06/20/2011 12:03PM

Northlands: Sportive looks solid in sprint feature


Sportive looks like the one to beat in a $20,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds that will serve as Wednesday’s feature race at Northlands Park. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew six horses and goes as the fourth race.

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Sportive is coming off of a solid effort for the same price going six furlongs June 1. He stalked early and made a strong late move to just miss to the 2-1 favorite Jack to a King, who was winning his third straight race. Sportive has never been worse than third in four career starts. He won his debut in a $5,000 maiden claiming race at Turf Paradise on March 28 and came right back to finish second in first-level allowance race there April 15. In his first start at Northlands, Sportive finished third in a first-level allowance race going 3 1/2 furlongs May 7.

Striking Time and Iced Mocha will appreciate the easier company after trying to keep up with Boomtown Brat in a first-level optional $32,000 claiming race May 29. Boomtown Brat came back to win the Western Handicap by 3 3/4 lengths last Saturday.

Striking Time finished last, but he did force a very fast pace and it was his first start at Northlands. He won all four of his races, including three stakes, at Marquis Downs last year and could take a big step forward in his second start for trainer Rod Cone. He could also be dangerous if he clears early.

Cone has also entered What’s Up Doc, who is dropping in class after finishing a distant fourth in a first-level allowance race June 15.

Other than Striking Time, Iced Mocha is the only horse in the field with more than a single win. Trained by Rick Wise, Iced Mocha won a $20,000 maiden race in his second start as a 2-year-old and a $20,000 claimer for nonwinners of two last September. He was making his first start of the year when he finished fourth behind Boomtown Brat.

Casanova King runs for a tag for the first time since he won a $20,000 maiden claiming race in his debut Last July.

Taylor’s Tale came from well off the pace to win a $12,000 maiden race June 12.