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, May 28, 2010

Katy Bar the Door

Today’s secondary allowance feature is an interesting handicapping test for a six-horse gate full of fillies and mares, 3 year olds and up.

Does the speedy Wild News (4-1) shake loose again? Is Reforestation (3-1) primed for a forward move, which would make her the first filly here? Is the rapidly improving optional claimer Goodday (7-2) good enough?

Or should we all just accept the anticipated favorite status of Katy Now (2-1), making her first start at 3 and her first for Todd Pletcher? For me, it’s the latter.

While not yet as fast on performance figures as today’s formidable rivals, she has license to go forward on the maturity and new barn angles, and in a four-race career never has taken a backward step.

But after finishing second behind Devil May Care in her second lifetime start for a notorious second-out barn, Carl Nafzger’s, the front bandages came off and she broke her maiden going 7 furlongs on Keeneland’s Polytrack and came back against winners at a mile to her that start by 4 lengths at Churchill.

To say that she is a promising filly belabors the obvious. She’s been training steadily since the winter at Pam Meadows and owns a recent bullet at Belmont Park. She will be ready and appears primed to her competition down in deep stretch.

Taking Katy Now to win, no price restrictions, and keying her first and second in multiples with her rivals here, extra tickets with Reforestation and Goodday.

Running Totals: (657) 206-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,438.10 [win selections only]

Next week, Monday, we will analyze a Memorial Day feature race. Tuesday feature race analysis will resume the following week

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bond Filly Ready for Today’s Engagement

Today’s Belmont Park feature is a secondary allowances, optional claimer for New York bred fillies and mares going a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course, and a competitive event it is.

There seems to be sufficient speed signed out to make the shape advantageous to a trip sitting late runner. Cagey Girl (5-2) has proved consistently fastest--although her best runs have come at the Spa--and makes her debut for the Asmussen barn.

Of the late runners and trip sitters, this route boils down to Triple Tax Exempt (4-1), Smart Engagement (4-1), Exonerated (5-1) and the Tom Bush entry, headed by Ambidaxtrous (7-2).

Of these, we’re looking most closely at Smart Engagement, who has the greatest chance to provide wagering value. She is not as fast as her tougher rivals but never has taken a backward step in three career starts.

She makes her second start following a layup for a barn, Jimmy Bond’s, that’s a profitable 25 percent in that scenario, and Rajiv Maragh takes he re-ride. Hindered by a slow pace yet earning her best performance figure to date, she figures to benefit from a much more lively tempo here.

Taking Smart Engagement to win at 7-2 or greater and keying her first and second in trifectas with her four rivals here.

Running Totals: (656) 206-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,438.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Belle Of The Feature

In today’s Belmont Park allowance feature for fillies and mares 3 & up non-winners of 2 lifetime, there is great temptation to pick against early line favorite Belle Of The Hall (6-5). After all, she spots most of her rivals experience as the winner of her only lifetime start, at six furlongs, not today’s seven, and there has been a change of venue, from Gulfstream Park to Big Sandy.

The most likely alternative would be Muhaawara (5-2), who’s competitive on performance figures, has experience--five starts and three at today’s trip--coming off a soft win figure wise and given plenty of spacing, almost six weeks. And the team of Kiaran McLaughlin and Johnny Velazquez certainly doesn’t hurt.

And there’s Jersey Shore Girl (6-1), who’s also competitive figure-wise, has conditioning turning back from one mile, was totally eliminated at the break in her last race, switching to Rajiv Maragh and likely to fall between the parimutuel cracks.

But aside from the top connections, Tom Albertrani and Ramon Dominguez, the manner of her win was indicative of a filly who will have no problem with the added furlong, given excellent energy distribution in her debut and the manner of her totally comprehensive victory. Even though Muhaawara has the pedigree to be special, too, this filly has an extremely high upside.

Taking Belle Of The Hall, no price restrictions, and keying her first and second in both multiples with her formidable rivals here.

Running Totals: (655) 205-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,434.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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