07/18/2011 12:20PM

Northlands Park: Grieves's pair looks strong in claimer


A well-matched field of older horses running in a $22,000 claiming race will serve as Wednesday’s feature at Northlands Park. The 1 1/16-mile race drew six horses, and it is hard to identify a clear favorite.

Trainer Ron Grieves has a solid one-two punch with Alarico and Major Temper who are stepping up after finishing first and second in a $17,500 claiming race July 2. They will run a separate betting interests.

Alarico forced the issue early, opened up a clear 3 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch, and then was all out to hold off Major Temper by three-quarters of a length. Alarico likes to be involved early and will likely be under pressure from either Bent Tune or Boadini.

Major Temper could be ready for a peak effort in his third start this year and will appreciate the move to a distance he has done very well at; winning two races and finishing second in three starts. He has had a hard time winning at Northlands, but he is usually in the mix. From 13 starts there, he has compiled solid 1-8-2 record. He also should appreciate what could be a lively pace.

Tease the Tiger and Quechee are both dropping to new lows and should appreciate the easier company.

Quechee has been very dull in his two starts at Northlands, finishing eighth in a $40,000 optional claimer May 28 and last in the $50,000 Spangled Jimmy. Before arriving here, he won going 1 1/16 miles in a $32,000 optional claimer that was washed off the turf at Tampa Bay on April 3. Trainer Rod Cone claimed Quechee on behalf of Leo and Norma Shaw for $50,000 on Jan. 15.

Tease the Tiger is looking for his first win since 2009, when he won a couple of races including the Saskatchewan Derby. Trained by Greg Tracy, Tease the Tiger ran well to finish second in $30,000 claiming race June 1, but finished a dull fourth for the same price July 1. Both races were sprints, and he has done his best work at 1 1/16 miles.

Bent Tune has been dull in his three sprints they year, but he won three of his last four routes last year, including the restricted Alberta Breeders Handicap. He could be a threat from a forward position.

Boadini, second going a mile at this level June 24, rounds out the competitive field.