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, March 01, 2012

Fur Lined Is Ready for Bear

Another challenging and open turf route at Tampa Downs that offers value if you can separate all the contenders. In today’s case, they seem to be coming from the same event—a turf mile on January 21 from which four of today’s rivals emerge.

Of those, Fur Lined (6-1) seems to have the most upside. She made a good middle move on the turn to reach contention, never really showed a turn of foot but kept grinding to the finish where she was fourth, beaten a head in the last jump after altering course slightly inside.

She now returns with that race under her belt and a work over this course. Half of her four lifetime wins came at today’s trip, with two exacta finishes among her other five tries at 8 furlongs. She should be a lot tighter today in her second off the layup for Homeister and Sheppard, a barn that has been live here most recently.

Taking Fur Lined to win at 3-1 or greater and keying first and second with two of the three runners coming from that same event: Red Orchestra (6-1) and early line favorite Fancy Kitten (7-2).

Running Totals: (1033) 319-203-148 Total Dollar Return: $2,199.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Man on a Mission in Tampa Feature

Considering what trainer Wayne Catalano has in mind for today’s featured turf sprint at Tampa Bay Downs, getting (7-2) on recent claim Conecuh seems highly unlikely.

Yes, there is favorite Calculating Jimmy (5-2) to consider making his first start of the year after last racing at Keeneland.

He has excellent figures, more than competitive, has won over this course in the past coming back from a freshening in a similar time frame. He’s a classy old pro deserving of the favorite’s role.

There’s also Daverick (9-2) who has the tactical speed to stay in contact with a lively pace and still kick on.

But it’s Conecuh, a re-claim by Catalano from Jamie Ness, who took the gelding from Catalano. He, too, has high early speed, pole position, an excellent recent workout and returns with ideal spacing for a barn that’s 41% effective first time off the claim.

Ness has a horse in here which should only provide added incentive.

Taking Conecuh to win at 5-2 or greater, and key-boxing him first and second with his two main rivals here. Super-exotic players should consider adding price shots Rhubarb Sauce (15-1) and Tapis Magique (12-1) to the mix.

Running Totals: (1032) 319-203-148 Total Dollar Return: $2,199.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Model of Consistency

Today’s Gulfstream feature is the highly anticipated Fountain of Youth Stakes that is deservedly billed as a three horse race among two undefeated Todd Pletcher trained colts, Algorithms (8-5) and Discreet Dancer (3-1), and a colt many feel was the best juvenile to race last year.

On the Equiform scale, those in that camp may be right. Union Rags (2-1) ran as fast going long when second to Hansel in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as Algorithms did while winning the Holy Bull. (The fastest final figure belongs to Discreet Dancer in his sprint debut.)

Union Rags will have two preps for the Kentucky Derby, so he figures to be pretty tight for today’s race. Matz has been handling him in that fashion while careful not to turn the screws too tightly. He might prove the “best horse” of the big three but how that translates today is little more than a guess.

Algorithms, based on a newly found ability to rate and the fact the trainer Pletcher owns a 25% strike rate with third-off-the-layoff starters. But what if Discreet Dancer gets away soft because rivals are too afraid to press him early? Or Union Rags indeed is the “best horse.” A fascinating puzzle to be sure.

We’re taking likely pocket-sitting finisher Algorithms to win with no price restrictions, key boxing him in exactas with his two main rivals and adding excuse-laden Casual Trick (8-1) to the exotics mix.

Running Totals: (1032) 319-203-148 Total Dollar Return: $2,199.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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