03/14/2007 11:00PM

Sweetnorthernsaint finds spot


Sweetnorthernsaint disappointed win bettors as the favorite in two stakes at Guifstream Park this winter, but back at his home in Maryland he has found a spot where he looks like a lock.

The 4-year-old Sweetnorthernsaint will race in Maryland for the only the second time since he finished second to Bernardini in the 2006 Preakness when he starts as a heavy favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Johnson, which goes as race 9 and begins the Magna 5 sequence, drew a field of seven older horses.

Trainer Mike Trombetta shipped Sweetnorthernsaint north after he backed up to fifth trying to overcome post 12 in the Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 27.

Sweetnorthernsaint was invited to Dubai for the Godolphin Mile on March 31, but Trombetta said he wanted to rebuild the colt's confidence in the Johnson.

"We looked at Dubai, but there were a couple things out there that we weren't sure how they were going to unfold - one of them being Discreet Cat," Trombetta said. "No one seems to know exactly which race he'll be running, and we didn't want to run into him.

"This is a good distance and we have had a chance to breeze him a few more times to let him get his feet back under him."

Those trying to beat Sweetnorthernsaint will likely focus on the 7-year-old Trapped Again. After being away from the races for a year, Trapped Again was lackluster in his first three starts, but regained his good form in his last two races, essentially matching triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, one in a sprint and the other going nine furlongs.

My Dream and Future Fantasy each come off a sharp race that would be good enough to contend in this spot.

My Dream, who has raced on grass in 13 of his 20 starts, returned from a six-week layoff to beat Trapped Again by a neck, earning a career-best 101 Beyer, two weeks ago as a 20-1 longshot.

Future Fantasy also pulled an upset a month ago when he rallied from last to win the 1 1/8-mile John B. Campbell Handicap by 4 3/4 lengths at 13-1.