03/22/2005 12:00AM

No debating 'Overnight' looks best


ARCADIA, Calif. - Uncertain weather may be sufficient reason to delay handicapping the Thursday card at Santa Anita. With more rain possible, neither of the two grass races is guaranteed to be run on the intended surface.

But does it matter? There might be a lock, anyway. Overnightsensation towers over six rivals in the race 7 feature, a one-other-than allowance race for California-bred fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Trained by Wally Dollase, Overnightsensation will start at a price many sensible bettors will consider downright unreasonable; her odds will hover between even-money and 3-2. Yet barring the unforeseen, chalk-players should be pleased at the result.

In four admirable starts, has 1 win and 3 seconds on diverse surfaces - fast, wet-fast, firm, and good. She has sprinted and routed on dirt, won a maiden race on turf, and most recently finished second in her first start against winners Feb. 26, a statebred allowance similar to Thursday's.

That race makes her a veritable standout. Running one mile, Overnightsensation and jockey Rene Douglas pressed a strong pace, took the lead into the lane, and got worn down while four lengths clear of third. She figures to get a similar trip Thursday and should win regardless of surface.

A 4-year-old sired by Bertrando, Overnightsensation has earned $56,960 for owner-breeder Eurowest Bloodstock.

Beyond sharp form, Overnightsensation enters with speed figures that are appropriate for this condition. Her versatile running style allows her to cope with any pace scenario, and she established her class at the level in her most recent start.

Handicapping race 7 is actually easy - it is obvious that Overnightsensation should win. The tricky part is to summon the necessary wagering discipline. Except for bettors who enjoy low-odds standouts, it means either passing the race because the favorite's odds are too low or finding an overlay among the remaining six entrants.

has run well at the level, and with the turf rails at 30 feet, her speed and inside post give her a tactical advantage. Win or lose, she is the one to catch. Smokegetenyoureyes is overmatched, but won her only wet-track start. Silent Kingdom is rounding into form; Fastrip is in steep; Silver won a slow maiden race one week ago; Outta the House will keep the pace honest; and lightly raced Bella Magic will be finishing.