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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

State of the Union

Finally, Florida Derby day. Happy 61st Birthday, Run for the Orchids!

Everyone knows how important a Kentucky Derby prep this has been in recent years, thanks especially to the Palm Meadows training center for that. Only one historical stat for you: Forty Fla. Derby entrants in the first 60 runnings have won a total of 55 Triple Crown races, including 21 Kentucky Derbies.

Additionally, everyone knows how good a colt Union Rags (6-5) is. What no one knows, with the possible exceptions of Michael Matz and Peter Brette, how just how good. Back to everyone; we all should have some idea after tomorrow. I think he's absolutely the real deal, on the brink of becoming recognized as a great horse. To use the word great, however, let's see how tomorrow and the Derby, Preakness and Belmont turn out first.

So as they say, I can't beat him and stubbornly refuse to try. Worse, El Padrino (2-1) is the one he has to beat. After that, it's Take Charge Indy (5-1). As Clemenza once said of a pistol, "it's as cold as the make 'em."

Taking Union Rags to win, no price restrictions, and keying him first in seconds and trifectas with El Padrino and Take Charge Indy.

Running Totals: (1053) 325-206-154 Total Dollar Return: $2,239.60 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Friday, March 30, 2012

By the Shores of Boynton Beach

Gulfstream Park Race 7 March 30

Today’s feature is a non-winners of 3-optional claiming for older fillies and mares going a mile and all the major contenders are coming off layups. What to do? Opt for the one which has shown a preference for the course and/or the trip.

The mare who neatly fits that bill is Gitchee Goomie (5-2). After a two month freshening on the sides, the 5-year-old mare got back into light training in early January and hasn’t missed a beat since at her Palm Meadows base.

The 5-year-old Rick Violette-trained miss has had but 15 starts in her career so there are not many wasted races, and she consistent performer obviously likes what she’s doing, given a career slate of (15) 5-7-1.

New rider Rajiv Maragh is quietly having a good meet and the mare owns a (3) 1-1-0 career record at the distance and took her only start on this ground.

Taking Gitchee Goomie to win at 2-1 or greater, and keying her in exotics with the sharp Salary Drive (4-1) and capable returnees Sassy’s Dream (8-1) and Pinch Pie (3-1).

Running Totals: (1053) 325-206-154 Total Dollar Return: $2,239.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taking What They Give You

Today’s Gulfstream featured ninth race is a secondary allowances-optional claiming event for older fillies and mares sprinting 6-1/2 furlongs.

The tendency here is to think that the Todd Pletcher trained favorite, Shared Heart (5-2) will be over-bet seriously by post time given the connections, including the presence of Javier Castellano.

But trainer Jamie Ness has his fans, too, and his super sharp Lady Of Greatness (5-1) is sure to attract lots of parimutuel attention coming off a top figure romp at Tampa Bay, especially with go-rider Leandro Goncalves making the trip south to ride what appears to be the speed of the speed.

But Shared Heart appears to have enough speed to sit a pocket trip from the pole, she’s winner at the hybrid distance and returns with ideal 7-weeks spacing.

Taking Shared Heart to win at 8-5 or greater, an exacta box with Lady Of Greatness, and adding price shots Donna Getyourgun (12-1) and Bessie M. to the exotics mix.

Running Totals: (1052) 325-205-154 Total Dollar Return: $2,239.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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