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, January 15, 2011

Tar Heel Mom Gets the Jump, and the Victory

Two featured events on tap at Gulfstream today and with likely 2010 Eclipse winner returning as the 4-5 early line choice, we’ll concentrate on the G 3 Sugar Swirl at 6 furlongs for fillies and mares.

Fast working G2 Raven Run winner Hilda’s Passion (3-1) is a deserving early line favorite and the Marty Wolfson trained Jessica Is Back (4-1) would rate highly on company lines. But it’s Tar Heel Mom (5-1) that looks the most interesting.

Anyone who saw her effort in the budding key-race Garland of Roses at likely would agree that it was a great race to build on as she finished third behind a streaking Mike Hushion-trainee while appearing a tad short of condition.

Returning at her optimal distance with winning pilot Alan Garcia, she has been training well at her Palm Meadows base, owns tactical speed and just enough pop to get the jump on the leaders entering headstretch.

While winless at GP, she owns three money finishes in as many starts and a repeat of her internal figure while going 7 furlongs here last season would be good enough to pull the minor upset.

Taking Tar Heel Mom to win at early line odds of 5-1, keying her first and second in exactas with her rivals here and adding possible price shot D’Wild Ride (8-1) to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (791) 254-164-108 Total Dollar Return: $1,763.10 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Friday, January 14, 2011

Catch a Thief and Win the Feature

Hoping that the odds maker at Gulfstream Park got the early line right because I’m afraid the filly I believe to be the most probable winner will be the public choice at post time. If she is, I couldn’t in good conscience go against Catch A Thief, the 3-1 second favorite behind early choice Happy Week (5-2).

There’s a lot to like about this late developing 4-year-old. Most significantly, she earns top figures consistently at varying distances, including today’s mile. She’s extremely versatile, coming from off the pace and front-running when the need arose.

The Tim Hills trained filly reunites with Rajiv Maragh, who rode her to victory at Belmont Park, and she had a very sharp five-eighths for this over the track. She loves the game, based on a 4-for-7 win slate, and broke her maiden at first asking on this track last season. We look for her to put her tactical speed to good use here.

Taking Catch A Thief to win at 2-1 or greater, boxing her in the multiples with the favorite and sharp working Omega Cat (4-1)

Running Totals: (791) 254-164-108 Total Dollar Return: $1,763.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Devito Enters Two Fillies But Only One Star

We generally seldom back “slower” horses on their performance figures but we’re making an exception today with One Star (8-1), half of the James DeVito-trained uncoupled entry.

The reason is an excellent performance pattern on the Equiform scale. Following an opening Compression Line in her Arlington Park debut, she followed up with a New Pace Top, an intervening turf race, another New Pace Top then a Reversal, earning an improved in a dirt debut at Calder last out.

The point is this filly knows how to distribute her energy, making her adaptable to the lively pace scenario that figures to develop here. This is no easy spot, but early line odds of 8-1 seems assured and she might fall between the wagering cracks altogether.

Taking One Star to win at 8-1 or greater, boxing her in exactas with the early favorite, stakes-toughened Tap For Luck (5-2), and adding fast-working Wild About Sonny (5-1) and, from a live barn, Expo Gold (6-1) to the exotic mix.

Running Totals: (791) 254-164-109 Total Dollar Return: $1,763.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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