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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Ricoritoa East of Java?

The New York Racing Week begins with a preliminary allowances for older horses going a mile and 70 yards on the winter track. Meaning there’s a short run to the first turn where the rail horse, Ricoriatoa (3-1) is expected to gain the lead and control the pace beneath the heady Richard Migliore. Dominguez figures to apply pressure with class challenged Regents Ridge from the extreme outside.

Can he be rated? Good question. He rated at 7 furlongs going one turn at Belmont; this is another animal entirely. But since claimed by Dominic Galluscio, the newly turned four-year-old has been working lights out, and he’ll be a tough out. Migliore knows him well.

Logical challengers are Web Gem (9-2) and Tranquil Manner (7-2). Web Gem figures to stalk under the hot arrival David Cohen and his inside draw should provide good position. That won’t matter with Tranquil Manner, who really never has taken a backward step on performance figures, which are highly competitive. But he comes from the clouds and may need a tiring surface to get there; not a great proposition at lower odds.

Given a 20 percent strike rate with new claims, we’ll opt for Ricoriatoa to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with Web Gem and Tranquil Manner, and adding the returning So It Goes (10-1) to the trifecta mix. Many turf types act very well on the winter surface.

Running Totals: (573) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good News Runs Wild in Big A Feature

Back to Aqueduct we go for the six-horse Ruthless Stakes, a weather cancellation last Sunday. The redrawn sprint for three-year-old fillies did pick up another horse but the handicapping story remains virtually the same, still a two-horse race between the second favorite and the likely public choice.

Second favorite Funny Feeling (8-5) returns for Michael Maker, returning with good spacing and with the talented Gabriel Saez breaking from post 2. But this group still had Wild News (7-5) to beat for the team of John Parisella and Ramon Dominguez.

She’s a bullet from the gate, but can be rated and worked extremely well for this; her half mile breeze two back was in :48 1/5, 7th fastest of 137 2-year-olds to work the final week of 2009, that large sample including colts!

Then she returned this week with another half mile in :48 2/5, termed breezing, another excellent move just to retain her fitness. Drawn in post four, it will give Ramon plenty of options.

Taking Wild News to win, no price restrictions, a cold exacta with Funny Feeling, adding E Z Passer to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (572) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Here Comes the Judge

Today’s Aqueduct feature is the Busanda Stakes for three-year-old fillies and this one, as is the way with most small fields will be a rider’s race with tactics likely dictating results. Further, since most have a similar style, the problem becomes more vexing.

Obviously, experience is important with young horses and we like the fact that the speedy Judge Sonya has had three starts, all over different tracks, with two wins coming a disparate distances. That counts for a lot.

Further, this filly comes in super sharp, with four works following her recent score, three of which were of the bullet variety. Veteran Mike Luzzi is an excellent judge of pace and he will need those skills here.

Virtually any of her four rivals drawn inside her can leave for early position. It will be up to Luzzi to play this wisely off the break. The filly’s versatile style will help in that regard.

Taking Judge Sonya to win, no price restrictions.

Running Totals: (572) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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