07/20/2012 2:26PM

Northlands Park: Locksley Hall drops in bid to regain form


Locksley Hall and Juan Might look like the main players in a $15,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up that will serve as Sunday’s feature at Northlands Park. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew seven horses and goes as the seventh race.

Locksley Hall is taking a substantial drop in class after a poor effort as the favorite in a $30,000 claiming race July 4 where he forced a quick pace but then faded badly to beat just one horse in the four-horse field. Trained by Rick Hedge, Locksley Hall had won two of his three previous starts at the meet and was coming off a solid second behind Reggie Dunlop in a $30,000 claiming race June 17. The huge drop is a bit of a concern, but according to Daily Racing Form ’s Formulator, over a five-year period Hedge has won with 20 percent of the horses he has dropped in price by half or more.

Locksley Hall also looks like the main speed and could be tough to catch if he breaks alertly with Rico Walcott aboard.

Juan Might earned a career-best 76 Beyer Speed Figure in his last start and could be ready for a peak effort in the third start of his current form cycle. Trained by Amber Meyaard, Juan Might began the meet with a fast-closing third for the same price going 6 1/2 furlongs. Using a similar style, Juan Might won his last three starts at Northlands in 2011. He is going to need some help up front if he is going to be able to catch Locksley Hall.

Leading rider Scott Williams rode Locksley Hall in his four races at the meet, but sticks with Juan Might.

Cactus Cut drew the rail and he might have enough tactical speed to put some pressure on Locksley Hall. He is coming off a second-place finish behind Bearcatt in a $10,000 claiming race July 8 and was claimed out of the race by trainer Sharon Bott, who was acting on behalf of Dale Stokalko. Cactus Cut came from a stalking position to win his two previous races for Rick Hedge.

Bearcatt paid $34.30 when he rallied to beat Cactus Cat July 8. It was his first win on dirt and his first score since he won a $15,000 claiming race at Woodbine on June 26, 2011.

Mark of a Warrior could make an impact if a pace develops.