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, December 28, 2008

Run With the Mate

What today’s Alex M Robb for state-breds lacks in box office it more than makes up for in competitiveness. This is one excellent betting race and we pray we can take advantage. Horses of interest are Run With The Lark (10-1), Get Serious (5-1), Icabad Crane (9-2) and That’srightofficer (3-1).

That’srightofficer keeps running his race but keeps finishing second--in his last four attempts--the last two, however, coming in the Empire Classic and Grade 3 open Discovery. Read tougher than he meets here. Edgar Prado’s coming in for the assignment and both will need to overcome the outside post going two turns.

Icabad Crane, of course, was stakes placed in the Preakness and won his only start on the Aqueduct winter track last season. He comes off a sharp prep for this at one mile on the main track and figures to benefit from the added distance and second turn. Jeremy Rose, successful on the Graham Motion three-year-old before, also ships in for the ride.

Get Serious appears to be the only horse in the care of John Forbes right now and he’s certainly doing well with this runner. The four-year-old gelding has really come to hand and his last in the restricted, open Alysheba at the Meadowlands was a lifetime best effort, faster than anything in here has run. Six weeks should provide amply recovery time and a wet track would help.

Run With The Lark is the uncoupled mate of the early line favorite, always an intriguing proposition, especially at early line odds. His last over the track was excellent, he has put good efforts back to back in the past, has an excellent back figure that’s comparable to Get Serious’ last race and Rajiv Maragh takes the re-ride after winning his only start aboard the five year old last out. He’s a four-time winner on this surface.

Taking Run With The Lark to win at 8-1 or greater and keying him in trifecta money positions with his three rivals here.

Running Totals: (333) 100-69-45. Total Dollar Return: $699.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Feeling Lucky?

Following a lengthy holiday break, the first Saturday feature is a graded stakes, the always competitive Gravesend, a Grade 3, for sprinters 3 & up going six furlongs on the inner, winter track. The three of interest here are expected post time favorite Fabulous Strike (9-5), the freshened Lucky Island (5-2), and the ship-in price play Night Stand (20-1), all duking it out on the inside track.

Fabulous Strike is the proven class, a G1 winner of 11 of 18 lifetime starts and weight carrier. By definition the fastest horse on performance figures, his 126-pound highweight assignment actually represents a drop of 10 pounds, carrying 136 successfully in the Fall Highweight last out, Ramon Dominguez riding him like he owns him. Strike has a remarkable turn of foot, runs from anywhere on the racetrack and is a true road warrior. Good thing, as this will be his winter track debut.

Lucky Island is greatly suited by today’s race shape as he’s a tactical stalker with kick in a race loaded with speed. As a South American four-year-old, he still benefits from developmental upside, runs well when fresh and attracts regular partner Alan Garcia, completing a career season. Kiaran McLaughlin is profitable with horses returning from extended layoffs and classes up nicely with multiple graded scores.

Compelled to take the fresh, likely good-tripper Lucky Island at 3-1 or greater, boxing him in the exacta with Fabulous Strike, and adding the Philly Park speedster returning to his best distance for a 24 percent profitably efficient ship-in outfit.

Running Totals: (332) 100-69-44. Total Dollar Return: $699.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, December 26, 2008

Development Plus Trip Equals Repeat Win

We’ll stay out of town one more day and go back to the Bayou for a secondary allowances/optional claimer on the turf at a mile and a sixteenth. It has drawn a limit field and offers value potential in the sharp Woodbourne (6-1), who’s trying to make it two straight for the Mark Casse/Jesse Campbell team. The main danger is from the white hot Asmussen/Bridgmohan connections of Cobrador (4-1).

Woodbourne is an improving 4-year-old, showing the kind of laudably incremental improvement that's indicative of further development. It’s not insignificant that his latest performance figure, a lifetime best when going long, came over this course, at this distance. His tactical speed and inside draw should ensure another favorable trip and a repeat of his latest effort. Casse traditionally does well at this meeting and five weeks is sufficient recovery time for his runner.

Cobrador, meanwhile, is as fast as the choice, and there are those hot connections. But there is the matter of a fairly significant class rise and an outside position that virtually assures a wide trip into the first turn. If he proves best, he’ll need to do it the hard way.

But we're taking Woodbourne to win at 5-1 or greater, an exacta box with Cobrador, and in all trifecta money positions with Gangbuster (6-1), Cape San Blas (5-1) and Demeteor (9-2).

Running Totals: (332) 100-69-44. Total Dollar Return: $699.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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