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 11, 2012

My Sweet Speed

Today’s Belmont feature is a beauty, a preliminary allowances for older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs and a wide open affair it is.

Questing is the early line favorite (3-1) and most likely winner if she improves on a solid U. S. debut going a mile from a wide post at Gulfstream when heavily backed.

She’s been getting ready for this at the Greentree training center in Saratoga. She broke her maiden at today’s distance in Europe and Julien rides her back for Kiaran McLaughlin.

But it’s Sweet Miss Avery (5-1) that looks the best interesting. For openers, she has never taken a backward step on the Equiform scale, the kind of incremental improvement that indicates continued development.

Trainer Michael Stidham is 23% efficient second-time turf and she comes into this with a game front-running money finish on Keeneland Poly last time out. Her recent 3F breeze was fastest of 20 in her peer group that week at Belmont.

Taking Sweet Miss Avery to win at 4-1 or greater, an exacta box with Questing; exotic players can add sharp working Considerate (12-1), from a key race, to their mix.

Running Totals: (1076) 331-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,281.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jersey Town Can Boss This Group

Today’s featured overnight stakes at Belmont, the Diablo at 6 furlongs, has attracted a graded-stakes quality group, a spot where one can vote against the early line favorite.

Travelin Man (2-1) clearly is not the same horse he is a Gulfstream Park, where he’s done much of his winning and fastest racing.

Having said that, we’re supporting a horse that frankly hasn’t looked like the same individual since he won the Cigar Mile in the fall of 2010. But there are reasons to like Jersey Town (5-2).

When last seen, making his season’s debut, Jersey Town was finished second to the favorite after moving a bit prematurely into a hot pace going 6-1/2 furlongs, often a difficult dynamic at which to succeed.

Jersey Town seemed to benefit from a switch to veteran Edgar Prado, the mini-turnback and outside draw is a better scenario, and the return to Belmont, where he’s never been off the board, all augur well.

Taking Jersey Town to win at 2-1 or greater and key-boxing him in exactas with the fast working favorite and This One’s For Phil (7-2), emerging from the super key G2 General George, a race producing four next-out winners. Exotic players can add nicely positioned, sharp working invader Royal Currier (8-1).

Running Totals: (1076) 331-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,281.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Maryland Shipper Appears Well Spotted in Belmont’s Marta Stakes

Today’s Belmont Park feature is the Marta, an overnight stakes for older fillies and mares sprinting 6½ furlongs and, to be honest, it’s not a very compelling heat.

However, it is interesting in that it’s hard to know with any certainty where the quality speed is coming from, since the best fillies in here fit either a stalker’s or closer’s profile.

It does appear that longshot My Sunshine Gal will make the running and Rajiv Maragh is adept at equine robbery on the lead. It’s hard to envision, however, that she’ll make it all the way in front at the hybrid distance.

Having said that, we need to side with the sharp filly who carries highweight and lacks experience at the distance; not usually our kind. But Aquitania (2-1) is sharp and fast and owns excellent recent figures and attracts Ramon Dominguez for Maryland’s Hamilton Smith.

We’re hoping to see Ramon mid-move this group, using her sharpness to get first run.

Taking Aquitania to win at 2-1 or greater and boxing her in exactas with surface and distance specialist, Belle of the Hall (6-1) and the classy, fast working favorite, Her Smile (7-5).

Running Totals: (1075) 330-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,275.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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