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, October 17, 2008

Writing Songs of Love…

For a supposedly weaker “non-winners of 2 life” designation, there’s lots of budding talent in today’s 6-½ furlong sprint for fillies and mares. And given the race’s dynamics, the winning result seems to be screaming for a mid-pack stalker or even rally type if the pace heats up to a high degree.

Two fillies seem to fit the dynamic pretty well. Two starts back, Itobe stalked a lively pace from close range and drew off with authority, showing his preference for Belmont Park with a strongly run effort, before suffering through a wide trip on a sloppy track. Two outside two of the main speeds beneath the position conscious Eddie Castro, he figures to get first run on the ralliers.

Song Of Love turns back to this hybrid distance after stalking the pace racing 4 wide at furlongs, a difficult trip especially over the wide expanse of Belmont Park. She goes well for Tagg stable rider Eibar Coa--her lone win--and she’s had three works since her tough-trip latest including an extremely sharp half-mile breeze. From her outside slip, she can sit off Itobe’s hip and begin kicking in earnest soon after straightening away. Her performance figures are consistently better than the group and the distance would seem to fit her style perfectly.

Taking Song Of Love to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Itobe.

Running Totals: (295) 88-62-36 Total Dollar Return: $585.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Straighten Up and Fly Right

What do you know, a dirt feature. True, it’s a small field but very competitive with no standout favorite and a chance to get fair value on a horse owning enough pace to race in the first flight and enough kick to get home. That would be Try To Fly who’s been going well since getting off the plastic stuff and on legit dirt for Tony Dutrow.

The spacing is right, six weeks, and so are the conditions. Position conscious Cornelio Velasquez is sure to get him in the game from the start and win this turning from home as the late runners begin to gain momentum. As a four-year-old, his figures are showing continued development and his debut on this surface was an extremely game effort while racing between horses in the late stages.

Taking Try to Fly to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with surface lover Les Grand Trois.

Running Totals: (294) 88-61-36 Total Dollar Return: $585.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Monday, October 13, 2008

Same Story, Different Day

Everyone loves turf races, especially when they draw good-sized fields, but six straight turf feature races this week? A bit much, don’t you think?

Anyway, today’s is a preliminary allowances at a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf and there isn’t a whole lot of speed signed on. I’m thinking Thou Swell on the class drop will be forwardly placed as he’s drawn favorably, inside/mid-pack, and at 8-1 early line is inviting.

The consistently fastest on the Equiform scale is Big Jerome (3-1) and he has enough tactical speed to stalk comfortably outside. But from the 8 post and with Javier Castellano, that’s as wide as you can get. If he were drawn inside, the decision would be easy but he’s not.

Baletti (9-2), meanwhile, has his moments. He’s not tactical, but the rail post with that little bend into the back-straight at this distance and the lack of blazing speed might just give him enough position. The switch to Rajiv Maragh augurs well and he won yesterday’s feature riding for Angel Penna Jr., who tightens the girth on Baletti. If we can get his two-back race, he could win this at fair odds.

Taking Baletti to win at 7-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (293) 88-61-35 Total Dollar Return: $585.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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