07/25/2013 11:45AM

Northlands Park: Success Rate meets Just Win Baby in Count Lathum on stakes-rich card


Success Rate and Just Win Baby look like the main players in the $50,000 Count Lathum Handicap at Northlands Park on Saturday.

The 1 1/16-mile race drew six 3-year-olds and goes as the eighth race on a nine-race card that includes four $50,000 stakes, beginning with the one-mile Northlands Oaks for 3-year-old fillies in the fifth race. The Edmonton Juvenile and the Princess Margaret for 2-year-old fillies follow the Oaks, and both races will be contested over six furlongs.

With better tactical speed, Success Rate could have the edge over Just Win Baby in the Count Lathum, the final prep for the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby on Aug. 17. Success Rate is trained by Dennis Terry, who was scheduled to see the horse for the first time Thursday night, when Success Rate was to arrive from Hastings.

A recent purchase by Glen Todd, Success Rate is coming off a 13 1/2-length win in a one-mile, first-level allowance race over a sloppy track at Calder on June 28. He arrived at Hastings a couple of weeks ago, and Todd was happy with the way he worked five furlongs in 1:02 with Aaron Gryder aboard July 20. Gryder will ride Success Rate in the Count Lathum.

“He’s a big, good-looking horse, and Aaron was very impressed with the way he worked at Hastings,” Todd said. “We’re pretty happy with him.”

Just Win Baby is coming off a second-place finish behind Broadway Empire in the $51,000 Ky Alta on July 6, his first start at Northlands for trainer Tim Rycroft. In his previous race, he finished fifth of eight in the Grade 3 Affirmed at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 2.

Just Win Baby showed some tactical speed in his lone win in a maiden special weight race going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita in his second career start Feb. 28. He wore blinkers for the first time in the Affirmed and kept them for the Ky Atla, but they are coming off for the Count Lathum.

Paul Nolan, the leading jockey at Assiniboia Downs, will ride Just Win Baby.

The Count Lathum may be more about which horse isn’t running, Broadway Empire, than who is. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Broadway Empire blew away the field when he ran in the Ky Alta and would have been heavily favored to win the Count Lathum. Diodoro has opted to train him up to the Canadian Derby, however.

“We are looking at races beyond the Canadian Derby, and in order to have a fresh horse, we didn’t want to run him three times in six weeks,” Diodoro said.

Diodoro won’t have the favorite in the Count Lathum but is excited about running Smart Promotion, who is undefeated in two starts.

Smart Promotion won his debut in a one-mile, $30,000 optional-claiming race for maidens on grass at Turf Paradise on April 16. He didn’t race again until July 10 at Assiniboia Downs, where he won a first-level $18,000 optional claimer going 7 1/2 furlongs.

“We had him at Canterbury but couldn’t get a race to fill for him,” Diodoro said. “He’s still learning, and I love the direction he is headed in. I think the farther he goes, the better he’ll be.”

The stakes-rich card has been dubbed “Super Saturday,” but it may as well have been called Greg Tracy Day.

The veteran trainer has 13 horses entered in the nine races and will saddle heavy favorites in the three supporting stakes. He also has a chance with Deadly Truth in the Count Lathum.

Deadly Truth is coming off a 10 3/4-length win in a one-mile, first-level allowance race at Northlands on June 22.

Tracy had a hard time choosing between Silkworm and Ten Thirty in the Northlands Oaks, so both fillies are entered in the race. Ten Thirty is coming off a six-length romp in the $50,000 Red K. Smith at Northlands on July 5. Silkworm rallied to finish second in the $50,000 Supernaturel at Hastings on July 1 and was an easy winner the last time she ran at Northlands in the Freedom of the City last October.

Tracy has four of the seven horses entered in the Edmonton Juvenile but is leaning toward True Thought, who toyed with his rivals when winning his debut going 3 1/2 furlongs in a maiden special weight race July 10.

“All along, we thought he was one of our best 2-year-olds,” Tracy said.

Holiday Babe beat colts and geldings when she romped by 5 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight race going six furlongs at Hastings on July 6 and should be a short price while facing fillies in the Princess Margaret. She’s the only horse in the field of nine with experience going around two turns.

“That was a big race for her, and she’s doing really well right now,” Tracy said. “I’m not counting on anything, but it could be a big day if everything falls into place,”