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.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Catch a Thief and Win the Feature

Hoping that the odds maker at Gulfstream Park got the early line right because I’m afraid the filly I believe to be the most probable winner will be the public choice at post time. If she is, I couldn’t in good conscience go against Catch A Thief, the 3-1 second favorite behind early choice Happy Week (5-2).

There’s a lot to like about this late developing 4-year-old. Most significantly, she earns top figures consistently at varying distances, including today’s mile. She’s extremely versatile, coming from off the pace and front-running when the need arose.

The Tim Hills trained filly reunites with Rajiv Maragh, who rode her to victory at Belmont Park, and she had a very sharp five-eighths for this over the track. She loves the game, based on a 4-for-7 win slate, and broke her maiden at first asking on this track last season. We look for her to put her tactical speed to good use here.

Taking Catch A Thief to win at 2-1 or greater, boxing her in the multiples with the favorite and sharp working Omega Cat (4-1)

Running Totals: (791) 254-164-108 Total Dollar Return: $1,763.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Devito Enters Two Fillies But Only One Star

We generally seldom back “slower” horses on their performance figures but we’re making an exception today with One Star (8-1), half of the James DeVito-trained uncoupled entry.

The reason is an excellent performance pattern on the Equiform scale. Following an opening Compression Line in her Arlington Park debut, she followed up with a New Pace Top, an intervening turf race, another New Pace Top then a Reversal, earning an improved in a dirt debut at Calder last out.

The point is this filly knows how to distribute her energy, making her adaptable to the lively pace scenario that figures to develop here. This is no easy spot, but early line odds of 8-1 seems assured and she might fall between the wagering cracks altogether.

Taking One Star to win at 8-1 or greater, boxing her in exactas with the early favorite, stakes-toughened Tap For Luck (5-2), and adding fast-working Wild About Sonny (5-1) and, from a live barn, Expo Gold (6-1) to the exotic mix.

Running Totals: (791) 254-164-109 Total Dollar Return: $1,763.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poetry in Motion

The feature race at Gulfstream is a bettor’s delight--if you’re right, of course. It’s a highly contentious “NW 3 optional claming,” featuring the first start in 432 days for the 2009 Juvenile Fillies winner, Tapitsfly.

It’s a winning spot if she’s at anything near 100 percent. The guess is that she will not.

We’re looking seriously at an outsider in here, literally and figuratively. Sweet Theresa (12-1) has some things going for her, outside slip notwithstanding.

Back at her proper level, her lifetime best performance figure at Colonial going today’s mile distance is on a par with the fastest fillies in here. Further, she’s been training up a storm at her Palm Meadows base, has some tactical speed to gain some position early--since there’s a lot of early gas signed on here--and can kick.

Trainer Graham Motion is reaching out for Edgar Prado, his 2010 Breeders’ Cup F&M Turf-winning rider, who is adept at working out decent trips on the turf despite challenging circumstances. At anything near early line odds, she’s the play.

Taking Sweet Theresa at 8-1 of greater and keying her first and second in the multiple pools with Tapitsfly (4-1), Miss World (3-1) and, from a key race, Romin’ Robin (6-1).

Running Totals: (790) 254-164-108 Total Dollar Return: $1,763.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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