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 16, 2010

Double-Dare You to Beat Striking Dancer at Keeneland Today

Today’s feature as the Keeneland spring meet winds down is the Doubledogdare for fillies and mares 4 & up going 1-1/16 miles on the all-weather.

The fastest horse by definition is Starship Angel (4-1) who’s come into her own this winter on Aqueduct’s winter track, a very impressive winner of a recent restricted stakes after first overcoming trouble. But handicappers do not live by speed figures alone.

Striking Dancer (2-1), meanwhile, is a worthy favorite, having proven her worth in graded company on Santa Anita’s Pro Ride, winning the G2 La Canada this winter.

Those are significant advantages over a filly who lacks the same kind of experience and accomplishment on AW surfaces.

Her recent defeat in which she was beaten less than two lengths by Zenyatta jumps right off the page. She’s poised for a breakthrough performance here

Taking Striking Dancer to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with Starship Angel.

Running Totals: (630) 199-126-88 Total Dollar Return: $1,380.10 [win selections only] {Thursday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Short-Priced Pletcher Redux

I don’t apologize for picking a short priced winner--though yesterday’s exacta was generous I thought. However, I will say I’m sorry here because I can’t beat another short-priced Todd Pletcher favorite in today’s feature, the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland.

In short, Rose Catherine (7-5) is simply too fast, too accomplished and too well placed under the conditions. Add Garrett Gomez from the pole and how can you beat her? She’s even fresh, especially good for fillies.

So we’re taking the three year old turf specialist to win, no price restrictions, and will try to capitalize in the exacta, key-boxing her, an extra ticket on top, with a pair of potential price shots.

Bay To Bay (8-1) earned competitive figures last year in Canada. That makes her interesting here with the added maturity. Brian Lynch excels with long-layup returnees and Javier Castellano rides her like he owns her. Go Ask Alex (8-1) is not as fast or accomplished but continues to March forward and will be ignored in the betting.

Running Totals: (630) 199-126-88 Total Dollar Return: $1,380.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Positive Position on Affirmatif

Today’s feature at Keeneland is a secondary allowances at 5-½ furlongs on turf, which appears a two horse affair between the top two choices.

Evacuation Route (7-2) ships in sharp from Fair Grounds with turf ace James Graham in the boot. He loves this sprint distance--both of his lifetime wins--and hails from a race that already has produced a subsequent winner from two starters. He can come from the clouds or take a tactical position.

But the time to get Affirmatif (8-5) is when he’s fresh, as his debut win at 3 attests. Entered in Saturday’s Shakertown, he was scratched in favor of this softer spot. He’s been training up a storm at Palm Meadows, presumably with the blinkers removed, attracts Garrett Gomez, and Todd Pletcher has been winning turf sprints by the bunches recently.

Taking Affirmatif to win with no price restrictions and an exacta box with Evacuation Route.

Running Totals: (629) 198-126-88 Total Dollar Return: $1,377.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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