07/24/2009 12:00AM

Thievery climbing the ladder at Northlands


Thievery is stepping up in class, but he still looks like the one to beat in the seventh race at Northlands on Sunday.

The $7,500 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs drew seven horses and will serve as the feature on the eight race card.

Trained by Rick Wise, Thievery has come from off the pace to win his last two starts and there should be an honest pace for him to work with here. He rallied strongly on June 27 to win a $5,000 claiming race for horses that hadn't won two races in 2009, and then came right back to win a similar race on July 10.

Quincy Welch retains the mount.

Speed and an inside post can be a dangerous combination on a bullring, and Puerto Montt could be tough to catch if he breaks alertly from the rail. Puerto Montt, who is trained by Doug Macdonald, set honest fractions and then held on well to finish second in a 6 1/2-furlong race for $7,500 on July 11, and he shouldn't mind the slightly shorter distance. Ron Blinston rides Puerto Montt.

Puerto Montt will have to deal with Controlled Trick, however. Controlled Trick is coming off of a front-running win in the $7,500 Millarville Sprint Stakes at Millarville on July 1. In his last start at Northlands he set the pace before tiring to finish third in a $7,500 claiming race on May 9. He is trained by Robertino Diodoro and will be ridden by Perry Winters.

Kataking, trained by Ronald Scott, looked sharp in his 5 1/2-length win over Ranglin Road in a $7,500 nonwinners-of-three claiming race on July 18.