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, December 03, 2010

Nicole H. Deserves Another Chance

Today’s Big A feature is the Garland of Roses Handicap at six furlongs for three-year-old fillies and up. On paper it appears to be a battle among the top three fillies in post order: Love That Dance, Nicole H. and Tar Heel Mom.

Love That Dance (5-1) is a now filly that’s come into her own this fall for the streaking Ben Perkins barn. She owns good tactical speed and can kick, which will come in handy from her pole position.

The obvious class of the group is Tar Heel Mom (5-2), a graded stakes winner who owns a clear class edge and laudable win slate, but will be making her first start off a lengthy absence due to an injury. But with the trainer winless at the meet and an expected short price, we’ll look elsewhere.

And will find Nicole H. (3-1) who, despite training very well for her appearance in a restricted stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard, never had a chance to show what she could do.

She virtually lost all chance at the start after breaking tardily from an inside post in a speed laden sprint field. Trapped behind runners and racing inside on a cuppy, outside-closer’s surface, she simply never got untracked.

She’s worked well since returning home and Ramon Dominguez has accepted the re-ride, a positive sign for the beaten favorite. Would be surprised if she led this group throughout assuming a clean break.

Taking Nicole H. to win at 5-2 or greater and key-boxing her in exactas with her two rivals here.

Running Totals: (773) 247-161-105 Total Dollar Return: $1,723.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wild News Is Good News

Today’s secondary allowances-optional claimer for fillies and mares 3 & up at 6 furlongs on the winter track is quite competitive. On performance figures must of the top contenders could fit neatly under one blanket. And determining just how this race might develop at critical stages is just as challenging.

We’ll go for the gusto with a filly that’s been away since April but is training strongly for her return. While her performance figures are not quite as strong as her rivals to date, with added maturity she can be right in the mix.

Working very strongly and attracting Ramon Dominguez, Wild News (8-1) will either dictate tempo or sit off the speed until Ramon moves his hands. The only thing that seems certain is that you don’t want to take a short price in such a contentious group.

Taking Wild News to win at 4-1 or greater and key boxing her first and second with third-off-the-layup Fleeting Humor (5-1) and he sharp Purrfect Bluff (4-1) going turf to dirt and going first time for trainer Rick Dutrow.

Running Totals: (772) 246-161-105 Total Dollar Return: $1,703.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Doing Whatever It Takes

Yes, we had plenty of rain in the metropolitan area yesterday but high winds as well. Don’t be surprised that by the time the Aqueduct feature is run, the track will be rated fast.

Any moisture remaining, however, would favor early line favorite Whateverittakes (9-5). Sons and daughters of Value Plus move up in the wet.

But this state-bred’s best friend today figures to be his rail slip. After earning a life’s best figure two starts back, he reacted to the effort but now finds himself in the pole position with plenty of time between his best effort and today’s race.

The speedster should take full advantage of the short run to the first turn. Trainer Rick Schosberg has been winless at the meet but his horses are running well, consider seven in-the-money finishes from his last 11 starters. The 3-year-old gelding likes this surface and looks very difficult to stop.

Taking Whateverittakes to win and early line odds or greater, and key-boxing him in multiples with recent impressive maiden breaker Raffinator (8-1) and very solid second favorite Smooth Transition (2-1).

Running Totals: (771) 246-161-104 Total Dollar Return: $1,703.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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