07/13/2012 1:23PM

Northlands: Silver Baubles comes off long layoff for Sunday feature


Trainer Ron Grieves is looking for a good effort from Silver Baubles in a second-level allowance race that will serve as Sunday’s feature at Northlands. The one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up drew eight horses and goes as the seventh race.

Silver Baubles won the one-mile Alberta Premiers Futurity by a widening 5 1/4 lengths last year so he won’t have any trouble handling the distance. He hasn’t started since he finished second to Dougs Buddy in the $50,000 Canadian Juvenile last year, however, and he might need a race.

Hoping to find an easier spot for Silver Baubles to make his seasonal debut, Grieves scratched him out of Saturday’s $50,000 Ky Alta Handicap for 3-year-olds. The presence of Dougs Buddy in the Ky Alta weighed heavily on Grieves’s decision to enter him here.

“I don’t know if he’s ready to take on Dougs Buddy yet,” said Grieves. “He had a throat infection, which set him back a bit, but he has been training very well. Running a horse around three turns on a bullring coming off this kind of layoff isn’t optimal, but if there is a horse that is ready to go, it’s him.”

Kyle Carter rides Silver Baubles.

Vital Sign will be gunning for his third straight win. There was a big gap between his win in a maiden special weight race at Woodbine on Aug. 11, 2010 and his latest win, which came at Northlands in a first-level allowance sprint June 15. This will be just his fourth start. He showed good speed before fading to finish ninth in a maiden special weight going seven furlongs on the turf at Woodbine in his debut, which came for trainer Mark Casse. He led right from the start in his win at Northlands for trainer Cody Anderson, who did a great job of having him ready to roll coming off the lengthy layoff.

“He’s been a project,” said Anderson. “This will be an experiment. If he can go long we’ll go on with him. If not, he should be okay as a sprinter.”

Anderson said the reason for the long layoff was a problem with a tendon.

Congrats Man will appreciate the easier company after running into Dougs Buddy in the $50,000 Western Canada Handicap June 16. Trained by Greg Tracy, Congrats Man won a $30,000 optional maiden claiming race at Hastings on May 6 and was a game winner over Silent Sam in a first-level allowance race at Northlands on May 23.