09/29/2010 12:31PM

Three back-to-back winners clash in sprint feature


Something has to give when Chatahoochie, Salsa Express, and The Cat’s Affair – all coming off back-to-back victories – meet in Friday’s featured sixth race for fillies and mares going six furlongs at Northlands Park.

Salsa Express is dropping into the $15,000 claiming race after back-to-back wins for $20,000 and will likely be favored. Trained by Craig Smith, Salsa Express is versatile. She won from a stalking position Aug. 25 and then dueled with Little Trapper for five furlongs before pulling away to win by 1 1/2 lengths Sept. 17. It was Salsa Express’s sixth win this year and third for Smith, who became her trainer after owner Curtis Landry claimed her for $20,000 out of a winning race at Golden Gate Fields on June 6.

Tony Maragh retains the mount.

The Cat’s Affair will be making her first start at Northlands for trainer Cody Anderson and cutting back to a sprint after winning the 1 1/16-mile Graceful Knight Handicap at Marquis Downs on Sept. 11. In her previous start, The Cat’s Affair won a second-level allowance race at Marquis on Aug. 27.

Chatahoochie drew the rail, where she should be able to put her good tactical speed to use. Trained by Robert Mackenzie, Chatahoochie is coming off of a four-length win in a seven-furlong stakes for Alberta-breds at Lethbridge on Sept. 18. She beat Curls and Pearls by a couple of lengths in a $15,000 claiming race at Northlands in her previous start Sept. 12.

Curls and Pearls has good speed and used it to score a front-running win over Chatahoochie going six furlongs in a $15,000 claiming race Aug. 20.