06/13/2011 1:38PM

Northlands Park: Pace should work for Rule by Force

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What figures to be a fast and contested pace could play into the hands of Rule by Force in Wednesday’s feature at Northlands Park. The $30,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs drew six horses. It will go as race 6 on the nine-race card that starts at 6 p.m. Mountain.

Rule by Force had a rough trip when he finished fourth in a similar race won by Diamond Doc on June 1. Making his first start at Northlands for trainer Robertino Diodoro, Rule by Force was bumped slightly coming out of the gate and then was squeezed back to last going into the first turn. Rule by Force was in trouble when the quarter-mile fraction of 23.80 seconds was posted. He closed with good speed, but he wasn’t about to catch a classy horse in Diamond Doc, who forced the issue right from the start.

With speedsters Western Woods and Commanding Ace in the field, Rule by Force should have much quicker fractions to work with in Wednesday’s race. In his previous start, Rule by Force came from off the pace to win the $25,000 Coyote Handicap at Turf Paradise on March 26.

Jockey Jorge Carreno rides Rule by Force.

Trainer Albert Strumecki has Diamond Doc in peak form. He was involved right from the start in his latest win, but he doesn’t need the lead, and with his good tactical speed Diamond Doc could get a perfect stalking trip leaving from the inside post. He came from slightly off the pace to win a $22,000 claiming race in his final start in 2010 and just missed when he had a similar trip in his initial start this year in a $30,000 claiming race going six furlongs on May 20.

Commanding Ace is stepping up after scoring an easy 4 3/4-length win in a $22,000 claiming race at six furlongs on May 27. In his first start at the meet, Commanding Ace finished fifth in the same race Diamond Doc narrowly lost to Against the Tide.

Western Woods appears to have the most speed, but so far he hasn’t been able to carry it all the way in a couple of tries in two-turn sprints for trainer Greg Tracy. In his latest start, he set the pace before tiring to finish a neck behind Diamond Doc on May 20.

Grat Substitution and Halo’s Houdini round out the field.