07/07/2010 11:00PM

Trick of the North's back class stands out


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Just three starts back, Trick of the North upset Teide in the Grade 3 Premiers last Oct. 19. So Trick of the North won't be much of a price when he runs in a first-level optional $35,000 claiming race at Hastings on Saturday.

The 1 1/16-mile feature for 3-year-olds and up drew seven horses and goes as race 6 on the eight-race card.

Trick of the North, who will run for the claiming tag, should be coming up to a big race. A deep closer, Trick of the North got stuck behind a slow pace when he made his first start of the year, which came in a $50,000 optional claiming race won by Spaghetti Mouse on May 30. With Pedro Alvarado substituting for an injured Robert Skelly, Trick of the North took a big step forward when he rallied to finish a close fourth in a similar race won by Lowther Street on June 2.

The majority of the 9-year-old Trick of the North's 13 wins have come in claiming or optional races, so it really isn't that surprising to see his trainer, Barbara Heads, drop him in for a tag so soon after he won a Grade 3 stakes.

Skelly, who won four races aboard Trick of the North last year, is reunited with the classy gelding.

Meaux Power will appreciate the move to a middle distance. Trained by Toni Cloutier, Meaux Power has won four of his five races going 1 1/16 miles and ran evenly in both of his sprints this year. Cloutier has solid stats with horses going from a sprint to a route -- 8 for 31 (26 percent) over the past five years, according to DRF's Formulator -- and Meaux Power figures to save a lot of ground breaking from the inside post. He was a bear from early September to late October, winning three straight routes before finishing third in a no-conditions allowance race Nov. 7.

Raising Memo is stepping up off a sharp win in a $25,000 claiming race June 25. Trained by Troy Taylor, Raising Memo looked like he wasn't going to be a factor before he put in a furious rally to get up just in time to beat Slew's Boy by a neck. He has never won at 1 1/16 miles but has wins going one mile on turf and over the synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields.

Huffman could be dangerous as the lone speed stretching out from a series of sprints.