08/24/2011 1:07PM

Northlands Park: Break appears crucial for top two


Green Alert and Sportive look like the main players in a $12,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds that will serve as Friday’s feature at Northlands Park. The six-furlong sprint drew nine horses, and which horse gets the better trip could go a long way in determining the final outcome.

Green Alert drew the rail and could have the advantage if he breaks alertly. Trained by Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Red Smith, Green Alert broke sharply from the inside post in his last start and had the lead at every call in winning a six-furlong race for $7,000 claimers.

A Kentucky-bred gelding by Limehouse, Green Alert has the most wins in the field, three, and he is a tough horse when he gets involved early. There doesn’t appear to be an abundance of speed in the field, and he could take them a long way if he leaves the starting gate running with Kyle Carter aboard.

Sportive is also looking for his second straight win, and he is coming back for the same price at which he won a 6 1/2-furlong sprint on Aug. 6. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Sportive is more versatile than Green Alert, and he will need to be breaking from the outside post. Sportive won his debut in a $5,000 maiden race at Turf Paradise in March, and though he hadn’t won again until he came from a stalking position to beat What’s Up Doc in his latest start, he has never finished worse than third.

Jorge Carreno will ride Sportive, and he knows him well, having ridden him in all seven of his races.

What’s Up Doc pressed a slow pace, and after taking over the lead at the top of the stretch he couldn’t hold off the late bid by Sportive in his first start for trainer Amanda Gregory, who claimed him on behalf of Ole Jim C Stables Ltd. for $7,500 July 16. His lone win came when he debuted in a maiden special weight race for Alberta-breds going 3 1/2 furlongs last year. He could help set up Sportive if he puts enough pressure on Green Alert early.

Ice Mocha could be dangerous as a fresh horse for trainer Rick Wise. In his last start he finished third in a $20,000 claiming race June 22. He was over eight lengths behind Sportive, however, who finished second.