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.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hitting It Big in the Travers

See Friday's Saratoga Diary for Complete Travers 139 Analysis. Suggested plays: Macho Uno to win at 6-1 or greater. Longshot Play: Tale of Ekati twin at 15-1 or more. Key both in all money positions in exotic pools.

Written by John Pricci


Friday, August 22, 2008

A Personal Showdown

Unlike tomorrow’s Travers, which is a great betting race, not so today’s Grade 1 Personal Ensign. But don’t sell the excitement level short. This two horse race on paper, just like the Alabama, could turn out to be a highly dramatic affair. The great equalizer is the 10-furlong distance.

G1 Go for Wand winner Ginger Punch (4-5) is a champion and she’s never lost a race at Saratoga. There were anxious moments in the Go for Wand when she had nowhere to go for the longest time. But Rafael Bejarano never panicked and his filly never wavered, bursting through a seem and drew away late. Despite an amazing career, she’s never been asked to go this far.

Unbridled Belle (9-5) has, on five occasions, hitting the board three times and winning once, last year’s G2 Delaware Handicap. Making her third start off a layup for Todd Pletcher, who got Wait A While back in top form and into the winner’s circle, she goes postward with Ramon Dominguez, who really gets along with her. The former has a class and speed edge; the latter an edge at the distance. May the best mare win.

Taking Ginger Punch to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Unbridled Belle.

Running Totals: (258) 79-51-30. Total Dollar Return: $481.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Susan Sharp for Lake Placid

How you look at today’s Grade 2 Lake Placid for older fillies and mares going a mile and a sixteenth on grass depends on your assessment of the current condition of turf champion Wait A While (8-5), making her second start since returning from a long layup following some health issues. Did she get enough out of the Grade 1 Diana to move forward? Is there anything left in the tank?

She’s come back to work twice since the Diana, one being a very sharp half-mile, you can take a positive view. She is classy, obviously, and gets leading rider Johnny Velazquez. With not much speed signed on, her tactical ability could prove the key here.

The main danger is Sharp Susan (3-1) who also loves this course, is very sharp, and has shown a preference for the distance. She, too, is capable of dictating the pace and Kent Desormeaux has on occasion been known to steal a paceless turf race. At the price, she makes the most sense in a race in which four of the five entrants have a license to win.

Taking Sharp Susan at 3-1 or more, an exacta box with Wait A While.

Running Totals: (257) 79-51-30. Total Dollar Return: $481.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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