishing fifth in the Red Dial Express last Saturday.

Cactus Cat steps up following a win for $15,000 Sept. 1.

Aces Again and Gatwick round out the competitive field.