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, January 02, 2010

Pletcher Continues His Roll at Big A

Last year, it was a promising New York bred who first got to show his 3-year-old wares in the Count Fleet. New Year, same story, as Todd Pletcher’s outfit will continue to dominate the local stakes scene in New York.

Ibboyee (8-5) overcame a stumbling beginning and was an impressive winner of the state-bred Damon Runyon over this track, at today’s distance. Class drop notwithstanding, there’s no reason it can’t be déjà vu all over again.

He has the tools, the figures and the style--and his inside draw and Ramon Dominguez won’t hurt either. In good conscience we can’t go against him. But we can make some money if a Pha. Park shipper gets in the number.

Afleet Again (15-1) is not as fast as these but is developing beautifully, making incremental improvement, and is learning how to distribute his energy. The race he comes out of produced a winner from two subsequent starters. Only knock is the post.

Taking Ibboyee to win, no price restrictions, and taking Afleet Again to complete exactas and trifectas.

Running Totals: (569) 178-116-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,227.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, January 01, 2010

Start 2010 with Pletcher’s Filly

In today’s New Year’s feature at Aqueduct, it appears, just like on the final day of racing in 2009, trainer Todd Pletcher has himself to beat.

In a very uninspiring five-horse sprint, we normally might, under today’s circumstances, opt for the weight switch of five pounds that favors Distorted Passion over Awesome Ashley.

But given the small field and probably of a contested pace, running style and post position, we give the edge to Awesome Ashley, who came from far back to beat her stablemate on Dec. 5.

‘Ashley’ is highly likely do so again under Rosie Napravnik, who proved last out that she really gets along with this miss.

Taking Awesome Ashley to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with Distorted Passion.

Running Totals: (568) 178-115-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,227.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nighty Nite 2009

The final stakes race for 2009 in New York is the venerable Gallant Fox Handicap, a race that used to be much sought after and now, an ungraded curtain closer. Nevertheless, it has drawn a full field of older horses over the marathon route of 13 furlongs--that’s a mile and five-eighths, a long way indeed.

The temptation is to throw deep on the last day of the year, especially in a large field on this somewhat narrow oval. But we cannot in good conscience. You can play this one over and over and it still comes up Nite Light, the 8-5 overnight choice. Let’s count the ways.

The first thing that stands out is that he won this race by 10 lengths as a 3-year-old of 2007, his only start at the distance. He’s not tasted defeat in two winner-track starts, drops down out of the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, and has been freshened and reserved for this by a barn, Todd Pletcher’s, that’s a worthy 37% at this meet.

Add Ramon Dominguez to the mix and he’s very formidable indeed but don‘t expect to make a fortune to close out the year.

Taking Nite Light to win at 3-2 or greater and keying him first and second in multiple with two uncoupled stablemates; fast working Tiger’s Rock (12-1), with the hot David Cohen in the boot, and Atoned (4-1), making his third start off a layup for an outfit that’s a profitable 28% in that role. Further, add game old pro Lord Kipling (12-1) to the mix, who will dictate the pace as far as C. C. Lopez and the 6-year-old’s heart will take him.

Running Totals: (567) 178-114-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,227.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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