09/03/2011 7:44PM

Northlands Park: Salt Flat Speed back to his old self in Sun Sprint

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Salt Flat Speed made it clear he is still one of the top older horses at Northlands Park with a 2 3/4-length win over Against the Tide in the $50,000 Sun Sprint Championship Saturday.

The Jim Meyaard-trained Salt Flat Speed paid $4.80 as the favorite over Midtown Bullet, who had beaten Salt Flat Speed in a $40,000 optional race Aug. 20. It was Salt Flat Speed’s second straight defeat, and he had been scratched a couple of times leading up to the race.

Saturday he looked like the same horse that had compiled an impressive 10-5-1 record from 16 starts at Northlands.

Breaking alertly from his outside post with usual rider Rico Walcott aboard, Salt Flat Speed settled into a stalking position while Reggie Dunlop and Midtown Bullet dueled through honest fractions of 22.80 and 46.60 seconds in the 6 1/2-furlong race. He was full of run when he made his bid at the quarter pole and it was obvious he was back on top of his game when he blew by the leaders while going three wide around the stretch turn. He was in complete control of the race at the top of the stretch and didn’t receive any pressure from Against the Tide, who made a late move to get up for second.  Mr. Shadar finished another length back in third.

The final time was 1:18.40.

Salt Flat Speed earned $30,000 for his owners Side Management Ltd. and Starline Thoroughbreds. It was the 14th win in his 35-race career and he brought his total earnings to $280,200.