09/04/2013 12:53PM

Northlands Park: Short Memo looms huge contender, short price


The $25,000 optional claimer that will serve as Friday’s feature drew 10 horses, but it is hard to go past Short Memo in the one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. After all, he won his last four races, all going a mile, and his latest tally came in a similar race Aug. 17.

Considering his excellent record and the fact the he is trained by leading trainer Robertino Diodoro and will be ridden by Rico Walcott, who is dominating the rider’s standings at Northlands, he is going to be a very short price.

Short Memo began his streak with an 11 3/4-length romp in a $12,500 claiming race June 29 and then easily handled the jump to $17,500 in his next start. Continuing his ascent, he drew off to win a $25,000 claiming race by 7 1/4 lengths July 31 before his gutsy win in a $25,000 optional claiming race over a sloppy track in his latest start.

A 6-year-old California-bred son of Grey Memo, Short Memo is versatile, and with other potential speed in the field, Walcott will likely let him stalk what figures to be an honest pace.

Live a Little will appreciate the substantially easier company after taking on Commander in the $50,000 Westerner. Trained by Greg Tracy, Live a Little wasn’t much of a factor in the Westerner, but he looked good winning his two previous races beginning with a 12 1/4-length romp in a $15,000 conditional claiming race July 1. He also was a pretty easy four-length winner when he moved up in class in a second-level allowance race July 31.

Passion Red won a couple of races at Hastings this spring for his owner-trainer, Glen Scarlett, but after he finished fifth in an $5,000 claiming race July 12, Scarlett moved Passion Red to Northlands, where he won an $8,000 claiming race going one mile July 22. He is taking a big jump in class following his easy front-running win for $12,500 on Aug. 28 but could be dangerous if he can clear early.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Including Gold rebound with a big effort if the track stays dry. Trained by Robert MacDonald, Including Gold may not have cared for the sloppy conditions when he finished eighth in Short Memo’s latest win, but he ran a big race to finish second behind Bond James Bond in a $35,000 optional claimer in his previous race.