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, June 22, 2012

Truth or Dare

Today’s featured third race at Belmont, a secondary allowances-optional claiming, offers a small but very competitive field. We’ve narrowed the field of seven to three major contenders.

Now must choose between Heir To Dare and Emily’s Allstar and decided that youth will be served.

Without question, the sharp Winning Move/David Jacobson Team made an astute claim with Emily’s Allstar, taking her for $30,000 and wheeling the 7-year-old mare back with New Jersey-breds a month later.

And she nearly got the job done, too, in the Open Minded Stakes, finishing well but missing by a nose to Lil Kiara. Now returning to Belmont, where she sports a (3) 1-2-0 slate and switching to Javier Castellano, her late running style fits the race shape nicely here.

But the rub is that she returning on relatively short rest and so we’re opting for Heir To Dare, from the hot, low profile connections of Michael Mareina, batting 37% with a small sample this year but currently is (7) 3-1-1 at the local session.

Coming off a Soft Win in her 7-furlong local debut, she owns an excellent back figure at today’s distance, has worked very well since, is five weeks fresh and retains winning partner Rajiv Maragh. She’s likely to stalk from close range in this spot.

Taking Heir To Dare to win at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with Emily’s Allstar, and adding Smart Stride to the exotics mix, going second off the Rick Dutrow claim.

Running Totals: (1100) 339-214-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,328.30 [win selections only] {Thursday Results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Preach To Me… Anna

Live Racing Cancelled at Belmont Park Thursday Due to Extreme Heat

Today’s featured seventh race for fillies and mares going 7 furlongs on turf is interesting and wide open. On our first pass we left six fillies open, narrowed it down to down, then land on one. And it was tough deciding between Preach Tome Daddy (5-1) and Anna Sophia (7-2).

Both come out of efforts where their styles were compromised each being used on an early lead when it was patience that was called for. ‘Preach’ was used on the pace but succumbed to the pressure; not unexpected while she was ambitiously spotted at the Grade 2 level. She’s come back to work very strongly for the live Kimmel shed.

But it’s ‘Anna’ we’ll take by virtue of the fact that she, too, was used hard early in a stakes—not graded but on a tougher course to negotiate and doing so well set strong, pressured fractions.

She’s worked twice for her local return for Mott but unfortunately loses Johnny V. to injury. We expect the Hall of Famer to cover this when giving pre-race instructions to whichever rider draws the assignment.

Taking Anna Sophia to win at 3-1 or greater, an exacta box with Preach Tome Daddy, and using Sounds Of The City (8-1), Ciguaraya (3-1), Considerate (6-1), Mystic City (5-1) and Decennial (15-1) to the super-exotic mix.

Running Totals: (1100) 339-214-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,328.30

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Getting to the Soul of the Matter

Today’s featured eighth race at Belmont is very interesting and, if we can divine the winner, the reward could be lucrative.

Two horses loom as logical choices here, Barocci (3-1), who made a favorable impression in his U. S. debut when a very game second after suffering through a wide trip, and Change Of Command (7-2) who has earned a series of Equiform performance figures that would prove superior to the group.

Barocci rates to improve making his second start in this country for Christophe Clement and will appreciate the added ground, given his competitive efforts in Group company at this trip in Europe. Change Of Command has proven ability, versatile speed, a cozy inside draw and Javier Castellano on the re-ride.

But it’s Soul Of Borrego (8-1) that proves the most intriguing, especially given early line odds and the potential for more. Despite meeting older here, the Tagg trainee showed an affinity for distance racing with a strong late finish from far back off a moderate pace to break maiden at Keeneland this spring.

Training purposefully for his summer return, he showed marked improvement after adding blinkers in his second start beneath Prado, a race that produced three next out winners. His pedigree is well suited to today’s mini-stretchout.

Taking Soul Of Borrego to win at early line odds or greater, keying him in exacta boxes with the two favorites, and adding Reserve Currency (6-1), who earned big figure two back for Mott, and Crafty Unicorn (12-1), who has shown promise in his lightly raced career, to the super-exotic mix.

Running Totals: (1099) 339-214-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,328.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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