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.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Head Southwest Young Man

Know what the old racetrackers say, right? The place you lose it is the place you get it back. And if today’s choice hit’s the board with any of the logical contenders, that would be OK, too.

In today’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, the first stop on the road to the Arkansas Derby, we’re going back to the choice we played in the Smarty Jones on Jan. 18, Kitty’s Turn (12-1).

In case you didn’t see it, Luis Quinonez gave away all his position after breaking fairly well for the rail post at the same distance. With the switch to Robbie Albarado today, we expect a headier trip.

As the early line suggests, this will NOT be easy. Baffert and Gomez are coming from Santa Anita with the fast 3-for-3 Conveyance (5-2). Cardiff Giant (12-1), second to Conveyance in the G3 San Rafael, also ships in for his dirt debut following his game placing. Domonation (8-1), third in that same race, is also flying in.

The impressive Smarty Jones winner, Dryfly (3-1), returns, as does runnerup Pleasant Storm (8-1). And, finally, highly regarded Hopeful winner Dublin (9-2), working bullets for Wayne Lukas, makes his three-year-old debut. This heat could be a G1 under different circumstances.

This will be very tough for Kitty’s Turn as this group is faster on performance figures. But the Langfuhr colt is on a beautiful Equiform development line and has worked three times since the Smarty Jones. Given the rider switch, today looks like peak effort day.

Taking Kitty’s Turn to win and place at 12-1 or greater, keying him in all positions in dime supers, and in 50-Cent trifectas with all of the above. It’s costly, so if Shorty’s in town, or if this just isn’t your style, across-the-board at this price will get it done.

Running Totals: (595) 187-120-82 Total Dollar Return: $1,298.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Here’s the Good News: Speed Is Always Dangerous

Today’s feature in New York is the Dearly Precious for 3-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs. When last seen, Wild News (4-1) was being rated by Ramon Dominguez in the Ruthless, a tack the filly appeared to resent. Resultantly, she finished one-paced, never really threatening.

Today, the blinkers go on, a profitable 27 percent move for this barn, and the switch to the quietly aggressive David Cohen portends a reversion to the speedy tactics that proved successful two starts back. Forest Wildcat filly has worked well in her new eye wear.

Taking Wild News to win at 5-2 or greater and keying her first and second in the multiples with Fuzzy Britches (5-2) who will be running late for the white hot Dutrow/Dominguez team and Judge Sonya (5-1), also turning back into a sprint with a switch to CC Lopez.

Running Totals: (594) 187-120-81 Total Dollar Return: $1,298.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, February 13, 2010

No Snow, But It Looks Cold in SoCal

There are significant Kentucky Derby preps on both coasts today, and while the logical winner in each won’t make you rich, one could prove some value since the main contender is the early line favorite.

The race is the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes. The early favorite is American Lion. But how he reels in Tiz Chrome through the Arcadia stretch in his first start this year, I have no idea.

Of the two, American Lion is the more accomplished by definition as the winner of the G3 Hollywood Prevue at 7 furlongs following an eye opening maiden score in which he beat 10 rivals by nearly seven lengths at the same distance.

For his part, Tiz Chrome won the restricted Stuka Stakes at 6-½ furlongs over the same Inglewood track. While both are bred for success at longer distances, the difference today is in the men who are bringing their colts up to this mile and a sixteenth.

While Eoin Harty is more than capable of winning off this kind of short layup, it is the colt’s three year old debut, the first of three likely preps for the big dance. He’ll be fit, certainly, but how serious is the question.

Meanwhile Bob Baffert, who’s doing little wrong at the meet, has been drilling Tiz Chrome strongly for his first start of the year. Appearing the controlling speed in this short lineup, he has worked a total of 39 furlongs since the Stuka, a blend of rapid five-furlong moves sprinkled with some stamina inducing trials.

Further, when this race was originally drawn last week, it included stablemate Domonation, which will now run in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Monday. Why not make two owners happy? Why not try to win two races instead of one, right?

We’re taking Tiz Chrome to win, no price restrictions, and the favorite American Lion to complete a one-way exacta.

Running Totals: (592) 186-120-81 Total Dollar Return: $1,293.30 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


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