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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Turf or Dirt: We’re Ready

Interesting sprint feature at Gulfstream Park today, five furlongs on turf featuring some very quick horses. And if the race gets rained off the grass, so much the better.

The favorite is making his return off a long layup. Leavenworth (2-1) hasn’t been out since impressing most favorably on the West Coast but is now on the right side of the country going first time for trainer Wayne Catalano, who’s a profitable 35% in this spot and is training up a storm locally, his most recent work third fastest of 105 at the distance that week.

Then there’s Cognito (3-1), making his second start off a layup for Michael Maker, a 28% proposition and attracts Julien Leparoux. His last here was excellent and should set him up nicely for today’s test.

But it’s the undefeated Elusive Rob (6-1) that’s the most interesting. Normally we avoid turf debut types and proven grass runners but not so in these dashes where early speed is as important as pedigree--maybe more so.

As a son of Elusive Quality, he should take to the turf, he had a very sharp breeze at his Calder base and trainer Steven DiMauro is very adept in these third-off-the-layup scenarios. The rail position doesn’t hurt under these conditions and his “cheap” company lines should insure bettable odds.

Taking Elusive Rob to win at 6-1 or greater, and keying him first and second in exactas with his main rivals here.

IF RACE RESCHEDULED FOR DIRT: Taking Immortal Eyes to win at 3-1 or more.

Running Totals: (610) 189-124-85 Total Dollar Return: $1,309.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

When In the Windy City….

The thing about the new Tuesday through Saturday schedule is the opportunity to look at tracks from different parts of the country. Today’s foray takes us to Cicero, Illinois for the allowance feature at Hawthorne, which provide not only at chance to defeat the likely post time favorite but perhaps find value in the multiple pools despite the short field.

The early favorite for today’s fifth race is recent maiden breaker On The Sneak (2-1), for the 31% at the meet barn of Larry Rivelli. And given his top figure opening Equiform Compression Line would be an almost automatic choice. But coming back on 17 days rest we believe leaves him a bit vulnerable despite his perceived advantage.

Then, when you factor in that jockey LaSala abandons him to ride the returning Windy City Cat (5-2) for Wayne Catalano, the gelding who broke maiden beneath LaSala over this surface, adds to the intrigue. Further, he’s coming in off an improved effort given a New Pace Top with sufficient rest and a sharp recent blowout and we have the makings of a minor upset.

Taking Windy City Cat at 2-1 or greater and making a 2x3 exacta and trifecta part-wheel of Windy City Cat and On The Sneak first with those two and sharp-working Prairie Breeze (8-1) for second and third.

Running Totals: (609) 189-124-85 Total Dollar Return: $1,309.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Waters Not Too Deep for Kettle River

Today’s sub-feature--but significant Kentucky Derby prep--on the Santa Anita Handicap card is the Grade 3 Sham for three year olds at nine furlongs.

After taking a second look following the re-draw of last week’s canceled stakes, the conclusion is basically the same; that Kettle River will be hell to pay here.

Since debuting in a Saratoga sprint last summer, he’s found a home out West, breaking his maiden on Hollywood turf then transferring that good form onto Santa Anita’s Pro Ride.

What was interesting about that allowance score is that he seemed to move a tad prematurely yet still showed the class and determination to hang on for the win in his surface debut.

Subsequently, he’s returned to work strongly and boasts a pedigree that will welcome today’s added sixteenth of a mile. Before we start knocking Brice Blanc, who’s riding at 5 percent for the meet, consider he’s 2-for-2 on the Eoin Harty colt and his presence insures fair odds.

Taking Kettle River to win and place at 6-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (607) 189-124-84 Total Dollar Return: $1,309.90 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


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