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.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Go, Canada

Today’s New York feature is a preliminary allowances for older state-bred fillies going a mile and 70 yards. Don’t think there’s any getting away from the fact that it looks like a battle of favorites; Imthequeenofqueens (2-1) and Bearursa (3-1).

Imthequeenofqueens has developmental potential as a newly turned four-year-old, comes from a live race that has produced one winner from two subsequent starters. She’s earned competitive figures with consistency but needs perfect handling to get the job done.

Bearursa, besides being a better price on the early line, hails from the Asmussen barn that has won with five of its last eight local starters, including three seconds. Ramon Dominguez leaves the favorite to take this ride, she’s had the benefit of a sprint prep over the track and is helped by today’s added ground.

Most of all, however, it’s her consistently higher figures vs. open company in Canada that rates her the call here. She might be more of a synthetics specialist but deserves a second chance against state-breds and what should prove the better distance.

Taking Bearursa to win at 2-1 or greater, and keying her in the multiples with Imthequeenofqueens and Kaffiend (5-1), who’s shown a fondness for the surface and owns the kind of speed that will have her in this one throughout.

Running Totals: (587) 184-119-80 Total Dollar Return: $1,284.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Frank “Pancho” Martin, Remember Him?

With rain expected to continue in South Florida, we’ll return to New York for today’s feature which, if purse size is the measure, the 7th race for state-breds, a preliminary allowances-optional claimer at 9 furlongs.

Diamond District (9-5) is a worthy and obvious choice. He’s improved in two recent starts for Gary Contessa, earning top figure scores and now picks up Ramon Dominguez. On paper, he’s a tough out, but there are two agonizing issues.

The turnback from 10 furlongs to nine could be problematical for this pace presser. His speed might have been dulled sufficiently in that mile and a quarter test and he might be uncomfortable neat the lead under those conditions. Further, his last was his first start with a bar shoe.

Sometimes you get away with one but two straight efforts, on relatively short rest, could be an issue. At expected odds on, we’ll look for another.

It’s hard to remember sometimes but Frank Martin is in the Hall of Fame. He’s done a great job with the 6-year-old gelding French Transition (6-1) that ran away and hid from a group of $7,500 claimers last time out.

Twenty-three percent effective using Gabriel Saez, on the re-ride here, he’s taking a confident class rise. Martin’s enjoying a resurgent meet. He has a good chance to saddle his fifth winner at the current meet here.

Taking French Transition at 9-2 or greater, and keying him first and second in trifectas Diamond District, Smart Enuf (7-2), Rises The Phoenix (4-1) and Typhoon Tycoon (20-1).

Running Totals: (586) 184-118-80 Total Dollar Return: $1,284.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, January 31, 2010

She’ll Be Battling All the Way, Really

Great race today at Gulfstream Park, the Grade 2 Forward Gal for filly three year olds at 7 furlongs and a big beautiful field it is, featuring the return of the juvenile filly champion, She Be Wild (3-1).

What’s not to like, right? Four for five lifetime, all in top company, but… She’s had nary one start on God’s dirt and clearly has bigger fish to fry. This is an Oaks filly, and that’s a long way down the road.

But it’s Wayne Catalano and she’s working well; could get it done on class alone. Still, she’s not for us, today.

Ailalea (4-1) really got good this fall, winning both starts after being asked to stretch out, earning highly competitive performance figures with the favorite and is, of course, a Todd Pletcher production.

Winner of the G3 Tempted after her key race maiden score, her future is going longer, too. She’ll be fit enough but how serious she will be is another matter. At an expected short price, we have no interest in finding out.

Bickersons (8-1) is clearly the most interesting here. After beating the rapid Hot Dixie Chick to the lead in the seven furlong Spinaway at Saratoga, finishing third, she did win her only other start at the distance on Hollywood Cushion Track, which is closer to dirt than other synthetics. And she did break maiden on dirt at Monmouth last summer.

She was a good third in the G1 Oak Leaf at Santa Anita and her race behind the favorite in the Juvenile Fillies was better than it looks on paper. Her outside post helps her in this spot, especially at the distance, and she’s been working bullets at Palm Meadows in preparation for Kelly Breen.

Taking Bickersons to win at 5-1 or greater and keying her first and second in the multiples with her two rivals here.

Running Totals: (585) 183-118-80 Total Dollar Return: $1,263.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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