05/18/2011 12:32PM

Northlands Park: Six-furlong feature may set up perfectly for Point Attended


Due to the northern location of Northlands Park, it is difficult for local trainers to have horses who have not raced in the winter to be ready to go six-furlongs or farther in early May. Thus, patrons have been fed a steady diet of mostly 3 1/2-furlong races for the first two weeks of the meet that began May 6. More traditional racing begins this Friday with all eight races being carded at six-furlongs and racing secretary Jason Teague has put together an excellent feature that goes as race 7.

The $30,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up attracted six horses and Point Attended looks like the one to beat.

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Point Attended has good speed but doesn’t need the lead and he could get a perfect stalking trip behind Western Woods and possibly Commanding Ace. Point Attended is coming off of a third-place finish in the $25,000 Coyote Handicap at Turf Paradise on March 26. A winner of 7 of 22 starts, Point Attended also finished third in his previous start in the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup Feb. 19. Beginning last Nov. 14, Point Attended won three straight races and five overall, including the $25,000 Swift Handicap while racing mainly at Turf Paradise.

Jorge Carreno, who was aboard for Point Attended’s win in the Swift Handicap, has the mount.

Western Woods has the best speed in the field but he will likely be under pressure from Commanding Ace. Trained by Greg Tracy, Western Woods set a blistering pace before tiring to finish fourth in a $25,000 claiming race at Hastings on April 16. He was the 8-5 morning line favorite in a $22,000 claiming race at Northlands last Saturday, but was a late veterinarian scratch. He came back to work a solid five furlongs in 1:02.40 Tuesday morning.

Sprint stakes winner Diamond Doc runs well fresh and from the looks of his bullet five-furlong move May 10, he appears to be ready for a big effort in his first start since he closed out his 2010 campaign with a win in a $22,000 claiming race at Northlands. Trained by Albert Strumecki, Diamond Doc finished second in an optional $40,000 claiming race won by Big Bad Al in his first start last year and then came right back to win for the same condition. Both races were at six-furlongs.

Bear Famous Trip and Against the Tide do their best running late and should appreciate the likely shape of the race.