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, April 30, 2011

It’s On at Churchill

Want to hear something crazy? The opening NIGHT Derby Trial has come up with more balance in terms of accomplishment and competitiveness than the much bigger dance next Saturday. It’s just a great race.

The most probable winner, of course, is Travelin Man (7-5). Two back he was second to Flashpoint in the G2 Hutcheson then last out won the G2 Swale but two comprehensive enough lengths. He’s consistently fast, acts like a potential top miler at least and hails from connections that seem to win any time you look up. He’s a deserving favorite.

But we’ll take any value we can get with Indiano (9-2). If he delivered at early line odds, that would be fair enough. He has competitive figures with the favorite going 7 furlongs, is better positioned outside, fits the shape and he can it back and watch the hot pace develop in front of him.

Add in a bullet work, trainer Wolfson, who’s shown some life back at Calder after having a terrible Gulfstream meet. And did we mention a switch to Garrett Gomez?

Taking Indiano to win at 4-1 or greater, and exacta box with Travelin Man, adding the gritty J J’s Lucky Charm (7-2) and Indian Winter (8-1) to the exotic mix.

Running Totals: (850) 267-175-117 Total Dollar Return: $1,860.50 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Friday, April 29, 2011

Conditions, Rider Dictate in Keeneland’s Elkhorn Stakes Finale

Normally, I’m very much against taking short prices on turf horses breaking from extreme outside posts, especially around THREE turns. But then that’s shy John Velazquez gets the big bucks.

When he last raced at Gulfstream Park, Musketier (5-2) was forced to take a position attending the pace of a loose leader on very firm ground, not the prevailing condition in today’s Grade 2 Elkhorn.

This being his third start off a layup, he will be more amendable to rating and he should be placed wherever Johnny V. thinks he should be given the pace scenario. The clincher, however, is that his best lifetime performance figures have been earned at this venue.

Taking Musketier to win at 5-2 or greater and boxing him in the exacta with his sharp uncoupled stablemate Simmard (8-1), nicely drawn with Javier Castellano.

Running Totals: (851) 268-175-117 Total Dollar Return: $1,866.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Versatility the Key for Keertana

The good news is that another turf marathon feature is scheduled at Keeneland; today it’s the Grade 3 Bewitch at a mile and a half for older fillies and mares. The bad news is that in good conscience it’s very difficult to go passed the favorite.

Keertana (5-2) is a proven marathon performer, her style is versatile enough to beat you from close range or behind and owns the consistently best performance figures--especially on this ground.

Further, she’s training up a storm for turf ace Tom Proctor and goes very well for regular rider Jose Lezcano, enjoying a very productive 2011.

Taking Keertana to win, no price restrictions, and boxing her in the exacta with Euro invader Honimiere (12-1), making her U.S. debut for Roger Attfield, profitable with returning layups of 90 days or greater, Javier Castellano in the boot.

Running Totals: (850) 267-175-117 Total Dollar Return: $1,860.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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