09/18/2013 1:24PM

Northlands Park: Boomtown Brat set to turn tables on Ready Racer

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Ready Racer easily handled Boomtown Brat when they met in the $50,000 Sun Sprint Championship on Sept. 7, but the shape of a $35,000 optional-claiming race that will serve as Friday’s feature at Northlands Park could swing the advantage to Boomtown Brat. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up drew six horses, but it looks like a battle between Boomtown Brat and Ready Racer for the top spot.

Post time for the first of eight races is 6 p.m. Mountain. Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze will be available to sign autographs on the tarmac at 7-8 p.m. Baze, the all-time leader in wins in North America, will be riding at Northlands on Saturday’s Fall Classic Day. Fall Classic Day features seven $50,000 stakes races restricted to Alberta-breds.

Trained by Tim Rycroft, Boomtown Brat battled with Kingoftherockies through quick fractions for the first half-mile in the Sun Sprint, and the early duel took its toll in the stretch. Kingoftherockies faded to finish sixth, but Boomtown Brat held on well to finish second. Ready Racer, who was well back while the duel was taking place, blew by Boomtown Brat and the rest of the field to win by 4 1/4 lengths.

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of other speed in the field, and Boomtown Brat could be gone if he breaks on top with leading apprentice jockey Amie Pooli aboard.

Last year, Ready Racer was voted the champion sprinter in Alberta based mostly on his blowout win in the Sun Sprint, where he earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure. He received only a 75 Beyer when he won the 6 1/2-furlong Sun Sprint this year, but he did it in style and nobody will be surprised if he is able to get up in time, especially if Clear the Runway can put some early pressure on Boomtown Brat.

Trained by Dale Saunders, Ready Racer will be trying to even the score with Boomtown Brat, who beat him in $35,000 optional claimers on June 15 and Aug. 5.

Fernando Perez retains the mount.

No Hesitation will be looking for his first win since he won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby in 2010. Trained by Twylla Bensmiller, No Hesitation is eligible to improve after finishing fourth in his first start this year in a $35,000 optional claimer going 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 24.

Rascal Cat and Back Alley Rally, third in the Sun Sprint, complete the field.