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 17, 2012

Betting Stay Thirsty Could Prove Tricky

Today’s Belmont Park feature is really an interesting one, the Vanlandingham overnight stakes featuring the return of Jim Dandy and Travers winning Stay Thirsty (7-5). The 4-year-old hasn’t run since finishing off the board in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Given the winter off at Jim Crupi’s Ocala Farm, he returned to trainer Todd Pletcher at the Palm Meadows training center in March and has been working with purpose since.

But this is no “gimme” spot to take a short price, not that the best alternative offers a lot of value, either. This is especially true for Stay Thirsty, that is winless in three starts over the local ground.

(Value, of course, means betting price relative to chances for success—not some horse that pays a big price).

For his part, the formerly undefeated speedster Trickmeister (8-5) has not been seen since setting a pressured pace while rank in the Donn Handicap. Certainly not without his issues, the lightly raced 5-year-old has been training strongly for his Belmont debut.

There appears only one horse capable of pressing the Rick Dutrow trainee’s pace here but Joan’s Choice, stepping up big time here, would compromise his chances by doing so. Besides, Trickmeister edge a solid edge on pace figures.

Taking Trickmeister to win at early line odds, preferably greater, keying him with his two rivals here and the price shot Swag Daddy, his uncoupled stablemate switching to Rosie.

Running Totals: (1078) 331-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,281.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking the Fresh Fiddler

Today’s Belmont Park feature is a good one, the Cannon Shell Stakes run at 6-furlong on turf, going as the second half of the early double.

We’ll not try to explain the positioning of this interesting stakes but rather look at the contenders. They are many and all have a license. We’ll concentrate our play around Fiddlers Patriot, Noble’s Promise and Bergerac.

Noble’s Promise finally gets back on grass, where he’s 1-for-2 lifetime, and turns back to this trip while reuniting with Julien Leparoux. Trainer McPeek is profitable lifetime in third-off-layoff scenarios.

Bergerac is the now horse, turning back from the 7-furlong Grade 2 Commonwealth on Keeneland Polytrack returning to his preferred surface on which have come three of his four lifetime scores. Javier Castellano takes the return call.

But it’s the fresh gelding Fiddlers Patriot that looks most interesting but virtue of the fact that he does his best racing when fresh. Not only have two of his three most recent wins come off layups, but the third was on this course, his only try over this ground.

Versatile 6-year-old can either front-run to victory or stalk, his workline has gotten more aggressive since he left his Palm Beach winter base, George Weaver is having a banner 2012, knows how to get one ready and taps Johnny V. for the assignment.

We’re taking course loving Fiddlers Patriot to win 7-2 or greater and key boxing him in multiples with Noble’s Promise and Bergerac.

Running Totals: (1078) 331-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,281.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Teeth Of The Dog Sharp for Peter Pan (Sorry)

Today's feature at Belmont Park is the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes for three-year-olds racing 9 furlongs and for those with a possible eye on the Belmont Stakes. No fewer than half the 12 horse field have a better than puncher's chance to win it and value, even with public choices, almost seems assured. We'll take any value offered on Teeth Of the Dog.

Originaly consider a Preakness probable, trainer Michael Matz called an audible and has entered the colt here. After breaking maiden at Gulfstream Park, Bluegras Cat colt shipped north and finished a valiant third in the G1 Wood Memorial, an excellent finish considering the increase in distance and class. The grandson of Deputy Minister is developing beautifully.

Never taking a backward step of the Equiform scale, he's shown an ability to distribute his energy efficiently from his very first start. His Wood Memorial figure was competitive to the group and the spacing is excellent for his return. Colt had sharp blowout at Fair Hill training center, Joe Bravo takes a return call and should take advantage of a favorable race shape.

Taking Teeth Of The Dog to win at 5-1 or greater, and key boxing him in multiples with sharp working Mark Valeski (5-2), Jerome winner The Lumber Guy (7-2) and Le Barnardin (15-1), who defeat older horses last time out.

Running Totals: (1077) 331-210-161 Total Dollar Return: $2,281.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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