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Animal Kingdom, Left, to Light Up the Tote

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 3/25/2011 5:18:36 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Positive Response, Animal Kingdom, King Congie, Mucho Macho Man, Left, Elite Alex
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Spiral, The Louisiana Derby
  • Where: Turfway Park, Fair Grounds
  • When: Saturday, March 26th

This Saturday a host of Kentucky Derby hopefuls will line up in The Spiral (Grade 3) at Turfway Park and The Louisiana Derby (Grade 2) at Fair Grounds. The likely favorites in each race look vulnerable, so we’ll be shopping for value.

In The Spiral, Positive Response has earned morning line favorite status at odds of 3-1, off his handy score in the John Battaglia Memorial earlier this month. The 3-time stakes winner is in sharp form and obviously likes the Turfway Park strip. However, it looks like he’ll have company on the front end this time, with the speedy Decisive Moment signed on, as well as stretch-out sprinter Glint. King Congie has finished first in three straight on the lawn, including a pair of stakes, and could be a major factor if that form transfers to synthetic.

I’m excited about the prospects of Animal Kingdom. This Team Valor homebred has raced well on synthetic surfaces, starting off his career with a fast-closing second at Arlington Park, and following that up with a sharp maiden score at Keeneland last fall. He was transferred to the barn of Graham Motion prior to his 3yo bow, which he lost by a head after an awkward start. That race was on grass, and Motion ships him north from his Palm Meadows base to try stakes company on synthetic. This colt has been routing all along, and has already won at this 1 1/8th-mile distance. His bullet work on Monday signals a move forward in his second start off the layoff. I’ll bet on #4-Animal Kingdom to win and place at odds of 4-1 or better.

The Louisiana Derby has a more pronounced favorite in Risen Star winner Mucho Macho Man (9-5 morning line). He figures tough to beat, but note he’ll be picking up six pounds (all carry 122 lbs.) off his latest score, and he’s never won carrying more than 119 lbs. Mucho Macho Man lost his three previous starts, so he’s still got plenty to prove. Machen (7-2) and Elite Alex (6-1) are bred to go long and should improve with racing.

Although I’m a right-of-center guy, in The Louisiana Derby I’m leaning toward #10-Left. This gelding hails from a very sharp barn, is bred to run all day, and has won both his starts with strong finishes. Last out vs. winners, he carried 122 lbs. successfully. He has breezed well for this, and figures to get a decent stalking trip. With a long run to the first turn, regular rider Jesse Campbell should be able to tuck in from post #10 and avoid major ground loss. I’ll bet on #10-Left across the board at odds of 8-1 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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