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.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Party in the Parx

Today’s Parx feature is interesting, the Valley Forge Stakes, an overnighter at six furlongs with several of these shipping in from all over the East Coast.

Clearly, Temecula Creek (2-1), by way of Aqueduct and Rudy Rodriguez, will get most of the play, a high percentage outfit that has a good record with its shippers, a horse that fits the speedy race shape and gets Cornelio Velasquez heading south on the Jersey Turnpike to take the re-ride.

Given that he figures to be overbet and the fact he’s coming back on short rest, we’ll look elsewhere and settle on Gattopardo (3-1). The concern with him is that he’s making his second start in two years off a winning return.

But we was given nearly six weeks recovery time for an outfit that‘s 18 percent in second-off-the-layoff scenarios, he’s worked rapidly for this and, graded stakes placed, might hold a class edge. He owns tactical speed and kick and was second in both Parx starts going long; the shorter distance should help in that regard.

Taking Gattopardo to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with Temecula Creek.

Running Totals: (774) 248-161-105 Total Dollar Return: $1,729.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, December 03, 2010

Nicole H. Deserves Another Chance

Today’s Big A feature is the Garland of Roses Handicap at six furlongs for three-year-old fillies and up. On paper it appears to be a battle among the top three fillies in post order: Love That Dance, Nicole H. and Tar Heel Mom.

Love That Dance (5-1) is a now filly that’s come into her own this fall for the streaking Ben Perkins barn. She owns good tactical speed and can kick, which will come in handy from her pole position.

The obvious class of the group is Tar Heel Mom (5-2), a graded stakes winner who owns a clear class edge and laudable win slate, but will be making her first start off a lengthy absence due to an injury. But with the trainer winless at the meet and an expected short price, we’ll look elsewhere.

And will find Nicole H. (3-1) who, despite training very well for her appearance in a restricted stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard, never had a chance to show what she could do.

She virtually lost all chance at the start after breaking tardily from an inside post in a speed laden sprint field. Trapped behind runners and racing inside on a cuppy, outside-closer’s surface, she simply never got untracked.

She’s worked well since returning home and Ramon Dominguez has accepted the re-ride, a positive sign for the beaten favorite. Would be surprised if she led this group throughout assuming a clean break.

Taking Nicole H. to win at 5-2 or greater and key-boxing her in exactas with her two rivals here.

Running Totals: (773) 247-161-105 Total Dollar Return: $1,723.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wild News Is Good News

Today’s secondary allowances-optional claimer for fillies and mares 3 & up at 6 furlongs on the winter track is quite competitive. On performance figures must of the top contenders could fit neatly under one blanket. And determining just how this race might develop at critical stages is just as challenging.

We’ll go for the gusto with a filly that’s been away since April but is training strongly for her return. While her performance figures are not quite as strong as her rivals to date, with added maturity she can be right in the mix.

Working very strongly and attracting Ramon Dominguez, Wild News (8-1) will either dictate tempo or sit off the speed until Ramon moves his hands. The only thing that seems certain is that you don’t want to take a short price in such a contentious group.

Taking Wild News to win at 4-1 or greater and key boxing her first and second with third-off-the-layup Fleeting Humor (5-1) and he sharp Purrfect Bluff (4-1) going turf to dirt and going first time for trainer Rick Dutrow.

Running Totals: (772) 246-161-105 Total Dollar Return: $1,703.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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