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, July 12, 2012

A Winner? You Promise?

Today’s featured 8th race at Belmont Park, a secondary allowances/optional claiming at the hybrid distance of 6-1/2 furlongs is one tough test. We think any of six horses could win in this field of seven; the odd horse out coupled with one of the contenders.

We’ll try to separate these by concentrating on runners with an affinity for the trip or a surface lover, since this meet’s days are dwindling to a precious few.

But there are several of those two, so we’ll take the filly that figures to sit a good trip behind the speed then get a jump on the late runner. That figures to be Promise Me A Cat (3-1), with Ramon Dominguez taking a call from Carlos Martin.

With a record of 2-for-3 over the ground and a win at this distance in two starts, her defeat at 6-1/2 came last out when she was used up in a pace battle. Her speed will enable Ramon to stalk covered up from close range, getting the jump on late runner Emily Allstar (2-1).

Taking Promise Me A Cat to win at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with ‘Emily’ and Heir To Dare (5-2), and adding price shots Devilish Spirit (8-1) and Powhattan Princess (12-1) to the exotic mix.

Running Totals: (1114) 342-217-167 Total Dollar Return: $2,353.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where For Art Thou, Charmed Circle?

Today’s prelude to the Pick Six at Belmont Park is a.k.a. the third race preliminary allowances-optional claiming feature for 3-year-old & up sprinters going 6 furlongs.

The race has drawn six and it’s both tricky and trappy. Do you take fast working returnees with good company lines, young horses dropping into a softer spot after meeting much tougher?

How about neither? How about taking an older runner getting weight from some of the 3-year-olds while holding a pace advantage and a versatile style that would allow for a speed or stalking style in this spot?

Yes, the fast working One Sock Down (7-2) is intriguing. He beat Teeth Of The Dog in his debut then ran into Discreet Dancer going a mile in his second start. But then he went to the sidelines.

There’s Brian (5-2) that, after finishing second in the overnight You And I Stakes, he bore out badly in the G2 Wood Stephens and was eased, what about him? Or Mr. Continental, a big time maiden winner for Zito showing good energy distribution last out at Delaware Park?

Or, finally, Inflation Target (2-1), dropping, turning back and adding blinkers for Rick Violette, who’s been pushing all the right buttons of late.

Well, there value in Bravo Romeo (6-1) at early line odds, in at 114 pounds beneath apprentice Wilmer Garcia. The 4-year-old lost too much ground in a recent starter allowances but now draws inside, a position that’s not proven a hindrance to him in the past.

Taking Bravo Romeo to win at 4-1 or greater and key boxing him in exactas with One Sock Down.

Running Totals: (1113) 342-216-167 Total Dollar Return: $2,353.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Clement Works His Magic in the Voodoo Dancer

At first glance, today’s featured 9th race Voodoo Dancer for fillies and mares going a mile on the turf appears to be a two-horse betting affair on paper, and further scrutiny reveals the same conclusion.

Put another way, of course, the uncoupled Clement-trained, Dominguez ridden Fontley (2-1), a timely winner of her U. S. debut could easily repeat in today’s Voodoo Dancer.

Virtually anything Clement has been sending out these days has a big chance.

But in this spot we prefer Fontley’s mate Wallis (5-1), and apparently so does Jose Lezcano, who rode both fillies last time out and jumps off a winner for the Grade 1 Just A Game also-ran.

Lezcano apparently is assuming, as are we that Wallis has more upside going into today’s event. Making her first start off a lengthy absence, Wallis was stoutly restrained while setting the pace, a tack that worked against her when the important running began.

With that one under her belt, she should be much more settled for her return vs. a more moderate group; her back-figures indicate as much.

For her part, La Cloche (7-2), second to Fontley in her recent season’s debut, repeats the same winning two-off-a-layoff pattern that enabled her to win her comebacker and trainer Jimmy Toner has been pushing a lot of the right buttons at this meet.

We’ll box these three in the Trifecta, box Wallis and La Cloche in exactas, and bet Wallis to win at 3-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (1112) 342-215-167 Total Dollar Return: $2,353.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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