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.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Made In Kentucky

Here’s the conundrum in today’s Sweetest Chant on the turf course for three-year-old fillies, the handicapping cliché is “class on the grass.” In her last two starts, Sassy Image reeled off victories in the Grade 3 and Grade 2 levels, easily the best resume here.

The problem is both victories came on the main track and in her only start on synthetics, often a harbinger of good turf form, she was non competitive. So why would I want the 5-2 early line favorite? Thing is I don’t.

I’ll opt for a filly who’s been competitive in non graded grass events but has earned good performance figures. The better news is that her development pattern is first rate, as is her turf connections; trainer Graham Motion and jockey Julien Leparoux.

In fact, Check the Label (3-1) has not taken a backward step on turf and the spacing between her last race and today’s has her coming up to this fresh, an excellent spot for her first added money score.

Taking Check The Label to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with the classy Sassy Image.

Running Totals: (576) 180-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,239.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Comic Marvel Is No Joke

The co-feature at Tampa Bay Downs today is the Gasparilla Stakes for three-year-old fillies going seven furlongs.

The early line favorite is Dattt Echo (5-2), which seems to be predicated more on perennial leader rider Daniel Centeno than the filly herself. If we’re wrong about that, we’ll lose.

The two interesting fillies we see here are Diva Delite (3-1), who looks more deserving to be a favorite, and Comic Marvel (6-1), making her first start for trainer Bill Mott.

Diva Delite hits hard, has the most experience and owns a win at this demanding sprint distance. A five time winner already in her career, she attracts Rosemary Homeister Jr. who’s in a battle with Centeno for the local riding title.

Comic Marvel, meanwhile, makes her first start off a 90-day layup for Mott, who owns excellent stats in that scenario.

Despite a pedigree that screams long and two turns, she came from last with a bold finish to break maiden at 5-½ furlongs in the slop at Belmont Park for the late Bobby Frankel.

Comic Marvel has been working well over the deep Payson Park training center and the promise of a chance for showers won’t hurt her chances. Indeed, it might help.

Taking Comic Marvel to win at 7-2 or greater and an exacta box with Diva Delite.

Running Totals: (576) 180-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,239.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, January 15, 2010

Right Time of Year for January Gent

Today’s feature is the seventh race from Aqueduct, a contentious sprint for older horses sprinting six furlongs under second allowances, optional claiming conditions.

David Jacobson saddles the favored entry of the streaking Wolfson (8-5), whose won three straight off Jacobson’s claim, and The Truffle Man, a very quick speedster dropping a notch to the $50,000 level. Since David Cohen is named on both, only one will run.

In Wolfson we have a super sharp horse meeting tougher, in ‘Truffle’ we have a faster one weaker a bit lesser. Each has merit, but each is worth trying to beat. The strong alternative here is January Gent.

‘Gent’ is back under the Rick Dutrow shed for whom he’s done his best racing. Further, he turns back to his optimal distance and returns to his favorite surface. We know this because not only does he win here but runs his fastest races over this ground.

Blessed with tactical speed and kick and from a mid-post position, Ramon Dominguez can place him where he wants so that he could time the move that will give him the best chance. Ramon, of course, will save as much ground and horse as possible before asking him for his best turning for home.

Taking January Gent to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second in the multiple with the remaining half of the Jacobson entry and Gold Vendetta (6-1), a most impressive winner over weaker on this track recently and with a license to win it all at fair odds.

Running Totals: (575) 180-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,239.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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