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.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This New York-Bred’s a Real Trooper

A pair of juvenile stakes for New York-breds, one for the girls, one for the boys. Today, it’s gentlemen first. In the Bertram Bongard at 7 furlongs, it’s clear that early line favorite One Note Samba (9-5) will be the post time choice as well, and why not?

The fastest horse by definition, given his maiden score two back, Todd Pletcher gave him a chance to prove he was worthy of open rivals. The G1 Hopeful group proved much too salty, and after an early hot-paced duel, he tired. It’s back to reality here and his last should have toughened him sufficiently.

But in the George Weaver-trained City Trooper (3-1), we have a colt that’s almost as fast on performance figures, also has three races worth of experience, but it’s his proven ability to handle a wet track and overcome adversity that appeals most.

After showing good early speed in his debut, he came from well off the pace to finish second despite a tough trip in his second start, then proved that no fluke with a troubled-trip score to break his maiden on a wet Saratoga track last out. There appears to be sufficient early pace pressure to harass the favorite here.

Taking City Trooper to win and place at 3-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (512) 152-105-71 Total Dollar Return: $1,031.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thunders Dove Down the Road

Divining the winner of today’s G2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at 6-½ furlongs largely depends on your read of Indian Blessing (8-5). Is she the same filly as the one we saw BEFORE she went to Dubai? We think not and must go against--even if she absolutely LOVES Belmont Park.

The hot, “now” horse is Sara Louise (7-5), who at 2 was keeping company and being competitive with a filly named Rachel Alexandra.

Her return to the races at Saratoga was just so impressive, and Saeed bin Suroor is 40% profitable in second-off-the-layoff scenarios. And did I mention she’s very fast?

But we need to take the value offered with Thunders Dove (6-1), who also made an impressive season’s debut at Saratoga.

Her work pattern since indicates improvement forthcoming from the effort, her figures are fairly competitive, she owns excellent position, picks up Rajiv Maragh and is getting seven pounds from Indian Blessing. So, we’re going for the gusto.

Taking Thunders Dove to win at 6-1 or greater, key boxing her first and second in trifectas with her two rivals here, and an exacta box with Sara Louise.

Running Totals: (511) 152-105-71 Total Dollar Return: $1,031.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, September 25, 2009

Ravalo Looks Spooky

Today’s Belmont Park feature is the overnight Spooky Muldar restricted stakes for older sprinters going three-quarters. And what a talented group they are.

Te race features two extremely talented returnees, Lucky Island (5-2) and Accredit (3-1), from barn’s, Kiaran McLaughlin’s and Mike Maker’s, respectively, that are profitable with lengthy returnees, owing to their strike rates in the vicinity of 25 percent.

But we’ll take the horse that’s done something lately, instead, Ravalo (4-1). Five weeks ago, finished a very game third in the rapidly run Retama Park Sprint Handicap, a race that produced one next out winner from two returnees.

A road warrior, he’s a regular win machine with 12 victories in 26 lifetime starts, with a six furlongs slate of (19) 10-3-3. He has a strong late kick when you time the move correctly--Johnny Velazquez can do that--and there’s enough early gas between Accredit and Songster to set up his late run.

If one of those scratches, however, it would be a whole new ballgame.

Taking Ravalo to win and place at 7-2 or more.

Running Totals: (509) 151-105-71 Total Dollar Return: $1,023.10 [win selections only] {Thursday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


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