08/21/2013 1:23PM

Northlands Park: Desert Train poised for repeat on Friday


Desert Train has a good chance of winning his second straight race when he runs in a $17,500 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up that will serve as Friday’s feature at Northlands Park. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew seven horses, and there is an abundance of speed to set up Desert Train, who can stalk the pace.

Trained by Jerri Robertson, Desert Train received a heady ride by Ismael Mosqueira in his narrow win over Storm’s Battle in a $17,500 claiming race going six furlongs Aug. 3. Breaking from the outside post in the eight-horse field, Desert Train looked like he wanted to run with the early leaders, which meant he would have gone wide on the first turn. Mosqueira eased him off the pace and moved him to the inside, where he saved valuable ground.

Mosqueira guided him off the rail to make his strong late move, and he got up in the last jump to nail Storm’s Battle by a head. He ran a similar race when he lost by a nose for the same price June 19, and if you toss his poor effort over a sloppy track July 15, he looks like the horse to beat.

Mosqueira retains the mount.

Storm’s Battle set fast fractions while opening up a clear lead and was game in defeat. Trained by Alfred Webster, Storm’s Battle is going to have plenty of company in Friday’s race, however, particularly Shifty Sheriff.

Trained by Diana Feurhelm, Shifty Sheriff battled through quick early fractions before drawing off to win a $12,500 claiming race going six furlongs Aug. 5. In his previous race, on July 20, he led every step of the way except the last one when a resurgent Mr. Shadar got up to edge him by a neck, also for $12,500.

Mr. Shadar, a winner of five stakes in his 47-race career, also will appreciate the shape of the race. He came from a stalking position to lose by three-quarters of a length in a $5,000 claiming race June 22 and he was claimed out of the race by trainer Cody Anderson. In his first start for Anderson, he closed with a rush to turn victory into defeat for Shifty Sheriff.

Rum Ruckus will appreciate the easier company following a fourth-place finish in a $35,000 optional claimer on Aug. 5. He is trained by Twylla Bensmiller, who also entered the speedy Amaryllis Beach, a 6 1/4-length winner of his last start, which came in an $8,000 claiming race July 31.