11/03/2010 10:00AM

Sucker for speed


If you don’t like speed, stop reading right now.

However, bettors who recognize the appeal of a longshot front-runner will hope claiming sprinter Nina Fever draws in from the also-eligible list Friday in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Can she stay a mile on grass against top company? Probably not.

But Nina Fever has won four straight, she won her only start on grass, and her first-crop sire Borrego won two Grade 1’s at a mile and a quarter. Nina Fever is 20-1 on the Daily Racing Form line, and 30-1 on the track line. Now, if she can just scratch in.

Indian Gracey drew the rail in the Juvenile Fillies, which means she must use her speed. One-two at the first pace call all four starts, she actually figures as a top contender. Although DRF lists her at 6-1, she is 15-1 on the track line. Wouldn’t that be nice?

If Wesley Ward-trained filly Nina Fever is qualified to outrun her odds Friday, then so is Ward-trained gelding Madman Diaries on Saturday in the Juvenile Turf.

Madman Diaries probably is compromised by the one-mile distance. He is bred short on both sides. He was sired by Bring the Heat, and produced by an unraced daughter of 1993 BC Sprint runner-up Meafara.

But sprinter Madman Diaries should make an easy lead against a field that came up short on pace. Can he be long gone at the DRF price of 20-1? It could happen.

J P’s Gusto runs in the Juvenile, and as a son of Successful Appeal he probably will not win the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Furthermore, the Juvenile already is loaded with gas – Boys At Tosconova, J.B.’s Thunder, Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo all run up front.

The jockey on J P’s Gusto, Pat Valenzuela, typically lets speed horses rip. Is J P’s Gusto the speed of the speed, or a likely pace casualty? It probably is the latter. J P’s Gusto is listed at 8-1 by DRF. Here’s hoping he goes higher.

Sidney’s Candy is only front-runner in the Mile, billed as the strongest race of the weekend. No one will compare Sidney’s Candy to Goldikova or Gio Ponti, but he has something they do not – brilliant speed. Come and catch him at the DRF price of 12-1.

It's always fun to back a "live" longshot. There are plenty of choices in the Breeders' Cup, especially if you are a sucker for speed.