09/11/2013 1:44PM

Northlands Park: Deputy Lass finds her niche at a mile


Deputy Lass improved dramatically when she stretched out to a middle distance for the first time in a $7,000 conditional claiming race Aug. 23 and looks like the one to beat in a $12,500 claiming race for fillies and mares Friday at Northlands Park. The one-mile race drew seven horses and goes as the second of eight races. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. Mountain.

Trained by Dale Saunders, Deputy Lass was winless in six starts at the meet before her easy 3 1/4-length win Aug. 23. She was even more impressive in her next start, romping by 8 1/2 lengths in a $7,000 claiming race for 3-year-old fillies on Sept. 4, also at a mile.

The move into an open $12,500 claiming race is a substantial jump up in class, but she appears to have the most speed in the field and owns easily the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure, a 63. She also is carrying 114 pounds, six less than in her two blowout wins, and retains the services of leading rider Rico Walcott.

Topasannah has been in the thick of all her races this year and could do some damage if Carolina Brew puts enough early pressure on Deputy Lass.

Trained by Red Smith, Topasannah started her season with a sharp win over Embankment in a $12,500 claiming race going six furlongs. She hasn’t won since, but she hasn’t finished worse than third in five subsequent starts. After finishing second behind Brady’s Tomboy in successive $17,500 claiming races at a mile July 24 and 1 1/16 miles Aug. 10, she rallied to finish a close third going 6 1/2 furlongs for the same price Aug. 26.

Leading apprentice Amie Pooli retains the mount.

Carolina Brew returns from Assiniboia Downs, where she forced the pace before settling for third in a $15,000 optional claimer going 7 1/2 furlongs Sept. 4. Trained by Robbin Martens, Carolina Brew used her good speed to win four races in 2012, but hasn’t finished better than third this year. She is capable of carrying her speed a middle distance and could get back on track if she can avoid getting into a duel with Deputy Lass.

Top It Up will appreciate the substantially easier company after finishing last in a $35,000 optional claimer won by the classy 8-year-old mare Salsa Express.