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, May 23, 2012

Surf’s Up

Today’s Belmont Park feature is a secondary allowances/optional claiming slate for 7 furlongs on the Widener Turf Course. But that seems problematical given reports from weather handicappers so that the eighth race could be shifted to the main track.

Should the race go on grass as scheduled, Surfrider (3-1) will be a very tough out. In his U.S. debut at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Shakertown, any chance of victory was lost after a slow start from an outside post going 5-1/2 furlongs. Nevertheless, he managed to beat half the 10-horse field.

With that race under his girth, the added distance, promise of some cut in the ground, a sharp work that was third best of 82 in his peer group at Belmont Park, the fact that trainer Eddie Kenneally has been white hot of late and a profitable 26% efficient with horses making their second start in his barn with Ramon Dominguez taking a return call, all of it augurs quite well. The bad news is you won’t get rich as a consequence.

Taking Surfrider to win at 8-5 or greater.

Running Totals: (1082) 333-211-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,290.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Opus A. Sweet Music at Belmont

With a choice of two feature races, we were going with the second race, the Tiller, far more interestng than the fourth, the Key Cents, just on field size alone. But in good conscience, I couldn't, not knowing which of three uncoupled Chris Clement entrants to use.

We opted instead for the Key Cents, a small field, but with an opportunity to beat another Clement-trained favorite, Miss Valentine (7-5), with second choice Opus A. (2-1) in the day's fourth race at Belmont. Simple reason.

Just as it appeared lone speed Bodemeister had the best chance to win the Preakness, so, too, is Opus A. suitably spotted. Freshened by Rick Violette, she may not have the affinity for the surfa that the favorite has but clearly is a mile specialist, as her (5) 2-2-1 slate attests.

So, 123 pounds and all, we're taking Opus A. to win at 8-5 or greater.

Running Totals: (1081) 332-211-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,285.90 [win selections only

Written by John Pricci


Friday, May 18, 2012

Bode the Most Probable Winner, But…

It's hard to have anything brilliant to say here. The storylines, and the handicapping variables, are intertwined, and the problem is that the favorites, the perceived best horses, are just that on paper. THose who believe Bodemeister will win are betting as much on trainer Bob Baffert as they are the horse.

I'll Have Another has done nothing wrong, is more likely to run his Derby race back than not, and Johnny V. believes that he was on the best horse in Louisville. But his Derby day, as it turns out. did not go all that well.

But the interesting horses in here, the ones we're hoping to make money with, more as money factors than anything else, are Creative Cause and Daddy Nose Best. To bet either straight, I need close to 8-1 on the former, and close to 15-1 on the latter. If I get those odds, I'll make token win bets then try to optimize, using those two with the three logical favorites above in all exotic pools.

Since we select the feature race every day, and have done so for five years, we'll go on record that Bodemeister will win Preakness 137, though we don't believe that's the way to bet. Nevertheless, he will be the win selection we will use in our daily tabulations. Happy Preakness, one and all!

Running Totals: (1080) 332-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,285.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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