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, April 29, 2011

Conditions, Rider Dictate in Keeneland’s Elkhorn Stakes Finale

Normally, I’m very much against taking short prices on turf horses breaking from extreme outside posts, especially around THREE turns. But then that’s shy John Velazquez gets the big bucks.

When he last raced at Gulfstream Park, Musketier (5-2) was forced to take a position attending the pace of a loose leader on very firm ground, not the prevailing condition in today’s Grade 2 Elkhorn.

This being his third start off a layup, he will be more amendable to rating and he should be placed wherever Johnny V. thinks he should be given the pace scenario. The clincher, however, is that his best lifetime performance figures have been earned at this venue.

Taking Musketier to win at 5-2 or greater and boxing him in the exacta with his sharp uncoupled stablemate Simmard (8-1), nicely drawn with Javier Castellano.

Running Totals: (851) 268-175-117 Total Dollar Return: $1,866.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Versatility the Key for Keertana

The good news is that another turf marathon feature is scheduled at Keeneland; today it’s the Grade 3 Bewitch at a mile and a half for older fillies and mares. The bad news is that in good conscience it’s very difficult to go passed the favorite.

Keertana (5-2) is a proven marathon performer, her style is versatile enough to beat you from close range or behind and owns the consistently best performance figures--especially on this ground.

Further, she’s training up a storm for turf ace Tom Proctor and goes very well for regular rider Jose Lezcano, enjoying a very productive 2011.

Taking Keertana to win, no price restrictions, and boxing her in the exacta with Euro invader Honimiere (12-1), making her U.S. debut for Roger Attfield, profitable with returning layups of 90 days or greater, Javier Castellano in the boot.

Running Totals: (850) 267-175-117 Total Dollar Return: $1,860.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Treasure of the Sierra Alpha

Interesting feature to begin the final days of the Keeneland meet, a mile and a half on the turf that drew a well matched field of seven.

En Fuego (2-1) is very likely to go favored off his big finish at the distance following a layup last out, Christophe Clement switching to Garrett Gomez. He was also a good second on this course at the trip last fall.

But the interesting horse is 4 year old Sierra Alpha (5-2) who has the most upside and finished strongly to win his U. S. debut at the distance in South Florida but lost the victory via a controversial DQ.

Sharp enough to win on the turnback last out, he stretches back out for his owner-trainer and Jose Lezcano gets along with him very well.

Taking Sierra Alpha to win at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with En Fuego and Center Divider, working well locally for his first start for Chad Brown.

Running Totals: (849) 267-175-117 Total Dollar Return: $1,860.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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