05/14/2010 12:00AM

Speed may trump class going ultra-short

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How important is class when Thoroughbreds are running in 3 1/2-furlong races? We could get a clue when Controlled Trick takes on six older horses in a $22,000 claiming race at Northlands Park on Sunday.

Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Controlled Trick won four races at Northlands last year, two at this distance. He closed out the meet with a win against $5,000 claimers.

If he were tackling the kind of horses he is facing Sunday in a longer sprint, Controlled Trick would have to be considered a longshot. With his excellent speed, however, he might be able to win at this level going this short. In his most recent start, he led from start to finish in a five-furlong allowance race at Lethbridge on May 2.

Mossbank also won four races at Northlands last year. He was facing much tougher company, though. Trained by Floyd Arthur, Mossbank was good enough to win a first- level allowance race last June. He closed out the year with a three strong performances.

Part Pirate also ended 2009 in good form, winning a $13,000 claiming race on Oct. 11.

Ready Racer worked a bullet three furlongs in 34.60 seconds and could be dangerous in his first start at Northlands.