09/12/2013 2:48PM

Northlands Park: Stakes winner Proud Victor should move forward


Singling a couple of Greg Tracy-trained standouts might be the way to play the final pick three at Northlands Park on Saturday.

Tracy has an excellent chance of winning a $35,000 optional claiming race for 3-year-olds with Proud Victor in the seventh race. Claresmiezie figures to be favored to win a $35,000 optional claiming race for fillies and mares in the eighth. Both races will be contested over 6 1/2 furlongs. Gabe’s Pride looks like the logical favorite in the ninth but he’s vulnerable and anyone playing the pick three should consider going deep in the final leg.

Proud Victor came off a two-month break to finish third in an open allowance race at Hastings on Aug. 16 and he could take a big step forward in his second start back. The triple stakes winner should be hard to handle in his first start at Northlands with Fernando Perez aboard.

Risky Call will try to get back on track after a dull effort in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby.

Bosco won both of his starts as a 2-year-old, including the $50,000 Edmonton Juvenile. He is hoping to build off his first start of the year, in which he set the pace before finishing third in an allowance race for 3-year-olds and up Aug. 21.

Claresmiezie is coming off a sixth-place finish in the $50,000 Ladies Express at Hastings on Sept. 2 and will appreciate the easier company she is facing in her first start at Northlands since she finished sixth in the $52,120 John Patrick on June 28. Claresmiezie has used her good speed to compile a solid 3-1-1 record from six starts at Northlands and should be the one they have to catch if she breaks alertly leaving from the inside post. Perez also rides Claresmiezie.

The main threat to Claresmiezie is Salsa Express, who is looking for her third straight win and fifth at the current meet. Trained by Ernie Keller, Salsa Express came from a stalking position to win her last two races going a mile and she should get a similar trip despite the cutback in distance.

Exhibition race for charity

In an effort to bring awareness and raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Northlands is holding an exhibition race Saturday where trainers and exercise riders will be riding in place of jockeys.

Trainer Twyla Bensmiller said she was fulfilling a dream of hers to ride in a race. Joining Bensmiller will be Jen Shafer, Crystal Leriger, Kirsty Luft-Nault, Dianna Feuerhelm, Jill Klubi, and Amanda Dixon. Leriger, an exercise rider, is also the racing analyst for Northlands.

Jockey Jorge Espitia said he will donate everything he earns on Saturday to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.