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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Desert Sage a Wise Choice

Today’s Gulfstream Park feature, a rare “non-winners of 4”/optional claiming for turf fillies and mares going 9 furlongs has one name written all over it; Desert Sage (8-5), which conveniently fits the allowance conditions of this spot to the letter.

The Chad Brown trainee attracts regular partner Jose Lezcano, having a fine meet, and the filly’s next defeat on this course will be her first. She also has two exacta finishes including a win at the distance and has some back class to boot. A tough out, indeed.

Taking Desert Sage to win, no price restrictions, key-boxing her first and second in exactas with nicely spotted and positioned Musical Rain (5-1) and price shot Unbridled Essence (8-1), coming in off a Turf Decline Line with Bravo.

Running Totals: (994) 308-200-142 Total Dollar Return: $2,111.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yet Another Pletcher-trained Favorite? Afraid So

Today’s feature at Gulfstream Park is another exercise in trying to beat a Todd Pletcher trained favorite and yet another exercise in futility. One could make something up but then you’d have to take a look in your handicapping mirror.

Of course, no one wants to take a short price on a horse that’s been away since the last Gulfstream meet, but Ice Cream Man (5-2) not only won that race after being pressured from the pole throughout but did so in fast time with excellent energy distribution.

The colt has been in steady, serious training since early November 3, a total of 38 furlongs, with three five furlong trials and some sharp, speed sharpeners at shorter distances. His outside slip at this distance and presence of Johnny Velazquez seals this deal.

Taking Ice Cream Man to win at 7-5 or greater and keying him first and second in multiples with uncoupled mate Simba’s Story (7-2) and potential fast finisher Depeche Chat (5-1).

Running Totals: (993) 307-200-142 Total Dollar Return: $2,107.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Awaassif: Arabic for Value?

Given that Backstage Magic (5-2) likely will be a much shorter price at post time of today’s featured second race at Tampa, a preliminary allowance/optional claimer for juvenile fillies, it’s worth taking a chance at securing value with Awaassif (3-1).

Backstage Magic is clearly faster on the Equiform scale, given a strong internal 6 furlong figure in his Tampa debut at 6-1/2 furlongs, back he regressed having run that fast in his second lifetime start at Calder.

While slower on figures, Awaassif’s last was a lifetime best, it came over today’s racetrack, and the filly never has taken a backward step when given fast footing.

Leandro Goncalves gets off this filly in favor of another but Awaassif picks up Ronnie Allen, last year’s leading rider at this session.

Taking Awaassif to win at 5-2 or greater and boxing her in the exacta with Backstage Magic.

Running Totals: (992) 307-200-142 Total Dollar Return: $2,107.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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