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, August 22, 2012

No Need To Be Afraid, Step Right Up

On balance, steeplechase racing is not as popular with the betting public as it should be. The major events throughout the East, without betting, routinely draw crowds of 25,000 or more.

However, U.S. horseplayers looking for form really should embrace the game. Why? We did a 5-year study a number of years ago and found that favorites won at nearly a 50% rate.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule when it comes to handicapping and the differences between winning and losing, etc. But my steeplechasing philosophy is this: Good jumpers don’t fall.

Today’s Saratoga feature is the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers’ Cup Handicap featuring all the major players.

Tom Voss will saddle the early line favorite, Left Unsaid (5-2), who lose the G1 Smithwick Memorial by a nose. And Jonathan Sheppard, who’s won about a dozen of these things, will saddle a three-ply entry including Sermon Of Love, the 2010 winner of this race.

B we’ll stick with the very sharp Demonstrative (5-1), who won the Kiser prepping for this, a race that produced the 2011 Turf Writers’ winner. The Richard Valentine trainee sheds 10 pounds, obviously meeting a tougher group here.

Regular partner Robert Walsh has the mount on this young gelding (5YOs are considered young in this game) who loves the Spa ground, owing to a (3) 1-2-0 career slate at Saratoga.

Running Totals: (1147) 352-220-173 Total Dollar Return: $2,415.80 [win selections only] [Wednesday Results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rachel, We Choose Sarah

Today's Union Avenue Stakes present a possible opportunity to beat the heavy favorite, Risky Rachel (6-5). Superior Sarah (6-1) has been pointed carefully to this spot, she's improved since adding bllinkers and her outside draw could produce the perfect setup.

Running Totals: (1146) 352-220-173 Total Dollar Return: $2,415.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stephanie’s Kitten, Hear Me Roar

Everything you need to know about today's feature race can be found at a replay center near you.

That's because today's featured Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 9 furlongs on Saratoga's Inner Turf course is a virtual re-run of last month G2 Lake George. Five of the six fillies here come out of that event and the other from the Coaching Club American Oaks.

That filly, Disposablepleasure (8-1), has been keeping Grade 1 company on the dirt this season and finally gets back on the grass, where she made her racing debut here at 2, finishing gamely for fourth after losing much ground into the stretch.

Her recent turf breeze for her grass return was 3rd fastest that week among 40 in her peer group; she's interesting, if only for her early line odds.

However, the replay will indicate that it's Stephanie's Kitten (9-5) that looms the one to beat, considering she never, ever had a chance in the Lake George.

If it were a harness race, the comment might be "raging with pace." She was raging for sure. Johnny Velazquez kept looking for openings and wherever he went, so went the leaders.

Finally, Johnny steered her throught the needle's eye, the filly got to running, but too late. She never was was able to match the momentum of Centre Court and Better Lucky. With today's added sixteenth, the softer pace will allow him to position his filly at bit closer and she should secure running room given normal conditions.

Taking Stephanie's Kitten to win, no price restrictions, and keying her in multiples with Centre Court (2-1) and Medolina (4-1).

Running Totals: (1145) 351-220-173 Total Dollar Return: $2,411.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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