09/12/2011 11:09AM

Northlands: Shorter distance should benefit Boonstock


Boonstock should appreciate the move back to a sprint when he runs in a $15,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up at Northlands Park on Wednesday. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for nonwinners of two drew seven horses and goes as the sixth race.

A 3-year-old, Boonstock will be cutting back to a sprint after forcing the early pace in a $12,000 claiming race going 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 5. He was a sharp winner of a $12,000 maiden race going 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 24 and it came on the heels of a good effort in his first try at a middle distance. Stretching out to a mile for trainer Floyd Arthur, Boonstock stalked the early pace before closing to finish second in a $7,000 maiden race for Alberta-breds on Aug. 5. The move back to a sprint after a solid race going long worked successfully for Boonstalk last time. The past five years, Floyd has a 17 percent strike rate with horses going from a route to a sprint.

Leading rider Rico Walcott, who has been on fire lately, picks up the mount from Fernando Perez, who rides Joy’s Star for trainer Greg Tracy.

Joy’s Star drops in class after finishing sixth in a first-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 3. It was his first start at Northlands. He was coming off a second-place finish in a $12,500 nonwinners of two claimer at Prairie Meadows, where Tracy haltered him on behalf of Riversedge Racing Stables Ltd. Joys Star scored a front-running win in a $25,000 maiden claiming race in his previous start and in most of his races he has been involved right out of the gate. He didn’t show his usual speed in his first start at Northlands, however.

Trainer Dale Greenwood has won with four of the last 10 horses he has moved from turf to dirt and Navajo Knight will be making his first start since he finished third in the $25,000 Alberta Derby run on grass at Alberta Downs on July 24. A maiden, Navajo Knight will be running in a sprint for the first time. He closed with a rush to finish second when he debuted in a $12,000 maiden claiming race going one mile June 29. In his only other start, he finished a distant third to Fleet Attack after stalking the pace in a one-mile maiden special weight race.