07/13/2011 1:58PM

Northlands: War of the Ranges will be sent from rail


War of the Ranges is the one to catch in a $10,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up that will serve as Friday’s feature at Northlands Park. The 1 1/16-mile race drew eight horses.

War of the Ranges has been a sharp horse since returning from Tampa Bay where he didn’t win but did run well, finishing second in four of his six starts for trainer Tim Rycroft. With Stephan Heiler riding he has won two of his three races at Northlands in 2011 and in his first start back was an easy front-running winner over Show Me Home going six furlongs in an $8,000 claiming race for nonwinners-of-three.

He ran another solid race when he stepped up to face open $13,000 claimers June 5, coming from off the pace to finish third. He dropped to $10,000 and stretched out to a mile in his latest start and led every step of the way, edging Argentune by a half-length.

War of the Ranges drew the rail and Heiler will likely send him right to the lead.

Trained by Don Gilkyson, Pickinontheolbanjo has also been on top of his game this year, winning his last two starts. His first win came in a six-furlong sprint for $3,000 claimers June 17 and he surprised a few people when he jumped up to win a $7,000 claiming race going a mile June 25. In both races he came from a stalking position. He has plenty of back class and should be able to handle the small jump in price.

Argentune chased War of the Ranges the whole way in an improved performance in his latest start. He is looking for his first win of the year for trainer Deanna Walper.

Maximus Potential, trained by Red Smith made a strong late move to finish a close third behind Pickinontheolbanjo and could take a big step forward as a second-time Lasix user.

Blackcomb Run has 12 career wins, the most of any horse in the field. He pressed the pace before giving way grudgingly to War of the Ranges and Argentune on July 1 and once again he figures to be involved right from the start.