08/31/2011 10:57AM

Northlands sprint a nice spot for Swiss Ski


A poor start probably prevented Swiss Ski from winning his sixth race in a row when he was favored in a $22,000 claiming race at Northlands Park July 31. He could make amends in a $30,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up that will serve as Friday’s feature. The six-furlong sprint drew five horses and goes as the third race.

Swiss Ski was a fruitful claim by trainer Robertino Diodoro, who haltered him on behalf of Tim Gordon for $10,000 out of a win at Golden Gate April 14. In his first start for his new connections, Swiss Ski forced the pace before drawing away to win a $17,500 claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs at Northlands July 3. He was squeezed back at the start in his next race and it cost him, as he lost by only a neck to his stablemate A Royal Tizzy, who is also entered on Friday.

It is hard not to like Swiss Ski, who has won 12 times and hasn’t finished worse than third in his last 21 starts. Leading rider Rico Walcott rides the classy 7-year-old California-bred.

The race should set up perfectly for Swiss Ski, who figures to stalk the leaders. A Royal Tizzy, Ready Racer and Western Woods all like to be involved early and at least two of them figure to be involved in an early battle for the lead.

A Royal Tizzy has won his last two, and both times he was on the lead at the half-mile call. He dueled with Wired Two Twenty before drawing away to win a $17,500 claiming race going six furlongs June 18 and he put away Reggie Dunlop before holding off Swiss Ski in his latest. Swiss Ski and A Royal Tizzy might be stepping up in class but they come out of a key race with Reggie Dunlop, Robo Willie and Prince of Pinot each coming back to win his next start.

Ready Racer has the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure, 81, which he earned for his front-running win in a $17,500 claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 6. Trained by Dale Saunders, Ready Racer won three times running against allowance and high priced claimers last year but had struggled at the current meet before his latest win. He may have gained some confidence in his last start and is a serious threat to repeat.

Western Woods has only one way of going and guarantees an honest pace.

Gatwick should be heard from late.