03/08/2009 11:00PM

Accredit moves up big-time in the rain


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Rain is in the forecast for the New York metropolitan area Wednesday, and its timing could be key to handicapping the featured third-level allowance race at Aqueduct.

Speaking of time, post time moves to 1 p.m. now that Daylight Savings Time has begun. Racing continues on the inner track for the next three weeks, however.

If the weather gurus are correct - always a dicey proposition - the rain moves in Tuesday night and lasts through Wednesday afternoon. Provided there's enough moisture to make the track muddy or sloppy, handicappers are likely to upgrade the chances of Accredit, who is 4 for 4 over a wet track, 0 for 9 with five seconds on dry surfaces.

"He does like it wet, no doubt, but he's run well on dry," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "We thought we were taking a drop in class, but it doesn't look like much of one."

Accredit, a 4-year-old son of E Dubai, is one of four horses entered for the optional claiming price of $75,000.

Accredit, who will break from post 4 under Eddie Castro, figures to be forwardly placed. He most likely, however, will have to contend with Trophy Road and possibly Band of Thunder on the front end.

Among the many closers who would benefit from a hot pace is Shoptate, a 5-year-old son of Orientate who will seek his third consecutive victory for trainer Steve Jerkens and Hobeau Farm. Aside from his debut last April when he broke poorly, Shoptate has not finished worse than second.

After winning a maiden race for a $60,000 claiming tag, Shoptate "had a foot that wouldn't get right," Jerkens said. The horse returned in December, finishing in a dead heat for second in a first-level allowance race before winning his last two impressively. Two starts back, he overcame trouble to get up.

"My dad" - the Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens - "told me last winter, 'Pick up this horse, he can really run,' " Steve Jerkens said.

Shoptate does have to break from the rail and will be carrying high weight of 123 pounds.

"It's more weight, tougher horses, but you got to run them when they're doing good." said Jerkens, sounding like his father.

Mr. Madison would also benefit from a lively pace.

Trainer Tony Dutrow said he wasn't sure if Lord Snowdon would run because he doesn't think the horse could be too effective going six furlongs over the inner track.