08/25/2011 10:09AM

Northlands Park: Favorites appear formidable in Birdcatcher, Bird of Pay


Heavy favorites figure to dominate a couple of $50,000 stakes races for 2-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs at Northlands Park on Saturday. Dougs Buddy in the Birdcatcher for colts and geldings, and My Daddy’s Girl in the Bird of Pay for fillies are both standouts in their respective races.

Dougs Buddy has been brilliant in both of his starts for trainer Joan Petrowski. He was challenged early before drawing away to win by seven lengths when he debuted in a maiden special weight race going 5 1/2 furlongs July 30. A Kentucky-bred colt by Badge of Silver, Dougs Buddy was never under any serious pressure when he romped by six lengths going six furlongs in the $50,000 Edmonton Juvenile 10 days later.

Dougs Buddy earned a 75 Beyer Speed Figure for his easy win in the Edmonton Juvenile, the fourth best figure by any 2-year-old at Northlands in the last five years. He was purchased for $7,500 at the Keeneland September sale last year by his owner, Doug Blair.

Rico Walcott rides Dougs Buddy, who will break from the rail.

Can any of the other four horses entered beat Dougs Buddy? Not likely, but if there is going to be an upset it could come from Clear the Runway, who ran a strong second when he debuted in a maiden special weight race Aug. 10 for trainer Greg Tracy.

Kiribrassy, trained by Diana Feurheim, showed good speed in his debut, beating My Daddy’s Girl by 1 1/4 lengths in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race for Alberta-breds June 10.

Tracy might have a longshot with Clear the Runway in the Birdcatcher, but he has an excellent chance with My Daddy’s Girl in the Bird of Pay. Only four horses entered the Bird of Pay and there are two winners; My Daddy’s Girl, who is coming off a front-running score in the restricted $50,000 Filly Sales Stakes on Aug. 13, and Top It Up, who was all out to win a $12,000 maiden race going 3 1/2 furlongs Aug. 7.

My Daddy’s Girl also won a maiden special weight restricted to Alberta-breds in her second start June 24.

Southern Clime, trained by Tim Rycroft, showed good speed before fading to finish a well-beaten third when she debuted in a maiden special weight race Aug. 10. She figures to move forward with a race under her belt and could be the one they have to catch if she breaks alertly from the inside post.