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, August 15, 2008

Giving Thanks for Talented Shippers

Today’s Grade 2 Lake Placid for three-year-old turf fillies at nine furlongs looks too easy--if, for one, it remains on the grass, and two, that one of the two speeds don’t scratch which, obviously, would leave the other loose on an uncontested lead.

Encanto Park might not class up to this bunch but she has enough gas to take the starch out of Raw Silk, a talented turf filly and one of the favorites by virtue of her score in the G2 Sands Point. If allowed to get loose in moderate fractions, the others would best concentrate on minor awards.

Don’t know what to make of the European filly in here because she did not class up in group events over there, which leaves I Lost My Choo (3-1), a very talented New York bred with a big late running engine, and Canadian filly Much Obliged.

The bad news is that no one knows, included trainer Phil Serpe, how she will act on very slow ground. The turf was soft yesterday and there’s an 80 percent chance of more rain today.

Much Obliged (4-1) came from extremely far back to be necked by a very genuine My Princess Jess in the G3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth following her impressive win in Chicago and has been given sufficient recovery time by Malcolm Pierce for this. She also is an unknown quantity on soft ground but, as a daughter of Kingmambo from a Strawberry Road mare, should appreciate some cut in the ground.

Taking Much Obliged to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with I Lost My Choo.

Running Totals: (253) 78-51-29. Total Dollar Return: $472.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Take Me To Your Leader

Another graded feature for the babies, this one for the boys, the G2 Saratoga Special at 6-½ furlongs. Like yesterday’s sister stakes, the Adirondack, the Special poses similar problems: Horses shipping from everywhere, fast ones, slow ones, lightly raced and experienced ones, most from high profile outfits. We’ll concentrate on two.

Proud Jefe (8-1) comes from the always potent Tom Amoss shed. He is experienced with three starts, has won over two different surfaces and his performance figures look explosive. Nicely drawn inside with tactical speed and kick, and picking up Edgar Prado, are all good things. His early line odds are quite generous.

Lyin’ Heart (3-1) on the other hand is much faster, also appears poised for a forward move, has the late kick suited to a race loaded with early gas and Steve Asmussen and Shaun Bridgmohan are on some kind of roll. However, he seems to suffer from gate issues, which could get you beat at any time. The good news is that he is drawn outside so that a slow beginning wouldn’t necessarily put him in the same kind of jackpot.

We are taking whatever value is offered on the slower, albeit forward looking, Proud Jefe, at 5-1 or greater, and exacta and trifecta key boxes with Lyin’ Heart and fast-figure Break Water Edison (4-1).

Running Totals: (252) 78-51-29 Total Dollar Return: $472.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From Garden to Finanacial District

Finally, again, a race with a name on it that’s also graded, the G2 Adirondack for juvenile fillies going 6-½ furlongs, in which five of the eight fillies are coming off impressive victories of varying degrees. Our preference is for early line second favorite, Garden District (3-1).

A winner of two of three lifetime starts, her only defeat was to the colt Run Away and Hide in a Churchill Downs G3. Not only did she win the G3 Debutante, it gave her an experience advantage over most of her rivals, but she showed an ability to chase from close range and out-finish the competition despite a stumbling start.

Given the amount of speed signed on here, that versatility becomes paramount. Her outside position gives leading rider Johnny Velazquez options, as he can dictate or stalk the pace, and Todd Pletcher, led by his two-year-olds, is back, the leading trainer having won 10 starts at the meet.

Taking Garden District to win at 5-1 or greater, keying her first and second in exacta and trifectas with undefeated Bold Union (5-2) and talented New York-bred Doremifasollatido.

Running Totals: (251) 78-51-29. Total Dollar Return: $472.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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