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.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

On a Wing and a Prayer

Given her accomplishments, Unrivaled Belle (1-1) is a worthy high weight and deserving favorite. The potential race shape of the G1 Ruffian says otherwise. No filly is in better form right now than Malibu Prayer (2-1).

She coming up to nine furlongs perfectly, off graduating distances, in her third start off the layup. Not only is she lone, dominant speed, but she gets off the deeper Monmouth surface in favor of a Saratoga two-turner that might find her loose on an easy lead.

Now only has she drawn the pole under these favorable conditions but no one excels more in these situations for Johnny Velazquez, reuniting with the filly for main client Todd Pletcher.

Taking Malibu Prayer to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with Unrivaled Belle.

Running Totals: (695) 223-141-97 Total Dollar Return: $1,561.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Little Warm’s the Hot Horse

It’s not offer we defer to a Grade 2 when a Grade 1 is being offered but frankly there’s a lot more buzz surrounding the Jim Dandy than the Diana.

Overnight trainers Nick Zito and Tony Dutrow each entered two horses in the Jim Dandy, but with Miner’s Reserve and Winslow Homer entered Sunday in the Curlin Stakes, an overnighter for 3 year olds at nine furlongs, they will still have the favorites in Fly Down (3-1) and A Little Warm (7-2).

Fly Down has an experience edge given his Dwyer win at today’s distance and an excellent effort in the Belmont Stakes. He’s also worked well for his return, but he’s using this clearly as a prep for the Travers.

A Little Warm, meanwhile, might be prepping here, too, but first things first. This is a Grade 2 for $500,000 and he still has something to prove in that context. And we think he’s up to the challenge.

His return run following the Louisiana Derby recently at Delaware Park was first rate and he worked brilliantly since. His tactical speed gives him an edge over his main rival, so for A Little Warm, today is his Travers. He must prove he’s up to the competition and must handle nine furlongs before even thinking about a classic distance.

Taking A Little Warm to win at 2-1 or greater, an exacta box with Fly Down, and adding Afleet Express to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (693) 222-141-97 Total Dollar Return: $1,551.10 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Friday, July 30, 2010

Fortune Shines On Jerkens’ FIlly

To the tune of Horse With No Name: Well I’ve looked through the program for a race with a name, it felt good to get out of some pain… It’s been a tough short week. And now, today’s seventh race, the Fleet Indien overnight sprint stakes, qualifies as a feature. And it’s a skull buster, too.

There’s some talent in the group but it’s hard to know just where they are. Thought about waking up Weathered, “arguably the best horse,” who hasn’t been the same mare since that Grade 2 at Laurel this winter. Sweet Lorena has excellent performance figures, but mainly on synthetics. Ed Barker has done super work with Meese Rocks but seven furlongs is uncharted territory on dirt.

So, we’ll take Shine Upon (5-1) to rebound to her best form. Jimmy Jerkens trainee is nowhere near as fast as most of her rivals here but she did win three straight to start her career and showed there is a little class about her. She appeared in need of her last and the race didn’t set up for her, a four horse field in which the winner was pretty dominant. She’s won going longer and Jerkens’ horses are running very well of late.

Taking Shine Upon to win at 3-1 or more, keying her first and second in exactas with the Mike Ferraro entry (either or both halves) and Weathered.

Running Totals: (693) 222-141-97 Total Dollar Return: $1,551.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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