Unbeaten Northern Soldier Conquers Barrera

(from Hollywood Park report)
Northern California shipper Northern Soldier outfought pacesetter Remembering Star through the stretch to remain unbeaten in three starts with a three-quarters of a length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.

In winning his stakes debut, Northern Soldier broke on top in the seven-horse field but was quickly passed by Remembering Star. Northern Soldier, ridden by Chance Rollins, pressed the leader until early in the stretch run when he they rolled to the lead on the outside. Northern Soldier gained command nearing the eighth pole but had to hold on nearing the wire as jockey Aaron Gryder and Remembering Star fought back in the final sixteenth.

Northern Soldier, trained by Brian Koriner, covered seven furlongs in 1:22.46 while rewarding backers with payoffs $21.40, $9.20 and $4.20. Remembering Star paid $7.80 and $4.20, while the show payoff on 13-10 favorite Arson Squad was $2.80.

The upset was one of several Saturday at Hollywood Park, triggering a Pick Six carryover of $150,701 entering Sunday's program.

Fractions for the race were quick -- :21 4/5, :44 3/5 and 1:09.

Rollins, a regular in Northern California, has three Hollywood Park stakes wins, two coming in the Barrera. He connected aboard Captain Squire in 2002.

"The first time I rode him up north, he ran very game," said Rollins, who has been aboard Northern Soldier for all three of the colt's starts. "He was on the inside, a horse passed him, he battled back and beat him a head. Then the next time he ran, he won easy, ran a good race. It's starting to look like we've really got a nice one there. The race set up perfect, about what we planned. Couldn't ask for anything better. He's got a high cruising speed and today he was able to just lope along in there ... and it worked out."

Northern Soldier, a Kentucky-bred son of Yankee Victor-Adorable Lydia (Carson City), earned $90,000 to boost his bankroll to $123,550 for owners Berta, E Racing.Com and Wind River Stable. Pegasus Stud and Ledgelands LLC bred Northern Soldier, a $30,000 Ocala sale as a 2-year-old, in Kentucky.

"We were hoping for a good trip like that," said Koriner, who has saddled three Hollywood Park stakes winners. "I think he'll stretch out, but he got a little anxious in the post parade today. He's good in the paddock, but when you hit the racetrack he prances all the way to the gate. I'd like it if he was a little more seasoned and we could get him to relax all the way around."

Ghazwan finished fourth, followed by Jealous Profit, Hey Slick and Quietly Go. Corazondelcampeon and Get Funky scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)