06/09/2010 11:00PM

Salt Flat Speed looks sharp for Journal Handicap


Salt Flat Speed heads a strong field of seven older horses going six furlongs in Saturday's $50,000 Journal Handicap at Northlands Park.

Trained by Jim Meyaard, Salt Flat Speed is coming off of an impressive front-running win in a six-furlong $40,000 optional claimer May 23, and the 88 Beyer Speed Figure he earned is easily the best last-race figure in the field. Salt Flat Speed came back to work a bullet four furlongs on June 5 and appears to be primed for another strong performance.

Robo Willie, trained by Greg Tracy, overcame a wide trip to win a $40,000 optional claimer May 24. Going at least five wide around the first turn, Robo Willie showed great determination to hold off Bad Big All and Footprint in the stretch. Robo Willie drew the outside post, and Tracy was concerned about a similar type of trip.

"There is a lot of other speed inside of him, and he could get hung out again," Tracy said. "He is coming into the race very well and hopefully he won't have to go too wide."

Highland Games will be trying a two-turn sprint for the first time. If he runs as well as he has in Arizona over his career, he could be the winner. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Highland Games will be making his first start outside of the Grand Canyon State. From 36 starts there, all but one at Turf Paradise, he has compiled a 10-5-4 record.