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, October 18, 2010

No Pace? Don’t Worry Be Happy

An interesting, albeit trappy feature at Parx today, a “three other/than optional claimers at six furlongs, six horses trained by virtually every 25 percent trainer in the Delaware Valley.

Most interesting is the fact that on the past performance page, not a single horse has won going wire to wire; close, but not by definition. That makes it a rider’s race, meaning any choice would be an educated guess in terms of how the race develops.

Our best play is to side with perennial leading rider Frankie Pennington and trainer Anthony Dutrow, a highly successful team at this venue. Second favorite Happy Bull (3-1) looks solid.

In fact, Pennington and Dutrow are 4 for their last 12 starters while the trainer is a stunning 7-for-13 with his Delaware shippers into Parx. But most significant is that this four-year-old is forward looking on performance figures; even a repeat of either of his last two would be good enough here.

The Parx linemaker priced this field anywhere from 5-2 to 6-1 on the rank outsider, it’s that wide open.

Taking Happy Bull to win at 2-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (745) 240-155-100 Total Dollar Return: $1,653.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, October 15, 2010

Over There; Over Here

The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is always a great horse race and this year’s renewal lives to the it’s storied past. The 2010 edition vs. an East meets West matchup between Check the Label (3-1) and Evening Jewel (5-2).

The preference between those two would be Graham Motion’s filly, who’s proven a tad faster thus far, vs. Evening Jewel who’s coming off the super firm SoCal turf. Keeneland is a different deal altogether.

But adding John Shirreffs, the man who never ships, to the equation, I would use Harmonious (4-1), who had too much to do when beaten by Jewel less than a length last time.

However, we’re going in an entirely different direction with European shipper Zagora (3-1), who’s been Group 1 toughened in Europe, has been pointed toward this, attracts hot riding Julien and, most significantly, turns back to her most effective distance. Europeans have been dominating on this continent all year; no reason why the trend can’t continue here.

Taking Zagora to win at early line odds of 3-1 or greater, exacta boxes with Harmonious and Check the Label, and keying her first and second in trifectas with both fillies, adding Evening Jewel to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (743) 240-154-100 Total Dollar Return: $1,653.20 [win selections only] {Friday‘s results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Left on West Ocean to Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Handicappers won’t need a search warrant to locate the favorite in today’s Franklin County turf sprint for fillies and mares at Keeneland. Clearly, Todd Pletcher’s West Ocean (8-5) is the fastest and arguably most accomplished. Owning tactical speed and an inside slip, she should be in position to win throughout under Johnny V.

But it’s Broken Dreams (5-1) which looms the most interesting. A lightly raced 4-year-old, she’s never taken a backwards step on turf, coming into her own this summer at Saratoga, impressing favorably in her last, the Lena Spencer, which has produced three next-out winners.

Bumped at the break from the rail in a bulky field, losing what figured to be good position, she rallied very strongly late and failed by a length to catch the uber talented and consistent Rose Catherine. Garrett Gomez takes the re-ride on the Tom Proctor trainee, who’s worked very well on the Keeneland Poly in preparation for this.

Taking Broken Dreams to win at 4-1 or more, an exacta box with West Ocean, and keying her first and second in trifectas with West Ocean, Canadian Ballet (6-1) and Silver Time (12-1).

Running Totals: (743) 240-154-100 Total Dollar Return: $1,653.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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