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.

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


Monday, August 11, 2008

Making a Winning Point

For a stakes without a name attached--a non-winners of 3 other than…optional claiming--it has drawn its share of fillies that have run, and run well, in races with names of them. Of the six entered, we’ll concentrate on two: Somethingtotalkabt (10-1) and Winning Point (8-5).

Somethingtotalkabt comes off a layup for Wally Dollase, very efficient with limited Spa starters year after year. In a 12-race career, she’s had but three starts on dirt and won one--at today’s distance--at Churchill Downs beneath Julien Leparoux. After a failed attempt down the hill in a Cal-bred turf sprint stakes at Santa Anita, she returns East, returns to winning conditions and reunites with Leparoux. She’s been in steady training for over two months in preparation for her return.

Winning Point, second in the G2 Comely, Black-Eyed Susan and Delaware Oaks last year, she returned in a paceless mile race at Belmont Park and lost the momentum battle, checking in second. She certainly appeared to need the effort, now turns back to what might be her optimal distance and is nicely drawn outside the speed; a perfect stalking trip looms.

Must take Winning Point to win, no price restrictions, and exacta key boxes with Somethingtotalkabt and Boca Grande.

Running Totals: (250) 78-51-29. Total Dollar Return: $472.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Horse for the Spa Course

Two state-bred turf events at nine furlongs, one for the boys, one for the girls, is the highlight on today’s card and we’ll choose the West Point, given the larger field. There are three that are the most interesting; from the inside, out: Gimme Credit (9-2) Banrock (5-2) and Al Basha (7-2).

What Gimme Credit lacks in company lines, he makes up for in his love for the course, undefeated in two tries on Saratoga turf. His best go was three starts back, significantly at today’s distance, he makes his third start following a layup, a good percentage play for this barn, has drawn a coy inside position and gets Edgar Prado on the re-ride. Having survived rough trips in both recent starts, he appears set now.

Banrock is arguably the most accomplished, hence the short early odds if you’re classifying on the grass, never a bad option. A winner of the Thunder Puddles in his Belmont finale, he’s won over the local ground, too, however it does appear he’s at his best at a slightly shorter route. Kent Desormeaux will try to win his second straight on the five-year-old for a barn that’s gotten off slowly at this meet.

Al Basha, rated into submission in slow fractions in his recent four-year-old debut, finished willingly when cut loose and clearly should benefit from the season’s opener. Like Gimme Credit, he’s undefeated in two starts on the Spa turf and has won half his six starts at today’s distance. The main challenge for re-rider Cornelio Velasquez is overcoming the wide draw.

Taking Al Basha to win at 3-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (249) 78-51-29. Total Dollar Return: $472.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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