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, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks for a Maryland Shipper

The history of the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature in New York, the Fall Highweight Handicap, is rife with upsets. It’s not always easy to predict the tactics that will prevail because sometimes jockeys and trainers overreact to the fact their horses are carrying imposts that they’re simply not used to toting.

There aren’t many who doubt that Go Go Shoot (5-2) is the speed of the speed, has accomplished the most, is well drawn, and in Johnny Velazquez not only has a rider who’s hot but wins as many races with his brains and he does with his skill. He’ll know how to rate this speedster, but that doesn’t mean some of the lighter weights won’t apply pressure throughout given the favorite‘s 134-pound package.

Given the abundance of speed, the race shape figures to suit ship-in Greenspring (5-1) very well. A late developing four-year-old toting 125, he is 4-for-5 lifetime, has won two starts beneath Jeremy Rose, is well drawn outside, never has taken a backward step on the Bris scale, and has the kind of close-up, stalk-and-finish style that suits today’s parameters. He might even fall between the wagering cracks.

Taking Greenspring to win at 9-2 or greater, and boxing him in the exacta with Go Go Shoot, who might get an able assist from The Roundhouse, a stablemate who will be coming from left field trying to nail the speed.

Running Totals: (549) 171-107-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,190.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We Believe in Mott

Today’s Aqueduct feature, a non-winners of one allowances for fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs is interesting, even if there isn’t a name attached to it. Ultimately, whether I cash or not depends on the confidence I have in Bill Mott to bring a horse back after a layoff since 2008. Since he’s 24 percent efficient with layups of 90 + days, this isn’t a stretch for me.

Sheikh’s Serenade (5-2) is extremely well bred and, on what she’s shown thus far, talented, too. The figure she earned in her juvenile debut was faster than anyone’s run here, and she did it off the bench; today’s scenario. She’s been working bullets for this and doesn’t appear to be a filly that’s “going to need one.”

Taking Sheikh’s Serenade to win at 8-5 or greater and keying her first and second in exotics with Qualia (7-2), an impressive winner of her sloppy track debut, and Kissa Melissa (2-1), who earns remarkably consistent, and fast, performance figures.

Running Totals: (548) 170-107-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,181.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Groomedforvictory Well Spotted, Well Named

The feature at the Big A today is the Study Hard for state-breds going a mile on the main track. Law Enforcement (9-5) is the early favorite and for good reason; by definition he’s the fastest horse attracting Alan Garcia. But taking a short price on a horse inexperienced over the track and who failed to hit the board in his only start going this far doesn’t make sense.

If you were classifying here and were looking for an early line that looked a bit out of line, you would find Naughty New Yorker (5-1), who’s cut his teeth on tougher virtually throughout his career, had an impossible trip in the Empire Classic and has won on this track twice and at the distance thrice. But we still believe he’s more two turns than one.

The only alternative left is Groomedforvictory (5-2) who could not be sharper, has never been off the board in five starts at the distance with three wins and never worse than second in three Aqueduct appearances. Seeking his third straight and with a bullet work for this rise in class and Dominguez on the re-ride, we don’t see we have any alternative.

Taking Groomedforvictory to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exotics with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (546) 168-107-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,167.40 [win selections only] {Saturday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


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