09/23/2013 2:09PM

Northlands Park: Count the Change faces short field in optional claimer


Count the Change figures to be a short price when she runs in a $25,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares Wednesday at Northlands Park. The one-mile race drew five horses and headlines an eight-race card that begins at 6 p.m. Mountain.

Trained by Ron Grieves, Count the Change has won three of her last four races, and she paid $3.70 for her 2 1/2-length win over Candy Alley in a similar race Sept. 4. With Shannon Beauregard aboard, Count the Change forced an honest pace before drawing off. She was coming off a loss in a $35,000 optional-claiming sprint, but in her previous race, she came from a stalking position to win a one-mile, $25,000 claiming race July 29.

In all three of her races going around three turns this year, the 6-year-old mare has been a convincing winner. With her versatility, Beauregard should be able to place her wherever she wants, possibly just behind Silver City Sizzle, who has speed and is stretching out for just the second time.

Street Savy could be dangerous if a duel develops in front of her. Trained by Dale Saunders, Street Savy came from 15 lengths behind to win a one-mile, first-level allowance race for fillies and mares Sept. 11 with Fernando Perez aboard. Perez, who won four stakes on Alberta Fall Classic Day last Saturday, has left Northlands to try his luck in California. Mario Velazquez will pick up the mount.

The 3-year-old filly Marry Me Vicky could improve enough to make her presence known. Trained by Tim Rycroft, Marry Me Vicky is coming out of the same race as Count the Change, and she never really threatened the winner while finishing third. Nonetheless, it was her best race going a route of ground, and she is eligible to improve with leading rider Rico Walcott picking up the mount.

The only time Walcott rode Marry Me Vicky, she romped by 4 1/4 lengths in a one-mile, $12,500 maiden-claiming race July 19.

Silver City Sizzle faded the only time she went a middle distance in the $52,000 Red Smith Handicap for 3-year-old fillies, but she could be dangerous if she can get clear early with leading apprentice Amie Pooli aboard. Pooli won two stakes on Alberta Fall Classic Day.

Silver Silhouette should appreciate the easier company after chasing the classy Salsa Express in two straight $35,000 optional claimers.