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, February 04, 2012

Fire and Brimstone in the Lewis Memorial

The G2 Robert B. Lewis Memorial is a two-horse race on paper; the Bob Baffert trained Cash Call Futurity winner Liaison vs. the runnerup in that Grade 1, the Jerry Hollandorfer-trained Rousing Sermon.

The latter was the victim of a much tougher trip and he's been working very aggressively since.

We're taking Rousing Sermon to win the Lewis, and will add the other Baffert entrant, Sky Kingdom, to the exotics mix in addition to the likely favorite, his uncoupled mate.

Running Totals: (1019) 316-202-148 Total Dollar Return: $2,182.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, February 03, 2012

Emcee Needs No Introduction

A fairly extraordinary preliminary allowances is the ninth race from Gulfstream Park today; older horses sprinting seven furlongs and featuring two very talented horses.

Can’t argue with those willing to take a very short price on Associate (8-5) who, when last seen at Santa Anita, was finished third to The Factor in the Grade 1 Malibu. This is what, a five class drop then?

Associate is much improved since Rick Dutrow claimed the horse from Linda Rice in the fall but given the regression last out, albeit vs. much better, we’re uncertain just where he might be in his form cycle today.

That’s why we’ll take Emcee (2-1) who is almost certain to leave the gate no lower than his early line quote, scratches notwithstanding.

Not only did he run fast in his debut last fall, he did it the right way with an opening Compression Line; good energy distribution and an indication today’s added furlong won’t hurt his chances.

Returning from layups of 90 days-plus is a specialty of the McLaughlin barn and he’s certainly been training right along at Palm Meadows for his South Florida debut. Johnny Velazquez gets the call.

Taking Emcee to win at 2-1 or greater, an exacta box with the favorite, and adding the sharp and fast class-climbing Macarthur Causeway.

Running Totals: (1018) 315-202-148 Total Dollar Return: $2,177.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, February 02, 2012

No Hop Like a Subtle Drop

Heading to Northern Florida for today's featured 9th race from Tampa Bay Downs, a restricted turf route for older males going one mile. Favored Taproot (5-2) will be a tough out; dropping into a restricted condition for the first time, he returns with ideal spacing with tactical speed and kick and Goncalves on the re-ride. He had no chance in his latest when trapped in midstretch with no room to run. However, we're inclined to throw deep with Ellio (10-1).

Entering this off a New Pace Top at 7 furlongs, he's also coming in off a Delayed Pace Low following a promising turf debut in a prior start, both over this course. Today he returns to turf for the first time as a 4-year-old for a barn that's adept with stretchouts. Regular rider Fernando De La Cruz retains the mount.

Taking Ellio to win at 8-1 or greater and an exacta box with Taproot.

Running Totals: (1017) 314-202-148 Total Dollar Return: $2,1572.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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