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.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Does Shirreffs Know SOmething We Don’t?

After writing about Zenyatta’s season’s debut earlier today, I decided to await the Equiform figures to see how John Shirreffs fillies compared and you know what? Life Is Sweet has more than a puncher’s chance.

Except for one thing: Does this move make sense? Zenyatta, due to her inactivity, is beatable unless she comes with her ‘A’ race. Do I expect her to be wound as tightly as possible for her first start as a five-year-old? Come on.

Life Is Sweet’s performance figures have been marching forward since she turned 4, earning a 76-½ last time out. Off a 2-½ month freshening, it’s not impossible that she’ll improve again. And even if she doesn’t, she’s getting four pounds in weight.

As a 4-year-old last year, Zenyatta earned a better figure that Life Is Sweet’s last race on four occasions. Given today’s scenario and what both camps expect from their fillies, trained by the same man, their figures should be very close, given “Life’s” ‘A’ game and Zenyatta’s ‘A-’.

Taking Life Is Sweet to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with Zenyatta in today’s Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Running Totals: (429) 129-87-58 Total Dollar Return: $876.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, May 22, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Today’s Belmont Park feature is a state-bred stakes for older horses that has attracted some worthy speedsters and hard hitters going 8.5 furlongs. And just because Wishful Tomcat (7-5) looks almost impossible to beat on paper doesn’t mean money won’t be available in the multiple pools.

No question that the Rick Dutrow trained favorite will be a tough out. Racing in excellent form, the late developing 4-year-old ridgling broke through his career best effort last out by the kind of incremental that suggests another forward move is forthcoming.

Consistently among the fastest horses in the race, he is drawn outside for the run out of the chute in a short field and retains Ramon Dominguez who should have little problem riding this race as it comes up. While it’s true that the returning Stud Muffin is just as fast on performance figures, neither the horse nor the trainer seem to do their best when fresh, making the 5-2 second favorite a bet-against.

We’re taking Wishful Tomcat to win, no price restrictions and keying him in exactas and trifectas with South Fourth St. (10-1), 6-for-10 at the distance; Dr. V’s Magic (5-1), a course lover working well for his return and the favorite's most formidable rival, and Tommasi (6-1), who blew out smartly at Saratoga for his second start following a layup, a 23-percent efficient and profitable category for 007 Bond.

Running Totals: (428) 128-87-58 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Albertrani On a Roll

Despite other seasons in which he’s enjoyed success with some of the game’s most high-profiled runners, trainer Tom Albertrani is probably enjoying a career year. Batting 25 percent for the year and starting off the Belmont meet on a 3-for-11 clip, a flat bet on every starter would have produced a profit for 2009.

You’ll probably cash again if you bet Unbridled’s Heart (3-5) to win today’s Belmont Park feature but it won’t help your personal P & L very much. The problem is you can’t make a case for any of the others to win while keeping a straight face.

He’s the fastest runner on performance figures by a considerable margin, is a still maturing four-year-old, he has excellent early speed, good spacing, and the outside post from out of a chute in a short field. He’s fastest and loose on the lead. Next case.

Going on record with Unbridled’s Heart to win, no price restrictions, and will try to earn value with Warm Shower (12-1), a 3-year-old filly, making her dirt debut after three turf tries and one on Polytrack. Her numbers are marching forward, she gets weight from all, figures to improve and will be a price. We’re taking her to complete a cold exacta.

Trifecta players may add Stevil (4-1) and American Dance (5-1).

Running Totals: (427) 128-87-57 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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