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 24, 2012

Win It for Dear Old Dad

The top two choices in today’s featured eighth from Belmont Park—it’s really the seventh but we’ll pass since that sprint is on turf and we lost a selection yesterday—and it’s a two-horse race on paper.

It’s really close between Poppa’s Pick (5-2) and Trouble In Dodge (3-1). The former has won five races lifetime as opposed to the latter’s one, albeit over classier rivals. But we’re taking the former for one reason.

Poppa’s Pick was claimed for $7,500 on the mega-drop two back and then improved in its first start for Steve Asmussen. But note the owner is Toby Sheets, Asmussen’s number one assistant.

Sheets has done this before--making astute claims, so we’ll ride the wave, especially with Ramon Dominguez putting his mount in excellent position from the get-go.

Taking Poppa’s Pick to win at 2-1 or greater and an excellent box with Trouble In Dodge.

Running Totals: (1082) 333-211-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,290.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Surf’s Up

Today’s Belmont Park feature is a secondary allowances/optional claiming slate for 7 furlongs on the Widener Turf Course. But that seems problematical given reports from weather handicappers so that the eighth race could be shifted to the main track.

Should the race go on grass as scheduled, Surfrider (3-1) will be a very tough out. In his U.S. debut at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Shakertown, any chance of victory was lost after a slow start from an outside post going 5-1/2 furlongs. Nevertheless, he managed to beat half the 10-horse field.

With that race under his girth, the added distance, promise of some cut in the ground, a sharp work that was third best of 82 in his peer group at Belmont Park, the fact that trainer Eddie Kenneally has been white hot of late and a profitable 26% efficient with horses making their second start in his barn with Ramon Dominguez taking a return call, all of it augurs quite well. The bad news is you won’t get rich as a consequence.

Taking Surfrider to win at 8-5 or greater.

Running Totals: (1082) 333-211-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,290.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Opus A. Sweet Music at Belmont

With a choice of two feature races, we were going with the second race, the Tiller, far more interestng than the fourth, the Key Cents, just on field size alone. But in good conscience, I couldn't, not knowing which of three uncoupled Chris Clement entrants to use.

We opted instead for the Key Cents, a small field, but with an opportunity to beat another Clement-trained favorite, Miss Valentine (7-5), with second choice Opus A. (2-1) in the day's fourth race at Belmont. Simple reason.

Just as it appeared lone speed Bodemeister had the best chance to win the Preakness, so, too, is Opus A. suitably spotted. Freshened by Rick Violette, she may not have the affinity for the surfa that the favorite has but clearly is a mile specialist, as her (5) 2-2-1 slate attests.

So, 123 pounds and all, we're taking Opus A. to win at 8-5 or greater.

Running Totals: (1081) 332-211-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,285.90 [win selections only

Written by John Pricci


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