06/02/2010 11:00PM

Tougher task for Bad Big Al


Bad Big Al and Diamond Doc looked like standouts when they were scheduled to run in an optional $40,000 claiming race at Northlands Park last Sunday. Due to unsafe track conditions caused by severe weather, the card was canceled. They still look like major players in Saturday's feature, a six-furlong race with the same conditions, but the presence of Against the Tide and Leonides, who weren't entered last Sunday, make Saturday's race a much more competitive event.

Bad Big Al is still the one to beat. Trained by Jim Meyaard, Bad Big Al is coming off of a second-place finish in an optional $40,000 claimer on May 24. He figures to move forward in his second start following a layoff and owns a 5-4-1 record from 10 starts at the distance.

Leonides, trained by Riley Rycroft, also has good speed. He forced the pace but couldn't keep up to a tough Salt Flat Speed in a similar race May 23, finishing third. Leonides has plenty of back class. He was a stakes winner a Hollywood Park as a 3-year-old in 2008, but started only twice last year. With a couple of races under his belt this year -- he finished second to Almost Time in an optional $50,000 claimer at Hastings on April 24 -- he could be ready for a peak effort.

Against the Tide could be dangerous from off the pace and Diamond Doc is tough coming off of a layoff.