06/01/2010 11:00PM

Draw, style should suit Cash Refund in Aristides


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In most sprint races over a relatively bias-free racetrack like Churchill Downs, post position is of little consequence.

Saturday's Grade 3 Aristides at Churchill might prove to be one of the few exceptions. With the primary contenders in the race -- Atta Boy Roy, Chief of Affairs, and Cash Refund - all being speed horses, the possibility exists for a hotly contested pace, seemingly giving the outside speed, Cash Refund, a tactical advantage.

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. on Cash Refund has more options than the riders aboard Atta Boy Roy and Chief of Affairs, knowing he can sit chilly and rate in a stalking position if the pace is hot or turn up the heat if by chance it is not.

Further working in Cash Refund's favor is that he has proven effective with a stalking trip. His top Beyer Speed Figure, a 110, was earned under such a scenario, when he won a first-level allowance in April 2009 at Churchill Downs in 1:09.18 after pouncing from just off the pace.

Also suggesting a strong race from Cash Refund is his spacing leading up to the Aristides. He is a horse that runs best when given time between starts, and the two months of rest he has enjoyed since winning the Duncan F. Kenner Memorial at Fair Grounds on March 27 should suit him perfectly.

Chief of Affairs, in contrast, does not enjoy the same recuperation time. A horse typically rested a month or more, he is returning fairly quickly after winning a small stakes race at Indiana Downs in fast time May 12 - potentially leaving him vulnerable to regression.

Atta Boy Roy also may take a step back, having flourished on a sloppy track in winning the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on Derby Day.

His inside draw, even with the rail-hugging Calvin Borel set to ride, isn't ideal, either. Borel may be forced to send him, only to be hounded on the outside by Chief of Affairs and Cash Refund.

These factors point to Cash Refund as the most likely winner.

Dogwood: Visavis set for big effort

Two races later on the Saturday card at Churchill, the Grade 3

Dogwood Stakes offers another attractive betting opportunity, this time with a filly named Visavis.

First or second in 4 of 5 starts, Visavis comes off a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Eight Belles on Derby Day. And although no match for runaway winner Buckleupbuttercup in that race, she still produced one of her better races, posting an 83 Beyer, just off her top of 85 that was earned in winning an allowance at Fair Grounds in February.

This figure pattern of pairing up her top Beyers, particularly for a lightly raced 3-year-old, points to the likelihood of her running at least as fast, if not faster, in the Dogwood.

That would make her very tough to beat. With the exception of a 10th-place finish in the Fair Grounds Oaks, when she tired racing two turns, she has been a hard-trying, quality performer.

She also has trained swiftly in recent weeks for trainer Steve Margolis, who stands to have a big day at Churchill on Saturday. He trains Cash Refund as well.

With the public likely to heavily bet Ailalea - coming off a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks - Visavis should offer value as the probable second betting favorite in the eight-horse Dogwood field.

Matron: Tizaqueena looks best

Those searching for a deeper stakes field in which to wager Saturday may want to look to Chicago for the running of the Arlington Matron, a 1 1/8-mile race on the Polytrack for older fillies and mares that drew a field of 12.

Tizaqueena, a daughter of top synthetic sire Tiznow, is being moved to the Polytrack for the first time in the race, and aside from a wide draw in post 11, she has much in her favor.

Beyond pedigree, as a winner on dirt and turf she looks like just the type of versatile horse who should take to the Polytrack. Throw in that she is the richest earner in the race, with a bankroll of more than $545,000, and there is another reason to like her.

As for her fifth-place finish in the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile on May 1, excuse that performance due to extremely wet conditions. She never appeared comfortable over that rain-soaked course, which was officially labeled yielding.

With her natural speed, Tizaqueena appears quick enough to clear much of the traffic to her inside in the Arlington Matron, negating the effect of an outside draw, at least to some extent.