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.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Finale Gets the Last Word in Dania Beach

Today's Gulfstream feature figures to be entertaining--and yet another race won by a Todd Pletcher trained horse at the meet, his ninth. Finale (3-1) deserved a better fate in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf but the 12 post, predictably, turned out to be too great an obstacle, the trip was troublesome in several spots and a slower that pace compromised him, too.

Following three works in preparation, we're looking for him to repeat either of his prior scores at today's distance.

Taking Finale to win at 8-5 or greater and key-boxing him in super exotics with talented shipper Excaper (5-1), price shot Empire Builder (12-1), tough tripper Coalport (6-1) and very promising Summer Front (4-1).

Running Totals: (986) 306-196-141 Total Dollar Return: $2,104.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


The Trick May Be Knowing Who Wants It More

Today's featured Harlan's Holiday at Gulfstream Park marks the return of two talented horses off layoffs, one longer than the other.

The logical favorite and perhaps unbeatable on his 'A' race is Duke Of Mischief, who hasn't run since pulling a muscle in his back during the running of the Whitney at Saratoga last summer. A multiple graded takes winner returning off a series of strong, purposeful works, the Fawkes trainee will be a tough out.

The other returnee is Trickmeister--entered with stable mate Boys At Tosconova by Rick Dutrow but is expected to scratch having worked six furlongs on Wednesday. Tricksmeister owns fast figures and obviously is classy, given his lifetime record of a perfect 4-for-4. He's more than capable of stretching the streak to 5-for-5 in this spot.

Of the two--both horses tower over the field--the preference is for a horse with more to prove. Both horses are thinking Sunshine Millions and/or Donn Handicap later in the meet. The difference is there's no urgency for the Duke to win today, given his record in graded company. It's Trickmeister who needs to prove that he is of graded stakes character, and he's been training very well coming into this prep.

Taking Trickmeister to win with no price restrictions and an exacta box with Duke Of Mischief and surface lover Our Dark Knight.

Running Totals: (985) 305-196-141 Total Dollar Return: $2,101.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, December 16, 2011

When Trains Fly

Today’s featured Tate Stakes at Aqueduct might only be a five horse field but it’s a trappy proposition and, as such, might actually provide an opportunity for value.

The race dynamic dictate that a horse racing off the pace would have a tactical advantage given the amount of early speed signed on. But which of those potential stalkers has the ability to handle a fast pace and close relatively strongly?

Flying Train pulled off a small upset in his recent return to the winter track and he looks poised to do it again for David Jacobson. His last figure was good enough to compete with the group, especially considering the anticipated hot pace.

An outside post and C. C. Lopez taking a return call both augur well. Taking Flying Train to win and place at 7-2 or greater.

Running Totals: (984) 305-196-141 Total Dollar Return: $2,101.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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