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 18, 2012

Grade 1 Question: Who Shall Lead Them?

Another Saturday and where else but at the Spa can you plan on making a play on a Grade 1 Double. That’s the plan here as the Sword Dancer for older turf males leads up to the storied Alabama which is, of course, for sophomore fillies going a mile and quarter on the main.

Race 9 will go 12 furlongs on the inner turf and of the nine entered, four have the best chances to succeed; Point of Entry (5-2), Newsdad (12-1), Brilliant Speed (6-1) and Turbo Compressor (2-1).

When last seen, the early line favorite, Turbo Compressor, was winning the G1 United Nations at 11 furlongs. His trainer wasn't sure he could get 1-3/8 miles.

What do you suppose Todd Pletcher thinks about his chances this Saturday? If he shakes loose beneath Bravo again, his chances are excellent. But at early line odds and shouldering 123 vs. a tougher group, we’ll look elsewhere.

Brilliant Speed was the victim of circumstances all winter and early speed then just was flat out disappointing. However, he’s 1-for-1 on this course, earned his best figure at this trip when third in the BC Turf and gets a switch to Castellano. He could put it all together.

Newsdad is tempting, entering this off a Turf Decline Line and earned a lifetime best figure winning the G2 Pan American at this distance at Gulfstream this past winter. At once you need to put him in the race but must carefully handle the lines, too; the switch to Rosario is very interesting, as is the 12-1 quote.

But Point Of Entry looks like the most probable winner as he’s 2-for-2 at 12 furlongs and is 4-for-6, including the G1 Man o’ War since adding blinkers. An inside draw and Johnny will make him a very tough out.

Would love to beat Grace Hall (7-5) in the Alabama but I’d be lying if I said I knew how. Zo Impressive (5-1) and In Lingerie (6-1), the 2-3 finishers in the CCAO behind Questing, the 5-2 second favorite here, should benefit most by the added distance.

But Grace Hall’s last was off-the-charts fast, she’s had five weeks recovery, is bred very stoutly on the dam’s side, and was a G1 winner of the Spinaway here at 2. She’s just got too much going for her in this spot.

We’ll take doubles with Point of Entry and Newsdad, trying to get alive to Grace Hall. We’ll bet Point of Entry and Newsdad to win and key them with their rivals here in exotics.

In the Alabama, we’ll key Grace Hall first and second in exactas with her rivals above, and will add Questing and late developing Sea Island (12-1) to the super-exotic mix.

For purposes of the running total, we're on record with Point Of Entry in the Sword Dancer and Grace Hall in the Alabama to win.

Running Totals: (1143) 350-220-173 Total Dollar Return: $2,406.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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