09/12/2012 2:15PM

Northlands Park: Kingoftherockies back with 3-year-olds


Kingoftherockies will appreciate being back with 3-year-olds after finishing last in the $49,000 Three and Four-Year-Old Sales Stakes at Northlands Park on Aug. 11. While the drop in class is significant, he is by no means a standout in the $20,000 claiming sprint that drew six horses and will serve as Friday’s feature at Northlands.

One of the problems Kingoftherockies faces is that he drew the outside post and similar to most of the horses in the six-furlong race, he wants to be on the lead. Trained by Greg Tracy, Kingoftherockies has won two races and both times he led right from the start. His latest win came in a $20,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds July 20. He came back with another solid effort in a $32,000 optional claiming race July 28, but after dueling for the first five furlongs he tired in the stretch and finished fourth.

Kingoftherockies was in over his head when he tried a tough group of horses in the Sales Stakes, particularly stakes winners Hollywood Dreams and Bond James Bond, who finished first and second.

Rico Walcott rides Kingoftherockies.

Tracy has also entered Congrats Man, who will be running in a straight claiming race for the first time. He used his good speed to win a $30,000 optional maiden claiming race at Hastings on May 6 and came right back to win a first-level allowance sprint at Northlands on May 23. He couldn’t keep up with Canadian Derby runner-up Dougs Buddy in the Western Canada Handicap and in his most recent start he faded after chasing the pace when he tried three turns for the first time in a one-mile, second-level allowance race July 15.

Within Range also won a couple of claiming races in a row before running into Canadian Derby winner Toccetive in a $32,000 optional claiming race July 1. Trained by Rod Cone, Within Range is coming off a last-place finish in a $40,000 optional claiming sprint Aug. 11.

Trainer Rick Hedge may have found a good spot for Kilohana who came from a stalking position to finish second behind Horizonbound in a $12,000 claiming race Aug. 12. He was moved up to first when the stewards ruled Horizonbound interfered with him in late stretch. Kilohana was coming off an easy 5 1/2-length, front-running win in a $7,000 claiming race for nonwinners of two Aug. 1.

Gilded Eagle and Love is Blind round out the field.