09/06/2009 11:00PM

Salt Flat Speed can handle extra distance here


Salt Flat Speed will try and stretch out to a middle distance for the first time when he runs in the feature race at Northlands Park on Wednesday. The one-mile classified allowance race for 3-year-olds and upward drew nine horses and goes as the seventh race. There is a $40,000 claiming option available, but none of the horses in the field has been entered for the price.

Salt Flat Speed is on quite a roll and will be looking to win his fourth straight race, all for trainer Jim Meyaard. The total combined margin of his last three wins is 20 3/4 lengths, and in his latest start he stalked an honest pace before drawing off to win a $40,000 optional sprint by six lengths. In 18 career starts, Salt Flat Speed has never gone longer than 6 1/2 furlongs. Nonetheless, the ease in which he won his last start suggests the added yardage won't be a problem, and he has a solid 352 Tomlinson Figure for the distance. Plus his dam, Another Mulca, won nine route races in her career running in Puerto Rico.

Leading rider Rickey Walcott retains the mount.

Salt Flat Speed is coupled with Big Bad Al, who is coming off of second-place finish behind Cool Ventura in a similar race on Aug. 22. The race got elevated when Cool Ventura came back to win the $100,000 Speed to Spare last Sunday. It was Big Bad Al's first time going around three turns, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him take a big step forward here.

Inuit Fisher, trained by Dale Saunders, forced the pace before tiring to finish third in the same race Big Bad Al exits. The champion sprinter in Alberta last year, Inuit Fisher scored a sharp 1 1/4-length win over Big Bad Al in the Sun Sprint Handicap in his previous start. Inuit Fisher could be up against it, however. He drew post position 9, and the there is plenty of other speed drawn inside of him.

Trained by Joan Petrowski, Footprint is a multiple route stakes winner with $398,697 in earnings, and he certainly won't have a problem with the distance. With just one second-place finish in three starts this year, however, he will need to improve off of what he has done so far in 2009. It is very likely he bled in his latest start, a seventh in the Cool Ventura race, as he will be running on Lasix for the first time in his career.