08/05/2009 11:00PM

Zuri Mwana vs. Test Boy once again


Zuri Mwana and Test Boy figure to dominate the $50,000 Westerner Handicap at Northlands Park on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile feature for 3-year-olds and up drew four horses and goes as the fourth race.

Zuri Mwana and Test Boy have traded punches in three straight races. Zuri Mwana came out on top in the 6 1/2-furlong Journal Handicap on June 13 and the one-mile Spangled Jimmy on July 4. Test Boy turned the tables on his rival when they stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the $50,000 Don Fleming Handicap on July 25.

The way the Westerner shapes up, Zuri Mwana looks like the one to beat. Trained by Gordon Amthor, Zuri Mwana was an easy winner over Test Boy in the Spangled Jimmy when he was allowed to set moderate fractions. When Bank Emblem shipped in from Hastings to run in the Don Fleming, Zuri Mwana dueled with the invader through extreme fractions and showed his class by holding on to finish a close third.

The other speed in the Westerner, Smile N Wave, is not as fast as Bank Emblem. With Shannon Beauregard aboard, Zuri Mwana will be tough for Test Boy to get past in the stretch.

Last year, Test Boy won the Don Fleming, finished second in the Westerner, and then scored a huge upset over True Metropolitan in the Speed to Spare. The $100,000 Speed to Spare on Sept. 6 figures to be the main goal again for Test Boy, who is trained by Robertino Diodoro.

As usual, Rickey Walcott rides Test Boy in the Westerner.

Smile N Wave looked sharp in his front-running win over Father Jones in a $40,000 optional race on July 8.

I'm the Guy rounds out the field.