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.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jersey Town Can Boss This Group

Today’s featured overnight stakes at Belmont, the Diablo at 6 furlongs, has attracted a graded-stakes quality group, a spot where one can vote against the early line favorite.

Travelin Man (2-1) clearly is not the same horse he is a Gulfstream Park, where he’s done much of his winning and fastest racing.

Having said that, we’re supporting a horse that frankly hasn’t looked like the same individual since he won the Cigar Mile in the fall of 2010. But there are reasons to like Jersey Town (5-2).

When last seen, making his season’s debut, Jersey Town was finished second to the favorite after moving a bit prematurely into a hot pace going 6-1/2 furlongs, often a difficult dynamic at which to succeed.

Jersey Town seemed to benefit from a switch to veteran Edgar Prado, the mini-turnback and outside draw is a better scenario, and the return to Belmont, where he’s never been off the board, all augur well.

Taking Jersey Town to win at 2-1 or greater and key-boxing him in exactas with the fast working favorite and This One’s For Phil (7-2), emerging from the super key G2 General George, a race producing four next-out winners. Exotic players can add nicely positioned, sharp working invader Royal Currier (8-1).

Running Totals: (1076) 331-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,281.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Maryland Shipper Appears Well Spotted in Belmont’s Marta Stakes

Today’s Belmont Park feature is the Marta, an overnight stakes for older fillies and mares sprinting 6½ furlongs and, to be honest, it’s not a very compelling heat.

However, it is interesting in that it’s hard to know with any certainty where the quality speed is coming from, since the best fillies in here fit either a stalker’s or closer’s profile.

It does appear that longshot My Sunshine Gal will make the running and Rajiv Maragh is adept at equine robbery on the lead. It’s hard to envision, however, that she’ll make it all the way in front at the hybrid distance.

Having said that, we need to side with the sharp filly who carries highweight and lacks experience at the distance; not usually our kind. But Aquitania (2-1) is sharp and fast and owns excellent recent figures and attracts Ramon Dominguez for Maryland’s Hamilton Smith.

We’re hoping to see Ramon mid-move this group, using her sharpness to get first run.

Taking Aquitania to win at 2-1 or greater and boxing her in exactas with surface and distance specialist, Belle of the Hall (6-1) and the classy, fast working favorite, Her Smile (7-5).

Running Totals: (1075) 330-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,275.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, May 06, 2012

Take the U Train to Times Square

Won’t be needing a search warrant to find the favorite in today’s split feature at Belmont Park, the Times Square division of the New York Stallion series for New York-breds 3-year-olds sprinting 6-1/2 furlongs in today's ninth race.

That distinction goes to Sportswriter (1-1), which on Equiform performance figures towers over the group. Further, those figures have moved up since transferred to the Rudy Rodriguez shed, the trainer a profitable 26 percent efficient with horses turning back from a route to a sprint.

But it’s I’ll Stake U (4-1), who broke his maiden in an open claiming race at Parx at today’s hybrid distance and now it looks like he might have the most upside. His ability at the distance, his development this season as his figures continue marching forward, and a switch to patient finishing Rosie all augur well.

We’re Taking I’ll Shake U at 3-1 or greater, an exacta box with the favorite, and will add Disco On and Frisky Warrior to the exotics mix.

Running Totals: (1074) 329-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,262.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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