09/05/2013 2:01PM

Northlands Park: Kingoftherockies the one to catch in Sun Sprint Championship


Kingoftherockies faces a stern test when he goes for his seventh straight win this year at Northlands Park in Saturday’s $50,000 Sun Sprint Championship. The 6 1/2-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up headlines a nine-race card that begins at 1 p.m. Mountain.

Included in the seven-horse field are last year’s local champion sprinter, Ready Racer, and Dougs Buddy, who is 5 for 6 in sprints in his 15-race career.

Trained by Robert A. MacDonald, Kingoftherockies began the season with three straight wins over Willie Brown in $12,500 claiming races going six furlongs. His fourth win was his easiest, a 5 3/4-length score over Points Alert in a $17,500 claiming race June 29.

Striking while the iron was hot, MacDonald ran Kingoftherockies in the $49,000 Three and Four Year Old Sales Stakes, where he broke on top and never looked back. In his latest win, he was all out to hold off Bond James Bond in a $35,000 optional claimer Aug. 17.

In all of his wins, Kingoftherockies was in front just a few strides out of the gate, and there isn’t much doubt that Ismael Mosqueira will try to gun him to the lead after leaving from the outside post.

Ready Racer could feast on what should be a fast and contested pace. Trained by Dale Saunders, Ready Racer hasn’t come close to repeating his career-best performance in last year’s Sun Sprint, but he is coming off a solid effort behind Kingoftherockies on Aug. 17, and with other speed in the field, it should set up nicely for him.

Last year, Ready Racer romped by 9 1/4 lengths in the Sun Sprint, where he received a 98 Beyer Speed Figure. His only win since then came in a $25,000 claiming race July 5, but he indicated in his last race that he could be ready for a big effort Saturday.

Dougs Buddy won’t mind the move back to a sprint after trying to keep up with Commander going 1 1/16 miles in the $52,000 Fred Jones Handicap on Aug. 3.

Trained by Joan Petrowski, Dougs Buddy began his 4-year-old campaign with a win over Silver Baubles in a $35,000 optional claimer going six furlongs May 18, but he may have bounced when he came back to finish seventh in the $58,000 Journal, won by Silver Baubles, in his second start this year. That was the only time Dougs Buddy didn’t win sprinting, and with a couple of bullet five-furlong works leading up to the Sun Sprint, he could be dangerous with leading jockey Rico Walcott riding.