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Sophomore Second-Stringers Have Chance to Shine

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/20/2012 4:25:53 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds ??? The Lumber Guy, Stirred Up, Right to Vote, Morgan???s Guerrilla, Summer Front, Castaway, News Pending
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips ??? The Jerome, The Lexington
Where: Aqueduct, Keeneland
When: Saturday, April 21st

It???s highly unlikely that any Kentucky Derby starters will emerge from this weekend???s stakes events for three-year-olds, but some of these talented sophomores will make noise down the road. No horse stands out in either the Grade 2 Jerome at Aqueduct or the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland, so juicy prices seem likely. Let???s take a closer look at these races below.

An honest pace is expected in the Jerome, with speedsters like #1-The Lumber Guy, #5-Right to Vote and #7-Term Loan signed on. This may force the hand of jockey Mike Luzzi on The Lumber Guy, who breaks from the rail. It???s hard to tell if The Lumber Guy will rate if others to his outside outbreak him, as he???s always been on the lead at the first point of call. This race appears to set up well for Bob Baffert trainee #3-Stirred Up, a confirmed closer. Stirred Up sold for $420,000 as a yearling, and is bred to run all day. He defeated Kentucky Derby prospect Holy Candy to break his maiden two back at Santa Anita, and wasn???t disgraced last out when finishing third behind Daddy Nose Best and Isn???t He Clever in the Sunland Derby. Baffert go-to guy Martin Garcia retains the mount on this son of Lemon Drop Kid, who gets in light at 116 lbs. I???ll bet on Stirred Up to mow them down in the lane at a price of 8-5 or better.

The Lexington is a mad scramble, with #7-Castaway, beaten more than 25 lengths last out in the Sunland Derby, the morning line favorite at a lukewarm 3-1. He can win this if he runs back to his winning effort in the Grade 3 Southwest at Oaklawn Park, but that last race is hard to overlook. #1-Morgan???s Guerrilla has never been worse than second, and ran well in defeat last out in the Illinois Derby. He???s untested over the Keeneland strip, or over any artificial surface, for that matter. #5-Golden Ticket ran a surprisingly good second last out in the Tampa Bay Derby, but his two races at Keeneland last October were rather nondescript. #10-News Pending followed up his placing in the Fountain of Youth with a next-to-last effort in the Florida Derby. With knocks on just about every horse, I???ll take a shot with the undefeated #2-Summer Front. True, this Christophe Clement trainee is making his 3YO bow, and has never raced on poly, but his 3-for-3 record includes a pair of stakes scores on the lawn. He has been training forwardly at Payson Park, and regular rider Ramon Dominguez retains the mount. This well-regarded colt fetched $475,000 as a 2YO, so you know he???s got plenty of quality. I???ll take my chances with Summer Front to win and place at odds of 7-2 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for this weekend. ??

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