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, May 03, 2012

Have a Safe Trip

Interesting sprint feature at Churchill Downs, today’s 10th, a non-winners of 3 allowances/optional claiming featuring a very sharp and fast favorite in Riley Tucker (5-2), a hard-hitting old pro that owns a pair of victories over the surface for trainer Steve Asmussen.

What makes him so tough is the fact he can win with the lead or without it, giving his rider lots of options.

But it’s Safe Trip (3-1) that intrigues us more. He comes off an excellent comeback effort in his first start off a very lengthy layoff—fast, but not too fast, and a good race to build on.

Not only does he also own two victories on this surface but has earned some of his best performance figures here.

The 5-year-old gelding makes his second start for trainer Bret Calhoun, Miguel Mena takes a return call and returns to his favorite venue seven weeks fresh.

Taking Safe Trip to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with the favorite.

Running Totals: (1071) 329-210-160 Total Dollar Return: $2,262.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

There’s Gold In Belmont Feature

Today’s Belmont Park feature is the $90,000 Heatherten overnight Stakes for older fillies and mares going a mile and a sixteenth and while we’re admittedly splitting hairs here, we don’t believe Cash For Clunkers (2-1) is the appropriate early line favorite.

Clearly, the Rick Violette-trained filly is coming off two very sharp efforts, including a New Pace Top pattern in her last and the spacing seems just right. The daughter of Tiznow is 3-for-5, never off the board, a record that includes a (2) 1-1-0 slate at the trip.

But since the early favorite lacks Belmont Park experience, the preference for favoritism—and a winners’ circle appearance—is R Gypsy Gold (5-2), a Bernardini filly who not only gets back to Big Sandy, where she owns a worthy (4) 2-0-2 slate, but a distance at which she’s also a dominating (4) 2-1-1 record.

When last seen this filly was narrowly defeated in the Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Now back home and reuniting with Johnny Velazquez, she returns with perfect spacing and is ideally spotted by Todd Pletcher. She packs a good stretch punch and is tactical enough if needed.

Taking R Gypsy Gold to win, with no price restrictions, and boxing her in exactas with the early line favorite. Should the track come up wet, Nefertini, for a barn that’s a profitable 28% with third-off-layup starters, is a worthy inclusion.

Running Totals: (1071) 329-210-160 Total Dollar Return: $2,262.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Never Too Early for Spa City Fever

Today’s six horse feature at Belmont Park, the Carr Heaven for state-breds going a mile and a sixteenth in the fourth race is tough and it’s trappy.

First, there are six horses, mostly racing at the top of their form. They are sharp, in good hands, including those of the riders. Yes, a six-horse rider’s race; that’s what makes it trappy.

Mike Hushion has been on a tremendous run for what seems like forever. And in Spa City Fever (7-2) he has a gelding coming up to this off an incremental career best effort with seven weeks of recovery time.

He can set the fractions of follow from close range, which is likely the tack that Rosie Napravnik will take, given the other speed types entered. The shift back to Belmont probably will help as well.

The other 6-year-old gelding, Inherit The Gold (5-2) owns consistently best figures on the Equiform scale and has won half his four lifetime starts at this trip.

Fiddlers Afleet (6-1) was claimed from his last at Santa Anita by John Sadler—and he shows up in New York for a small state-bred stakes and attracts Johnny Velazquez. Considering Sadler is a profitable 30% in first start off the claim. Could he be better meant?

Taking Spa City Fever to win at 3-1 or greater and key boxing him in multiples with his two rivals here.

Running Totals: (1070) 329-210-160 Total Dollar Return: $2,262.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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