John Pricci

HorseRaceInsider.com executive editor John Pricci has over three decades of experience as a thoroughbred racing public handicapper and was an award-winning journalist while at New York Newsday for 18 years.

John has covered 14 Kentucky Derbies and Preaknesses, all but three Breeders' Cups since its inception in 1984, and has seen all but two Belmont Stakes live since 1969.

Currently John is a contributing racing writer to MSNBC.com, an analyst on the Capital Off-Track Betting television network, and co-hosts numerous handicapping seminars. He resides in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Friday, January 26, 2018


Pegasus II: Rare Unanimity Among HRI Staffers


I can't get my guys to agree on anything, until Saturday's Pegasus that is.

As TJ notes, he's thrashed them all since Dubai and he believes the outside draw is an overrated negative.

Marko would agree in this case, noting that he has the speed to contend from any position.

Indulto is in a most-likely state of mind, with the 2017 Horse of the Year the most likely winner and West Coast the most likely to improve. Totally agree with both those assessments.

I'm picking here with both my head and my heart. A fan since he showed his honesty on the Triple Crown trail in 2016, Gun Runner became a man later that year and his effort in Dubai forced the Performance of the Year from no less than the good Arrogate.

It is the nature of this fascinating game that the Dubai World Cup was Gun Runner's breakthrough to greatness but for Arrogate, the Del Mar surface notwithstanding, emptied him out following the greatest four-race win streak I've seen in nearly five decades on the racetrack.

For me, his Dubai World Cup ranks right up there with Secretariat's tremendous-machine Belmont and Seattle Slew's uniquely courageous Jockey Club Gold Cup.

As a fan, not a bettor (see Saturday's Feature Race Analysis section for a Pegasus betting strategy), I'd love to see him win by five and go out leaving no doubts as to his newly achieved greatness. Having said that, I wouldn't say he can't lose. Why?

Because I've been around the game too long. With the very rare exception, they all get beat.

But, like Indulto, he is the most probable winner.

Go Champ, Go!


TOM JICHA

1. Gun Runner--He's thrashed all the main challengers. Post 10 way over-rated.
2. Stellar Wind--Chad Brown at 30-1. I'll take that every day.
3. Collected--Bob talking up West Coast. That make this "the other Baffert"
4. Gunnevera--He'll close for a small piece.


MARK BERNER

1. Gun Runner has speed to strike from contending position.
2. Collected will benefit from prep race.
3. West Coast figures in pace and can get part.
4. Gunnevera won here off a layoff last year.


INDULTO

1. Gun Runner – Most likely winner despite draw
2. West Coast – Draw benefited most likely improver
3. Gunnevera – Horse for course and pace
4. Seeking the Soul – Now horse at a price

JOHN PRICCI


1. Gun Runner – Undefeated since Dubai, champ goes out in still
2. Sharp Azteca – Unknown @ 9F but fastest early, very game, loves surface
3. West Coast – Sharp new Champ has 4YO upside, versatility, position, pilot
4. Collected -- Brilliant preps since San Antonio laugh-track; cannot ignore


Written by John Pricci

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