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.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dance Ballerina Dance

Fascinating renewal of the Grade 1 Ballerina for older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs, a race that’s never easily won. It features one very fast filly, G1 winner Mistical Plan (5-2), and a couple interesting price chances, Intangaroo (5-1) and Jibboom (12-1).

Mistical Plan exploded to win the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder which traditionally attracts some of the country’s best female sprinters. When you rattle off a :44-and-change over that surface, even in summer, you’re rolling. That kind of speed translates well to 7 furlongs here, where it’s possible to speed pop and disappear from view. Nicely drawn toward trhe outside of mid-pack, the aggressive Cornelio Velasquez should dictate to the field.

Intangaroo burst on the national scene with a strong late run to win the G1 Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard. She repeats that same pattern here as she goes from synthetic surface to dirt, returning to her optimal distance. She is laudably versatile, winning from on or way off the pace and had a brilliant blowout at her Del Mar base for this.

Jibboom repeats a winning turf to dirt pattern while making her second start off a long layup. Interesting that she raced on turf here, frontrunning but tiring, which has been the way both courses have played the entire meet. Bobby Frankel is very adept with both the turn back and turf to dirt angle, and this filly did, after all, win the G2 Raven Run in her only start at this trip. Such aggressiveness is worth noting.

Consider betting two fillies here, taking Mistical Plan at 2-1 or greater and a longshot play of Jibboom at 10-1 or more. Making an exacta box using these three.

Running Totals: (260) 80-51-30. Total Dollar Return: $485.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hitting It Big in the Travers

See Friday's Saratoga Diary for Complete Travers 139 Analysis. Suggested plays: Macho Uno to win at 6-1 or greater. Longshot Play: Tale of Ekati twin at 15-1 or more. Key both in all money positions in exotic pools.

Written by John Pricci


Friday, August 22, 2008

A Personal Showdown

Unlike tomorrow’s Travers, which is a great betting race, not so today’s Grade 1 Personal Ensign. But don’t sell the excitement level short. This two horse race on paper, just like the Alabama, could turn out to be a highly dramatic affair. The great equalizer is the 10-furlong distance.

G1 Go for Wand winner Ginger Punch (4-5) is a champion and she’s never lost a race at Saratoga. There were anxious moments in the Go for Wand when she had nowhere to go for the longest time. But Rafael Bejarano never panicked and his filly never wavered, bursting through a seem and drew away late. Despite an amazing career, she’s never been asked to go this far.

Unbridled Belle (9-5) has, on five occasions, hitting the board three times and winning once, last year’s G2 Delaware Handicap. Making her third start off a layup for Todd Pletcher, who got Wait A While back in top form and into the winner’s circle, she goes postward with Ramon Dominguez, who really gets along with her. The former has a class and speed edge; the latter an edge at the distance. May the best mare win.

Taking Ginger Punch to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Unbridled Belle.

Running Totals: (258) 79-51-30. Total Dollar Return: $481.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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