06/17/2011 12:00PM

Northlands: Salsa Express due for a win

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Salsa Express, a winner of seven races in 2010, will be looking for her first win of the season when she runs in a $30,000 claiming race for fillies and mares that will serve as Sunday’s feature at Northlands Park. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew five well-matched horses and will go as the fourth race.

Last June, Salsa Express was claimed for $20,000 out of a win at Golden Gate by owner Curtis Landry and was shipped to trainer Craig Smith at Northlands, where they were hoping she could compete with the best fillies and mares. She ran well in her first race at Northlands, finishing third in the $50,000 Wild Rose. After a poor performance in the John Patrick she was dropped back into the claiming ranks and reeled off three straight wins. In her final start of last year she was claimed by trainer Ernie Keller for $15,000 on behalf of Ed and Marilyn Welsh and K6 Ranches Ltd. In her first two starts for her new connections she narrowly missed to That Voodoo Youdo and Eye Scary in a $30,000 claiming race going 3 1/2 furlongs last month and she came from off the pace to finish a close third in a $40,000 optional race at six furlongs May 27.

Salsa Express is versatile. She has good speed, and if she breaks on top she could be the one they have to catch. If not, jockey Tony Maragh can ease her into a stalking position.

Viva Slew has a similar running style to Salsa Express. Trained by Greg Tracy, she came from a stalking position in both of her wins last year and she has also won leading all the way. She couldn’t keep up to $35,000 optional fillies and mares in her first start of the year at Hastings April 30, but she ran an improved race when she finished a distant second to Inca Beauty in a $30,000 claiming race at Northlands June 5.

Eye Scary should be in front early. Lemon Pepper drops into a claiming race for the first time. Among the Willows rounds out the field.