07/15/2010 11:00PM

Start is key for Overbay

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Overbay could be the one to beat in a well-matched field of 3-year-olds running in a first-level allowance race that will serve as Sunday's feature at Northlands Park. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew eight horses and will go as race 7 on the eight-race card that begins at 1 p.m.

Trainer Craig Smith could have the favorite in Overbay, who on July 7 finished behind a couple of horses also entered for Sunday's feature, Slews Academy and Jackman. Overbay had more than one excuse, though, in the six-furlong first-level allowance race. He broke a couple of steps slowly, and after making up a lot of the ground he lost at the start, he had to steady on the stretch turn. Overbay showed tactical speed in his other two starts, and with no real confirmed front-runner in the field on Sunday, he could be dangerous if he breaks alertly with Anthony Salgado retaining the mount.

Jackman, trained by Dale Saunders, also had a rough trip on July 7. Leaving from the outside post in the nine-horse field, he was forced extremely wide on the first turn and then had a hard time finding running room in the stretch.

Slews Academy didn't exactly leave the starting gate under a full head of steam, and after trailing the leaders by 16 lengths at the half-mile pole, he made a huge run to finish second. It was his first start for trainer Garry Marks, who had claimed him for $25,000 for Darcy Peterson out of his previous start.