We return to the handicapping aspect of the action this weekend with the Grade 3 $100,000 Cardinal Handicap to be run over the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The favorite is #3 Acoma, who is listed at 5-2 on the morning line. Can we find a longshot to beat that favorite in the Cardinal?
The answer to that question is yes. I will side with #2 Tizfiz at 8-1 on the morning line. She won her last two races on the grass at Remington and Mountaineer. She ran 6th in her last two starts over the polytrack at Keeneland, one against the boys in the Grade 2 Fayette and the other with tougher than this in the Grade 1 Spinster. Six of her seven lifetime wins have come on the turf and as Bob Barker would say, the price is right.
For the balance, I will look at #7 My Baby Baby with Robby Albarado in the irons. She, as opposed to the top pick, scored a polytrack win at Keeneland in her last go on Halloween. She has never been worse than 2nd in three lifetime starts over the Churchill grass. I think that #8 Leamington could have her ample speed compromised by some of the competing speed in this spot. Although, Calvin Borel has been red-hot so far this season at Churchill Downs, that crucial factor could loom large Saturday. Finally, we will use #3 Acoma. The biggest thing in her favor is her 2 for 2 record at Churchill Downs over the turf. She was Sired by 2003 Belmont winner, Empire Maker and her last work on November 16 was strong. However, her last race (admittedly over a soft turf track at Keeneland) in the Grade 1 First Lady resulted in an unimpressive 9th place finish. If I am going to pick a favorite, she has to be a little better than that coming in. So, here is the play for the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap:
$5 WP #2 and $1 EX BOX 1-2-3-7-8
Remember, that They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in on Monday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!