Sunday, May 1, 2011
Headed to Atlantic City for Sunday card
The weather is spectacular at the moment, but shows some clouds and maybe a sprinkle for the fourth of six 6-race cards at ACRC. Absent scratches, there are at least 10 horses per race, providing some great betting opportunities. I am looking forward to the action and spent this morning handicapping the card; whether that helps remains to be seen.
Hippocrates Jones at 6-to-1 in Race 4 is my best bet, considering that at least seven of the horses seem to front-run and can burn out over the mile and 40 yards, plus trainer Charles Simon's modest 2-for-9 success in moving horses from dirt to turf. The horse's summer 2010 turf races at Arlington Park also augur well for this Jones' return to the turf, in my opinion. I will likely match Jones with Odds and Evens (7-to-2) in an exacta.
Otherwise, Lawdy Me (8-to-1 M/L) looks like a playable long-shot in a 12-horse field in the finale. The 5-furlong sprint is loaded with appealing horses, especially Northern Vow, listed at 10-to-1 and with Joe Bravo in his only listed mount riding for trainer Grant Forster, who had a winner on Friday. Northern Vow logged an 89 Beyer in a 6-furlong win on dirt at Oaklawn in early March, but I'm leaning instead of matching Lawdy Me with No. 11, Local Celebrity, who is 4-for-5 at the distance on turf and should get a trouble-free trip from the outside post.
Other plays on the card, absent scratches, are Diana Girl (3-to-1) in Race 1, Harvest of Hope (6-to-1) in Race 2 (over Devilish Beauty) and Noah's Harvest (3-to-1) in Race 5. I typically lean against favorites, but am simply drawn to the aforementioned horses. I am reserving judgement on Race 4 at a mile-and-a-sixteenth, considering the wide open field. Tenplus looks like the prohibitive favorite at 2-to-1 for 31% trainer Keith Lebarron, but there are two bombers -- 10-to-1 Hollywood Lou and 30-to-1 Royal Tea Time -- that I will be watching on the board. The latter's November 2009 effort (yes, a long time ago, but these are not Kentucky Derby horses) at a mile and the addition of blinkers might just work for a horse who gets Angel Serpa and seems to be training decently of late off a layoff, while Hollywood Lou gets Navin Mangalee for a third-straight race, with the last two decent 4th- and 2nd-place finishes at a mile-70 at PARX.
I hope to post a recap with photos tonight.