06/17/2013 12:04PM

Northlands Park: Spanish Jazz, On the Key square off in Wednesday feature


Spanish Jazz and On the Key look like the main players in a first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up that headlines Wednesday’s 10-race card at Northlands Park. The one-mile race attracted seven horses and goes as the sixth race.

Also on the card is the $27,278 Alberta Stallion Stakes Derby Final for 3-year-old Quarter Horses. The 330-yard dash drew nine horses and goes as the first race. Post time is 6 p.m Mountain.

With his tactical speed, Spanish Jazz could have a slight edge over On the Key. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Spanish Jazz romped when he debuted in a $30,000 optional maiden-claiming race at Turf Paradise on April 30 and was heavily favored to win his next two starts, both first-level allowance races going six furlongs at Northlands. Both times, he was close to the pace but finished second, and in his latest he lost by a nose to Tony the Tank. A 4-year-old son of Jazil, Spanish Jazz shouldn’t have any trouble handling the added distance, Diodoro said.

“He acts and trains like he’ll go long, and my only concern is he doesn’t seem to handle the turns at Northlands very well,” Diodoro said. “He doesn’t get out on them, but he’s a big horse and he seems to stall when he goes around them.”

Leading rider Rico Walcott retains the mount.

On the Key, trained by Tim Rycroft, rallied to finish second in a first-level allowance race going six furlongs May 29, and the lightly raced 3-year-old will appreciate the extra yardage he gets to work with. In his previous race, he was bumped at the start before rallying from last to win a $50,000 maiden-claiming race going seven furlongs at Keeneland on April 19. Prior to his win, he finished second in a one-mile $50,000 maiden-claiming race at Gulfstream Park.

Diodoro on a roll

Diodoro hopes his hot streak continues. He won three races at Northlands on Saturday, including the $50,000 Western Canada for 3-year-olds with Najran Breeze. A maiden going into the six-furlong Western Canada, Najran Breeze won by 12 lengths and emerged as the leader in the local 3-year-old division. Heavily favored Tigger Town finished second.

Ridden by Nate Smith, Najran Breeze paid $15.60

Earlier on the card, Tell Me Lies paid $4.80 for her hard-fought win over Canaveral Leader in the $50,000 Chariot Chaser for 3-year-old fillies.

Tell Me Lies was ridden by Rico Walcott and trained by Greg Tracy. Tracy also saddled Ten Thirty, who was the favorite in the four-horse field. Ten Thirty broke poorly in the six-furlong sprint, and after rushing up to contest the early pace, she faded to finish last.