06/25/2012 12:41PM

Northlands Park: La Pinot gets blinkers for second start back


Trainer Robertino Diodoro is hoping the addition of blinkers will help La Pinot show more focus when she runs Wednesday evening in a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares at Northlands Park. The six-furlong sprint goes as the seventh race, and any of the five horses entered could win it.

La Pinot was coming off a long layoff when she finished fifth as the heavy favorite in a similar race June 13. It was just the third start of her career and first since she finished third in a $62,500 claiming race for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita on Jan. 11, 2011. A California-bred, La Pinot showed a lot of promise when she won her debut in a key $30,000 maiden claiming race by 2 3/4 lengths.

In her comeback race, La Pinot didn’t show any early speed, and when it looked like she might do some damage late, she lost a lot of momentum when she was forced to go wide on the stretch turn. She came back to work a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.60 on June 6, and with the blinkers going on and a race behind her, it wouldn’t be surprising to see her take a big step forward.

Leading apprentice jockey Scott Williams rides La Pinot.

Quite Contrary is the lone 3-year-old in the field, and she could end up being the favorite. Trained by Greg Tracy, Quite Contrary has the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure that she earned when she finished third in her first crack at a two-turn sprint in a first-level allowance race restricted to 3-year-old fillies May 25.

She won her debut in a 3 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race last August and was turned out for the year. In her comeback race, she ran evenly while finishing fourth in a $32,000 optional claimer gong 3 1/2 furlongs May 16. In her latest race, she forced a modest pace and held on well to finish third.

Trained by Ron Grieves, Jazz Time Girl came from a stalking position to edge Sweet Esteem for second in a similar race June 13. She was a maiden when she won at this level May 30, and she has never been worse than third in four-career starts.

Sweet Esteem is the most experienced horse in the field with 15 starts for trainer Garry Marks. She should be the one they are chasing.

Tami’s Ruckus took a while to make it to the races, but the 5-year-old mare trained by Marcos Malvaez was ready for her unveiling as she came from off the pace to win a $22,000 maiden claiming race June 9.