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, 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


Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Moment to Remember

Based on purse values, there’s a choice of three features today, two state-bred stakes and a preliminary allowances for open class fillies and mares going a flat mile. We’re choosing the latter because we want to gamble that Moment In Dixie (5-2) might be something special.

The early line favorite, Draw It (7-5), is worthy of that kind of respect. When last seen, the 4-year-old filly was finishing second to Awesome Feather in the Grade 1 Gazelle. While the latter has her issues, there’s no denying her talent, given that 2010 juvenile champion has not finished behind a rival yet after seven attempts.

But we’ve been waiting for the Jimmy Toner-trained filly to make her second start since April 29, where she ran off—and we do mean putting some separation between herself and the group after being hand ridden to the lead at headstretch.

The fascinating aspect of the performance was that, at once, she knows how to run but, at the same time doesn’t. Her Equiform performance figure was excellent—not up to Draw It’s best—but right there. Better, however, is the way she distributed her energy, finishing up nearly as fast as she went out.

And all of that without ever changing leads.

Her speed and mid-post draw will put her in position from the start, she’s bred for today’s longer trip, and she has two five furlong works in under a minute for this, both moves termed breezing. I’m excited to see her race; she could be any kind, as they say.

Taking Moment In Dixie to win at 2-1 or greater and exotic key boxes with the favorite, Resonating (10-1), another impressive graduate, Crespano (6-1), well spotted and nicely drawn, and You’re Kidding (15-1), exiting a key race, working well, and showing an affinity for the surface last season.

Running Totals: (1089) 335-211-165 Total Dollar Return: $2,300.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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