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, May 31, 2010

Taking the High Road

You won’t need a search warrant to find the favorite in today's ultra prestigious Metropolitan Handicap. The last time Quality Road (4-5) was in action, he set a record winning the Grade 1 Donn Handicap by 13 lengths. Why should today be any different?

Rather than ship half way across the world, his connections eschewed Dubai, pointed for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and mapped a campaign back from there. He is expected to make a successful first step toward that goal, leaving from the 7-slip in a field of eight for the Pletcher/Velazquez team.

But this is no walkover for the 124 pound highweight, as he’s spotting some very salty milers anywhere from 6 to 10 pounds, and there are a handful that could test the favorite if they run their very best. If they don’t come with their ‘A’ game, they will have no chance to get close to him at the finsih.

Making his third start off a layup, Musket Man (5-1) will appreciate the stretchout to one mile, he won his only start over the surface, and attracts Ramon Dominguez. He had no chance firing late in the sloppy-track Churchill Downs Handicap at 7 furlongs on the Derby undercard, after the track had turned speed favoring again before that event.

With gun to temple, it would be Quality Road to win, no price restrictions, and a cold exacta with Musket Man. Also, keying Musket Man second and third in trifectas and superfectas with Convocation (10-1), Tizway (20-1), Kensei (20-1) and Le Grand Cru (15-1).

Running Totals: (659) 207-132-94 Total Dollar Return: $1,441.80 [win selections only]

Dark here tomorrow. The Tuesday feature race analysis will resume next week

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Top Sprinter Cash Refund To Go Six for Seven at Churchill

Were you impressed when Atta Boy Roy (5-2) set a hot pace, opened a clear lead and won the 7 furlong Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap comprehensively beneath Calvin on Derby day? So was I. Today, however, it’s a different distance, distance puzzle.

First of all he’ll have to hustle on the turnback to six furlongs breaking from the rail in today’s G3 Aristides in Louisville. And he has the early speed of developing four year old Chief Of Affairs (5-2) to deal with. But both must deal with Cash Refund (2-1), in our view, one of America’s very best sprinters.

Winner of the Kenner Memorial sprint at Fair Grounds on Louisiana Derby weekend, extending his lifetime mark to 5-for-6, he returns to his favorite surface, given a lifetime best performance figure here, is nicely drawn outside in this small field and will get a perfect view of the action, sitting off the flanks of the co-second choices.

In fact, this looks like a good spot to try beating those co-choices. Taking Cash Refund to win, no price restrictions, and keying him in exactas with likely trip sitter Riley Tucker (7-2) and price shot Cassoulet (15-1).

Running Totals: (658) 207-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,441.80 [win selections only]

Next week, Monday, we will analyze a Memorial Day feature race. Tuesday feature race analysis will resume the following week

Written by John Pricci


Friday, May 28, 2010

Katy Bar the Door

Today’s secondary allowance feature is an interesting handicapping test for a six-horse gate full of fillies and mares, 3 year olds and up.

Does the speedy Wild News (4-1) shake loose again? Is Reforestation (3-1) primed for a forward move, which would make her the first filly here? Is the rapidly improving optional claimer Goodday (7-2) good enough?

Or should we all just accept the anticipated favorite status of Katy Now (2-1), making her first start at 3 and her first for Todd Pletcher? For me, it’s the latter.

While not yet as fast on performance figures as today’s formidable rivals, she has license to go forward on the maturity and new barn angles, and in a four-race career never has taken a backward step.

But after finishing second behind Devil May Care in her second lifetime start for a notorious second-out barn, Carl Nafzger’s, the front bandages came off and she broke her maiden going 7 furlongs on Keeneland’s Polytrack and came back against winners at a mile to her that start by 4 lengths at Churchill.

To say that she is a promising filly belabors the obvious. She’s been training steadily since the winter at Pam Meadows and owns a recent bullet at Belmont Park. She will be ready and appears primed to her competition down in deep stretch.

Taking Katy Now to win, no price restrictions, and keying her first and second in multiples with her rivals here, extra tickets with Reforestation and Goodday.

Running Totals: (657) 206-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,438.10 [win selections only]

Next week, Monday, we will analyze a Memorial Day feature race. Tuesday feature race analysis will resume the following week

Written by John Pricci


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