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 08, 2012

A Birdrun in Brooklyn

In order to divine the winner of today’s featured G2 Brooklyn Handicap, the first half of the Brooklyn-Belmont Marathon Double, I need to know three things:

Is Eldaafer (12-1), back in the hands of Diane Alvarado who saddled him to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, and who loves Belmont and has been working sharply, the same horse now that he was in 2010?

Does Belmont lover, the classy and fast Redeemed (5-2), equipped to go 12 furlongs? At 9 furlongs, he would be a cinch here.

Finally, will Birdrun (4-1) improve enough off two ordinary efforts much better in his return to a surface and distance he really likes? He certainly is talented enough to win this.

Even if Eldaafer proves that you can go home again, this will be a tall order. When he’s right, he’s hard trying, and efforts take their toll. The switch to Paco Lopez is a positive won, as is the recent blowout, but in this case seeing is believing.

The last time Birdrun and Redeemed met it was in a 9-furlong sloppy track prep for this and Redeemed won by nearly 10. He’s a 4-year-old just coming into his own, he’s been pointed toward this and has worked four times since that prep. He’s super ready.

But so is Birdrun, who comes out of the prep with a New Pace Top, setting a very strong pace, and just couldn’t finish up with his sharp rival. Today is the third off the layup for Bill Mott and has been drilling extremely well. He’s set for best, too, he gets two pounds from Redeemed, a 4-pound weight switch from his last.

Taking Birdrun to win at 3-1 or greater, an exacta box with Redeemed, and adding Eldaafer to the super-exotic mix.

Running Totals: (1092) 336-211-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,306.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, June 07, 2012

Only the Shadow Knows

In need of Belmont Day dollars? Join the club, and that’s why we’re throwing deep in today’s featured eighth race at Belmont Park.

Gary Sciacca hardly even wins off lengthy layups, rarely wins, even in low double-digits, but has some specialties; meaning allowances and especially on turf. And he’s batting only 5% for 2012.

But he’s profitable in all these categories; he gets horses to outrun odds.

In Loyal Shadow (10-1), he has a winning accomplice. This filly DOES win fresh, she’s 4-for-11 on Belmont turf—1-for-23 doing anything else—has three exacta finishes including two wins at the distance and, most significantly, has earned her best Equiform figures under today’s conditions.

Tapping Corey Nakatani indicates that this veteran turf sprinting mare is live.

Taking Loyal Shadow to win at 9-1 or greater, and key boxing in exactas with course loving Paraiba (8-1) and the very quick Karakorum Electra (3-1) from the hot Rice shed.

Running Totals: (1091) 336-211-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,306.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Take the Orient Express

Tricky or trappy, take your pick. Either way, today’s featured third race is a conundrum. It’s a short field with equal parts speed and stalkers, meaning it’s a rider’s race, where the trip will make the difference.

Unless, of course, second-time starter Orient Moon (8-5) is the real deal or, at least, as good as she looked while breaking her maiden at Gulfstream Park in April.

It wasn’t that she was visually impressive—which she was—but it was the way she handled pace pressure then drew off to win by six widening lengths, ridden out but appearing to have some reserves in the tank.

The key to this filly is the way she distributed her energy in that contest, indeed getting stronger as the race went on, a Compression Line, earning a final figure that’s good enough to win here.

We love that she was back to work a sharp half-mile 12 days after the race and has continued to work forwardly.

Taking Orient Moon to win with no price restrictions, keying her in the multiple pools with Victory Lynn (7-2), returning with good spacing for the hot Rodriguez shed, and Superior Sarah (3-1), nicely positioned and a three-time winner at the trip.

Running Totals: (1090) 336-211-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,306.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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