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, 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


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You’ll Need to Awaken Early in the Morning to Beat This One

An interesting turf feature at Tampa Bay, a second allowances optional claiming that goes as today’s third race. We won’t get too fancy here and side with the connections; Late Day Sun (2-1) for the team of Chris Clement and Leandro Goncalves.

Late Day Sun had one start in this country in a similar condition but at Gulfstream and off the layup tried to stalking the pace throughout going 11 furlongs and, quite naturally, got a little late.

This is a completely different scenario with the turnback to 1-1/16th miles where the faster pace should find the 4-year-old filly farther back so that she’s be forced to make one run here, likely her preferred style having beaten 13rivals going a mile as a European juvenile.

Since her U.S. debut, she’s been tightened at Clement’s Payson Park base now ships father north partnered with the strong finishing Goncalves. There seems to be enough speed signed on to ensure a realistic pace at minimum.

Taking Late Day Sun to win with no price restrictions, and keying her in two spots in exotics with sharp stretchout Island Time (3-1), Calder shipper Petite Riviere, getting class relief here, and freshened Nightmare Night (4-1), from a return outfit that’s profitable with its 90 days-plus returnees.

Running Totals: (1051) 325-205-154 Total Dollar Return: $2,239.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, March 24, 2012

A New Mexico Hero Is Something To Be

Say this about the Sunland Derby; it might turn out to be a good betting race.

Five of the eight entered, including an uncoupled pair from the Bob Baffert barn, can win this. The most probable winners are, however, the Baffert trained Southwest division winner and early favorite Castaway (2-1), and the local hero Isn’t He Clever.

Castaway won the slower division of the Southwest but appeared the more dominant visually; his mate Secret Circle, well, everyone knows how good he turned out to be. Rafael Bejarano comes with the package and they break from the pole position.

But we’ll take any valued offered on Isn’t He Clever (4-1), who’s won both of his Sunland starts. Actually, only he and Justanoldsong, a maiden breaker going a mile, are the only horses with any experience over the surface at all.

Isn’t He Clever is the fastest by definition, given his Equiform figure sprinting on Dec. 30, but in his prep for this, the Smarty Jones gelding distributed his energy more efficiently, the sign of a maturing animal.

Trained by local here Henry Dominguez, who’s 26% efficient with his repeaters, the altered horse worked a bullet for this and gets a switch to Luis Contreras, whose confidence got a boost with a stakes victory on the Spiral undercard Saturday at Turfway.

Taking Isn’t He Clever to win at 3-1 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with both Bafferts—the other being Stirred Up (8-1)—and adding Todd Pletcher’s Ender Knieval and El Camino Real winner Daddy’s Nose Best to the exotics mix. Post time for the Derby, the 12th at Sunland Park, is 7:45 EST.

Running Totals: (1050) 325-204-154 Total Dollar Return: $2,239.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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