08/14/2013 1:32PM

Northlands Park: Canaveral Leader looks tough in Sonoma off Oaks romp


Trainer Ron Grieves liked the way Canaveral Leader was improving going into the $50,000 Northlands Park Oaks on July 27, but he didn’t expect her to crush heavily favored Silkworm by 6 1/4 lengths in the one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. A similar effort would make her tough to beat in the $50,000 Sonoma at Northlands on Friday night.

The 1 1/16-mile race drew seven 3-year-old fillies and headlines an eight-race card that begins at 6 p.m. Mountain.

Grieves thought Canaveral Leader might have some distance limitations, so following her win over Tell Me Lies going 6 1/2 furlongs in the $49,000 Three and Four Year Old Sales Stakes on July 19 he brought her back in the one-mile Oaks eight days later thinking the Sonoma might be beyond her reach.

“Her full sister My Daddy’s Girl was a very nice sprinter but couldn’t go long,” Grieves said. “I’m glad I brought her back for the Oaks, where she ran the race of her life. She just keeps getting better, and I couldn’t be happier with the way she is going right now.”

Shannon Beauregard, aboard for both of her stakes wins, retains the mount.

Greg Tracy seemed to have a lock on the Oaks with Silkworm and Ten Thirty going into the race with strong credentials. Both are back, and Tracy also has entered Tell Me Lies who won the $50,000 Chariot Chaser before losing to Canaveral Leader in the Three and Four Year Old Sales Stakes.

Silkworm was coming off a second-place finish in the $50,000 Supernaturel at Hastings on July 1 and went off as the 4-5 favorite in the Oaks with Fernando Perez aboard. She made a threatening move at the quarter pole but was no match for Canaveral Leader.

Rico Walcott picks up the mount from Perez, who was injured in a spill last Friday.

Ten Thirty, with Walcott aboard, set the pace in the Oaks before tiring to finish third. She was coming off a six-length romp in the one-mile $52,000 R.K. Smith Handicap on July 5.

Arizona Oaks winner Agent Scully came back from a four-month break only to lose any chance she had when she stumbled badly leaving the starting gate in the $30,000 Harry Jeffrey for 3-year-olds at Assiniboia Downs on July 17.

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Agent Scully is back with her own sex and has fired two bullets while preparing for her first attempt going around three turns.

Before her race in Winnipeg, she missed by a nose on the turf in the one-mile $35,000 Scottsdale Handicap at Turf Paradise on March 16.