Pricci's Free Daily Feature Race Analysis

Whenever his daily work schedule permits, HorseRaceInsider executive editor John Pricci will analyze that day's feature race from a major thoroughbred-racing jurisdiction.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Here Kitty, Kitty

A rare Monday analysis in celebration of Martin Luther King Day and a rare meaningful race on a Monday as well, the Smarty Jones Stakes going a mile for three year olds at Oaklawn Park.

Dryfly (5-2) is a worthy favorite. He is by far the fastest on performance figures, is developing nicely, working well, has Calvin in the boot and you know he’s been pointing for this. The colt’s owner Charles Cella also happens to own Oaklawn Park.

But there seems to be enough quality speed in this sizable field which should put lots of pressure on the favorite. The horse in best position to take advantage of this scenario is Kitty’s Turn (4-1).

The Gary Thomas trainee has the right running style, draws the pole with tactical speed, with regular partner Luis Quinones. Three starts back he broke his maiden rounding two turns at a mile and 70 yards, conditions quite similar to today’s. With an alert start, Quinones can sit the pocket until ready.

Taking Kitty’s Turn to win at 3-1 or greater and keying him first and second in the exacta with Dryfly and Wow Wow Wow (20-1), terribly drawn on the far outside but with highly competitive performance figures and coming off a sustained wide-rally trip at the Fair Grounds.

Running Totals: (576) 180-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,239.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Made In Kentucky

Here’s the conundrum in today’s Sweetest Chant on the turf course for three-year-old fillies, the handicapping cliché is “class on the grass.” In her last two starts, Sassy Image reeled off victories in the Grade 3 and Grade 2 levels, easily the best resume here.

The problem is both victories came on the main track and in her only start on synthetics, often a harbinger of good turf form, she was non competitive. So why would I want the 5-2 early line favorite? Thing is I don’t.

I’ll opt for a filly who’s been competitive in non graded grass events but has earned good performance figures. The better news is that her development pattern is first rate, as is her turf connections; trainer Graham Motion and jockey Julien Leparoux.

In fact, Check the Label (3-1) has not taken a backward step on turf and the spacing between her last race and today’s has her coming up to this fresh, an excellent spot for her first added money score.

Taking Check The Label to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with the classy Sassy Image.

Running Totals: (576) 180-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,239.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Comic Marvel Is No Joke

The co-feature at Tampa Bay Downs today is the Gasparilla Stakes for three-year-old fillies going seven furlongs.

The early line favorite is Dattt Echo (5-2), which seems to be predicated more on perennial leader rider Daniel Centeno than the filly herself. If we’re wrong about that, we’ll lose.

The two interesting fillies we see here are Diva Delite (3-1), who looks more deserving to be a favorite, and Comic Marvel (6-1), making her first start for trainer Bill Mott.

Diva Delite hits hard, has the most experience and owns a win at this demanding sprint distance. A five time winner already in her career, she attracts Rosemary Homeister Jr. who’s in a battle with Centeno for the local riding title.

Comic Marvel, meanwhile, makes her first start off a 90-day layup for Mott, who owns excellent stats in that scenario.

Despite a pedigree that screams long and two turns, she came from last with a bold finish to break maiden at 5-½ furlongs in the slop at Belmont Park for the late Bobby Frankel.

Comic Marvel has been working well over the deep Payson Park training center and the promise of a chance for showers won’t hurt her chances. Indeed, it might help.

Taking Comic Marvel to win at 7-2 or greater and an exacta box with Diva Delite.

Running Totals: (576) 180-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,239.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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