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, May 20, 2010

Lemon Spice and Everything Nice

For a non-winners of 3 other-than, 75K open claimer, you’d think the stock in today’s Belmont turf feature would have been a little more accomplished. But when you look at the daily feature, you play the cards you’re dealt.

Would love to get a little sexy in here but there are just too many unknowables and not enough dependable form upon which to hang a handicapping hat. Hence, we’re consumed by logic in this spot.

Actually, there’s very little to dislike about early line choice Lemon Spice (5-2). Beaten only four lengths in a Grade 3 last out despite getting checked and steadied all over the lot, he makes his first start for young turf specialist Chad Brown, who also happens to be 25 percent effective with shippers and has gotten off to a good start at the meet.

Combine those factors with returning to his best distance (2-for-2), owning enough tactical speed to possibly take advantage of his rail position and reuniting with Javier Castellano, who rode him to his most recent victory two starts back, and it’s not difficult to see he’s the most probable winner.

Taking Lemon Spice to win at 9-5 or greater, key boxing him first and second in multiples with strong working Carson Hall (3-1), course loving Lemon Cream Pie (4-1) and quick working price shot Slambino (12-1).

Running Totals: (651) 205-131-91 Total Dollar Return: $1,434.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Have a Little Faith in Javier

Today’s feature for three-year-olds and Up is a preliminary allowances-optional claimer at a flat mile. It appears to be a two-horse affair between the two favorites and the preference is the one with the early line odds.

It’s easy to understand why Polished (2-1) is the linemaker’s early choice. Seeking his fourth straight score, half his lifetime wins have come at today’s distance, including one at a flat one-turn mile, he’s already shown improvement off the recent acquisition and trainer Rick Dutrow is a very worthy 30 percent with his repeaters.

However, the preference is for Clear Faith (5-2) who not only is also improving and equally talented on performance figures, but who holds a pace edge over his main rival, with a favorable position outside of him at this trip and attracts the resurgent Javier Castellano.

From his position, Castellano can either stalk or set the pace depending on the break, which should prove a strong tactical edge.

Taking Clear Faith to win at 2-1 or greater, and key boxing him in the multiples Clear Faith and Harmonizer (7-2), making his second start for trainer Mike Maker and switching to Garrett Gomez.

Running Totals: (650) 204-131-91 Total Dollar Return: $1,425.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Soar Like an Eagle

Today’s allowance feature at Delaware Park is a competitive allowance sprint that logically affords an opportunity to secure value.

Favorite Cash McCool (2-1) returns to the Delaware Valley after meeting some hard hitting Midwest sprinters at Oaklawn Park but boasts neither the winning profile nor ther superior speed figures to warrant such favoritism. The outpost post is no advantage at this venue, either.

Eliminate that gelding and the race opens up considerably, with many of those contenders long on early speed, making the race especially challenging. A short price you don’t want or need.

Like An Eagle (8-1) won’t be a short price and rates to be as good as any of the major contenders. His last was a big improvement but not so much that he would automatically regress in this spot.

Six weeks of spacing looks just right, his last produced a next-out winner from two starters, trainer Mac Robertson has won with two of his first six starters at the meet, he’s not been worse than second in four starts including two wins and has shown an ability to kick on late. The rail post helps his chances.

Taking Like An Eagle to win at 6-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas with classy returnee Suave Jazz (3-1) and the super sharp Dramatic Trip (6-1).

Running Totals: (649) 204-131-90 Total Dollar Return: $1,425.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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