05/05/2011 11:24AM

Northlands: What's Up Doc will need his best


What’s Up Doc may be the fastest horses in the feature race at Northlands Park on Saturday. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will be the winner. Trained by Greg Tracy, What’s Up Doc is making his first start of the year, and he will need to be on his toes in order to hold off Sportive, who is coming off of two solid races at Turf Paradise this spring.

There isn’t much doubt What’s Up Doc and Sportive are the ones to beat in the 3 1/2-furlong first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds that drew five horses and will go as the third race.

What’s Up Doc was primed for a big effort when he debuted in a maiden special weight race for Alberta-breds last August. With Rico Walcott aboard, What’s Up Doc broke on top and then cruised to a 5 1/2-length win over Canadian Juvenile runner-up Freedoms Traveller. In his only other start, What’s Up Doc ran an even race to finish third in the $50,000 Birdcatcher Stakes Aug. 28.

What’s Up Doc, trained by Robertino Diodoro last year, will be making his first start for Tracy Saturday.

Sportive, trained by Diodoro, was much the best when he won a $5,000 maiden claiming race at Turf Paradise March 28. Breaking poorly, he trailed the field before he made a big move around the stretch turn to get within reach of the leaders. He collared heavily favored Fight On Gino at the eighth pole and went on to win by a half-length.

“We may have been taking a little bit of an edge when we ran him for $5,000,” said Diodoro, who will be at Hastings on Saturday to saddle The Great Caper in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province.

Sportive broke alertly when he came back to finish second in a first-level allowance race April 15 and after setting an honest pace he gave way late to finish second in the three-horse field.

Joker Lake, Dash to My Tune, and Green Alert round out the field.