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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Sunday, October 02, 2016


Potent Prep Performances from Coast to Coast


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, October 2, 2016—If Saturday's first salvo in a series of “Super Saturday” Breeders' Cup prep programs is any indication, the seminal events figure to be something truly special.

And it all started with the latest embodiment of what “America’s Horse” should look like. Or, as race caller Michael Wrona described it: “California Chrome was awesome again in the Awesome Again.”

Never has the brilliant five-year-old chestnut been better than he is right now. The same can no longer be said of champion mare Beholder. The six-year-old mare is still extremely competitive and someday might even benefit from her preferred stalking trip.

But make no mistake: Four-year-old Stellar Wind is for real. And as for Songbird making it a three-way in the Distaff? Well, she’s Songbird after all.

In New York, the glitz was less shiny. In some cases, a lot less.

It was clear on the final turn of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic that the mighty Flintshire was struggling on the wet ground. His fans and backers now must wait until his feet hit Santa Anita's new billiard-table turf carpet at Santa Anita. Thus far it looks and acts as advertised; a great surface

In the Grade 1 Vosburgh, speedy longshot Green Gratto took the rapid X Y Jet by the throatlatch early and set the table for late runners on a sealed wet track that did the favorite no favors. Still, we thought he should have hung in there a little bit longer.

While European turf runners routinely clean the clock of their American rivals, it will take their best to handle impressive juvenile Oscar Performance, who appears all set for an Eclipse Award leading role in the Juvenile Turf.

As for older dirt mares, It might not have been the most sterling edition of the G1 Personal Ensign ever staged. Either that or goo-loving Forever Unbridled made the competition look ineffectually outclassed. She was brilliant, taking the lead entering the stretch while Joel Rosario sat motionless.

Out West, Klimt made his pre-race notices seem hyperbolic when measured against his Forerunner performance. In fairness, his tardy beginning did him no favors, nor did the wide rally to follow. And it’s very possible that 2-for-2 Gromley is the better prospect five weeks from now, and in 2017. John Sheriffs’ charge is certainly interesting in that context.

Can’t say the same about the Chandelier fillies, however. It was a two-speed number all the way around as chaser Noted and Quoted got the best of rail-running pacesetter With Honors in deep stretch.

The result was a lot like the Awesome Again and Zenyatta as frontrunners dominated the order of finish. Yes, they were the best horses on paper, but the Chandelier fillies were 7-1 and 9-1, respectively, needing a final sixteenth in a breathless 07.15 to get their jobs done.

Aside from the benefit of a race over the BC track, nothing in the Grade 1 mile and a sixteenth should scare away any would-be challengers.

As for G1 turf fillies and mares in California, the same can be said of uber sharp, superbly prepared Avenge. She was life and death to get the final sixteenth of the 1-1/4 mile Rodeo Drive.

At Churchill Downs, it’s hard to imagine even the much maligned and racing’s favorite PC punching bag, Maria Borell, doing less to prepare champion Runhappy to run a flat mile in his first start since last year’s BC Sprint.

Admittedly, the Churchill surface was wet fast and demanding, and Runhappy was pressed much of the way from the inside by Mr. Z. Approaching the 3/8s, Edgar Prado let out a notch of rein and Runhappy responded but never shook clear.

Ridden hard in deep stretch, he could not hold third after the well prepped Tom’s Ready, loaded on the backside throughout beneath B.J. Hernandez, took command from the 4-path soon after entering the straight.

Iron Fist finished very well late to secure the place and galloped out with good energy. He can go forward off the effort. But as far as stretching Runhappy out, or even returning in the Dirt Mile, the inclination off Saturday’s performance is to not bother.

Of course, there could have been some mental rust at play and the trip would indicate that Runhappy did enough to get fit to make a defense of his Sprint title. Whether he’s the same horse, however, is anyone’s guess at this point.

Sunday morning at Chantilly made for great racing on TV, four races including the lynchpin Prix de L’arc de Triomphe. The early card featured two noteworthy performances.

National Defense, Criquette Head’s “best two-year-old,” was impressive. He was a relaxed leader that in the end showed a sharp turn of foot and more than enough stamina for the trip.

Arc winner Found is a special mare. Last year’s defending BC champion burst through a narrow seam and powered home, continuing her history of success over male rivals.

While no Arc winner ever repeated in the Breeders’ Cup, she could be over the top and still handle American fillies, unless some of her European peers have something to say about that.

Back home, the Florida Sires Stakes series continues to grow in both stature and box office. Saturday’s Final Sire Stakes card was up 53% year over year. The day’s all-sources handle was $9.4 million.

Commerce for the entire 3-day series, launched on August 6, represented a 41% increase for the combined trio.

Additionally, total handle for the Summer Meet that began April 4 and ended Saturday was up 14% year over year. Gulfstream Summer booked nearly $557 million in bets.

Beyond that, Saturday’s nominal feature had national implications. Three Rules remained undefeated becoming the fourth male to sweep the Sires Stakes series since the 1984 inaugural. He won the three races by a combined 22-1/2 lengths, taking his two turn In Reality debut by 10 dominating lengths.

Thirty two years ago, Smile was the first juvenile colt to sweep the series and two years later won the BC Sprint. There’s a chance that Three Rules won’t have to take that long. Think five weeks hence.

Coming Tuesday: Racing Rules Need Amending; Officials Need to Do Their Job


Sires Stakes Notable Finishes from Saturday October 1


RACE 10 MY DEAR GIRL STAKES 2YO Fillies 1-1/16 Miles

5-Dude Fantasy (6-1): Earned competitive PER in MSW debut, has two-turn pedigree, and returned in nine days for first of three works for this; Tyler on re-ride for top juvenile connects. (won, 9.80)
6-Surprise Wedding (10-1): Trainer Fawkes took complete base on balls vs. maiden claimers in very educational winning debut; ears pricking and geared down at finish. Way up in class and distance but showed high promise. Check replay for yourself. (2nd, $2 ex.133.60)
11-Fleet Dude (12-1): Snatched victory from defeat’s jaws in two-turn maiden breaker on turf in Indiana last out. Super trainer Cox has [4] 2-1-0 slate shipping here and is field’s lone starter with two two-turn runs. Attracts Cornelio; very interesting. (3rd, $1 Tri 617.60)

RACE 11 PANAMA CITY STAKES F&M 1 Mile TURF

4-Jodesanimaux (15-1): And yet another course lover—3-for-4 here, 1-for-7 anywhere else--and last win was at this trip. Ships in off two WO preps for Casse and Panici has been riding this course well recently. Appears well intended and at a square price, too. (won, 17.80)
11-Dad’s Princess (12-1): Uncoupled Biancone runner showed marked improvement in last after removal of blinkers. A course winner, mini-turnback suits her well; owns two sharp breezes and Cornelio sticks. Things to like. (2nd, $2 ex. 207.60)

RACE 12 IN REALITY STAKES 2YO 1-1/16 Miles

2-Three Rules (3-5): Four-for-four lifetime with Cornelio, overcoming hoof issues, a fever, and a popped abscess winning his last. Has more than enough speed and pedigree for this. Blowout fastest of 57 peers last week. Nicely drawn and Pinchin barn profitable first-time long and in non-graded stakes. (won, 2.60)
3-Thegreatcollection (12-1): After beating maiden claimers here, went to Evangeline and won a wet-track sprint stakes, remaining undefeated. Barn 33% profitable with potential repeaters but not known for ability with stretch-outs. (2nd, $2 ex. 20.40)

RACE 13 MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT 2YO F 7-1/2 Furlongs TURF

3-Bella Vincenza (3-1): Showed improvement in last two starts after adding first-Lasix then blinkers subsequently. Strong half mile breeze for this since recent tough trip, his style suits the dynamics and is drawn favorably for Gold and Panici. (won, 5.60)
5-Aquemini (9-2): Suffered through wide journey when second in 5F debut on grass vs 10 rivals. Nicks 24% profitable with second-timers and a worthy 32% with second-timers on turf. Gaffalione sticks, good energy distribution in debut and bottom side goes long. Value at early line odds. (2nd, $2 ex. 17.40)
6-Pachamanca (20-1): Finished well when third to Aquemini in 5F turf debut then lost all chance on first turn in subsequent two-turner at this trip vs. males, a race producing a next out winner from as many starters. Back with fillies with switch to apprentice and first-Lasix. Exotic prospects. (3rd, 18-1. $1 Tri 82.00)



Written by John Pricci

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Friday, September 30, 2016


54 Entrants in Gulfstream Late Pick 4 + Free Square Too?


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, October 1, 2016

Reprint Via Promotional Agreement with http://www.123BET.com

RACE 10 MY DEAR GIRL STAKES 2YO Fillies 1-1/16 Miles


1-Larryandpearlslucy (30-1): Authoritative debut winner at Mountaineer over even money rival is bred to go long and gets confident placement from barn that’s 31% first-time going long. Long pedigree and pole position; consider exotics slot only at huge odds.
2-Sweet Tooth Haven (5-1): Trainer Gold said taking her out of her best speed game in Susan’s Girl was a mistake. Fastest on Pricci Energy and Thoro-Graph scales and will be on engine from inside post. Improvement expected.
3-Katinka (15-1): Had no excuses when second vs. maidens last out, albeit colts, and barn is profitable with stretch-outs. Dynamics put her between a rock and hard place.
4-Hello Juliet (20-1): Finished well too late for 4th in bulky Desert Vixen matchup behind undefeated favorite here. Owns stretchout pedigree, good spacing, and solid works at GPW base.
5-Dude Fantasy (6-1): Earned competitive PER in MSW debut, has two-turn pedigree, and returned in nine days for first of three works for this; Tyler on re-ride for top juvenile connects.
6-Surprise Wedding (10-1): Trainer Fawkes took complete base on balls vs. maiden claimers in very educational winning debut; ears pricking and geared down at finish. Way up in class and distance but showed high promise. Check replay; exotics potential.
7-Katira (20-1): Finished evenly in both lifetime starts while never threatening to break maiden. Good connects but extremely tall task here.
8-Stormy Embrace (12-1): Placed gamely behind today’s favorite despite racing greenly while wide in deep stretch in sloppy 7-furlongs last out. Had purposeful and solid mile breeze for this at GPW base.
9-Grandma Maria (30-1): Beat 11 rivals while making two moves on the lead, proving much the best before coming back with very sharp breeze 7 days later. Win came at $16K maiden-claiming level, however.
10-U S Diva (8-1): Had tough trip on sealed wet surface in Susan’s Girl going 7 furlongs following game placing behind favorite in Desert Vixen prior. Has the right style but a little light on two-turn family.
11-Fleet Dude (12-1): Snatched victory from defeat’s jaws in two-turn maiden breaker on turf in Indiana last out. Super trainer Cox has [4] 2-1-0 slate shipping here and is field’s lone starter with two two-turn runs. Attracts Cornelio; very interesting.
12-Stop the Drama (30-1): Stretches out from two turf sprints for low profile outfit that’s 4-for-12 making route debuts and also is 2-for-5 with second-Lasix runners. But unable to handle maiden claimers last out.
13-Cajun Delta Dawn (2-1): Four-for-four lifetime, has versatility and a bulldog refuse-to-lose heart. Seeking to become only second filly to sweep filly series [Awesome Feather]. Has top connects but post an absolute killer here. Need closer to 3-1 for straight play.

RACE 11 PANAMA CITY STAKES F&M 1 Mile TURF

1-Kiss to Remember (5-1): Lamentable seconditis tendency but last two on turf here were good, now gets mini-turnback to most effective trip. Pole sitting and picking up Juarez. Wolfson profitable at non-graded-stakes level.
2-Susie Bee (9-2): In from KY for turf ace Maker and 4YO loves it here; 3-for-9, 1-for-6 elsewhere, and is a three-time winner at the trip. Recent breeze fastest among peers that week over CD’s training track. Valdivia suits her style.
3-Pink Poppy (7-2): Another course lover that won at slightly longer trip with Zayas at this level SEP 3. Breezed sharply since with Edgard on the re-ride for owner-trainer tandem having very solid 2016.
4-Jodesanimaux (15-1): And yet another course lover—3-for-4 here, 1-for-7 anywhere else--and last win was at this trip. Ships in off two WO preps for Casse and Panici has been riding this course well recently. Appears well intended and at a square price, too.
5-Coboclo do Rio (30-1): Low profile connect is 8-for-27 most recently with second-time newcomers. Second-Lasix here also and, while winless, has three exacta finishes in seven grass starts, two at the trip. In-the-money prospect at huge odds.
6-Determined Lady (8-1): Extremely sharp right now, is 4-for-14 lifetime, all on this course, including two wins at the trip. Castro/Fawkes effective team here and 3YO gets five to seven pounds from older rivals. Strong upside potential.
7-Vendita (20-1): Two-for-11 lifetime--both wins this course and distance. Biancone has been live this summer, profitable in 2016 and with repeaters overall. Young Lane Luzzi is 8-for-19 through Wednesday. Certainly not impossible, and a price.
8-Sweetie Girl (20-1): Lone win in two years came at optional level at the trip in July but has shown no real course affinity--or for this level of competition.
9-Daring Kathy (4-1): Has earned nearly a half-million the hard way and is a course [9] 4-2-0 and a trip lover [8] 4-0-1, but has had better seasons. Winner two back a tough read in this spot and looms possible underlay.
10-Killer Bird (20-1): Simon’s horses have been outrunning odds all year, is 4-for-12 in non-graded stakes and profitable when going dirt to turf. Rispoli aboard for both recent wins.
11-Dad’s Princess (12-1): Uncoupled Biancone runner showed marked improvement in last after removal of blinkers. A course winner, mini-turnback suits her well; owns two sharp breezes and Cornelio sticks. Things to like.
12-Truth (10-1): Late developing 3YO was second here last winter for Chad now goes first-time Wolfson (20% effective) after chasing pace throughout Spa’s Riskaverse following maiden win prior. Two sharp local works and this appears easier; interesting.
13-Untrue (6-1): MAIN TRACK ONLY


RACE 12 IN REALITY STAKES 2YO 1-1/16 Miles


1-Don’t Come Knockin (30-1): Hard pressed to break maiden at 30K level last out.
2-Three Rules (3-5): Four-for-four lifetime with Cornelio, overcoming hoof issues, a fever, and a popped abscess winning his last. Has more than enough speed and pedigree for this. Blowout fastest of 57 peers last week. Nicely drawn and Pinchin barn profitable first-time long and in non-graded stakes.
3-Thegreatcollection (12-1): After beating maiden claimers here, went to Evangeline and won a wet-track sprint stakes, remaining undefeated. Barn 33% profitable with potential repeaters but not known for ability with stretch-outs.
4-Front Loaded (6-1): Three Rules’ stablemate was third then second to him in first two legs of the series. Finished length behind mate in recent company work and picks up Tyler. Likely will try trip-sitting from inside here.
5-Illmatic (15-1): Still a maiden but just missed with game, grinding finish in 7F debut. Running action connotes potential ability to go long; Nicks 24% profitable with second-time starters. Loses Tyler but picks up Juarez. Money prospects but need early odds +.
6-He’s the One (30-1): Goes turf to dirt for barn that historically has done well with youngsters. Twice received two-turn experience and is among the most stoutly bred runners in the group. Another in-the-money consideration at huge price.
7-Western Journey (20-1): Was extremely well schooled in debut; going outside, inside, out and back in again, making rail rally win at 7 furlongs over maiden claimers. Valdivia suits this long-strider’s late run style. Energy Rating indicates exacta finish potential.
8-El Cacique (50-1): Beaten combined 32 lengths at huge odds in two lifetime starts.
9-Mr. Pinocchio (20-1): Broke maiden at special-weights level on turf but that was rounding two turns and has come back to work with purpose twice for Biancone since, including solid 5/8s from gate. Picks up young Luzzi.
10-Sunshine N Shadow (12-1): Set reasonably moderate pace to win debut at 7 furlongs over Illmatic. Top connects and a bullet half mile for this but figures to be chasing and gets a wide draw; very tough dynamics.
11-Legacy Azteca (10-1): Has been 7/8s twice and was third with wide rally behind ‘Rules’ in the Affirmed. PERs improving incrementally, has the style and owns strong, bottom-side pedigree for the trip. Another solid exacta player.
12-Love My Cotton (20-1): Uncoupled O’Connell entrant raced very wide chasing Three Rules in the Dr. Fager but never threatened. Has been clearly pointed here but is another that’s been killed by wide draw.


RACE 13 MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT 2YO F 7-1/2 Furlongs TURF


1-Dar Motivos (30-1): Turf pedigree both sides and bred to run up a mountainside but connections not known for early developing types. Jock riding at 6% this year.
2-Ballyhoo Moon (6-1): Sat a good trip in longer turf debut then finished one-paced through lane thereafter. Should benefit from the effort and the turnback, Nicks 32% effective second-time turf, gets Juarez, but this is a salty group. Looks up against it.
3-Bella Vincenza (3-1): Showed improvement in last two starts after adding first-Lasix then blinkers subsequently. Strong half mile breeze for this since recent tough trip, his style suits the dynamics and is drawn favorably for Gold and Panici; Castro jumped off.
4-Ready to Zap (4-1): Goes second-time turf for Casse (19%), also 22% profitable with second-timers in all categories. Made strong, wide rally from far back going 5/8s in course debut SEP 10 and is bred both sides for longer, as are barn and Cornelio.
5-Aquemini (9-2): Suffered through wide journey when second in 5F debut on grass vs 10 rivals. Nicks 24% profitable with second-timers and a worthy 32% with second-timers on turf. Gaffalione sticks, good energy distribution in debut and bottom side goes long. Value at early line odds.
6-Pachamanca (20-1): Finished well when third to Aquemini in 5F turf debut then lost all chance on first turn in subsequent two-turner at this trip vs. males, a race producing a next out winner from as many starters. Back with fillies with switch to apprentice ad first-Lasix. Exotic prospects.
7-Debbies Cute Ghost (10-1): Raced won paced vs. five rivals in debut going 1-1/16 miles on turf behind repeat winner. Loses Cornelio but attracts Leyva for hot Dwoskin outfit—four for last 10 through Wednesday’s races. Has worked thrice for this since.
8-Check Out Gilda (8-1): is a well-bred newcomer for top connections (Calabrese/Biancone) and attracts hot apprentice for barn that’s two for its last six with turf-debut types. Purposeful and solid workline at PMM base, including turf bullet around dogs AUG 24.
9-Spring for More (20-1): Is bred well enough for turf on top side but mare has had six winners from as many starters, including a stakes winner, but those sibs are winless on turf.
10-Silvera (15-1): Showed improvement when stretched to this distance in last despite tough trip. Has been working strongly with blinkers but meets much tougher set here.
11-Cotton Tooyah (30-1): Gets blinkers for second start but lacks both nature and nurture for winning turf debut.
12-Bionsway (30-1): Was eliminated on second turn at this trip in debut but was tiring at that juncture and meets much tougher group here.
13-AE-Ivy Lovely (5-2): Just missed with strong, wide rally in turf-sprint debut now stretches out with suitable bottom-side pedigree for barn that’s profitable with second-time turfers and three of her four sibs have won on grass. Post will hurt if draws in.
14-AE-Starship Tribbles (15-1): Never made an impression racing last of 10 throughout turf-sprint debut. But Castro sticks with hot Dwoskin shed adding blinkers. Three winning sibs have all won on turf; interests at a price.
15-AE-Sweet Abdication (5-1): Set pace going a mile on turf in last two starts, holding fairly well. Meets tougher and dynamics hurt badly given potential wide draw.
16-AE-Lancaster (15-1): Gets positive rider switch and Bates turfers outrun their odds but this is hardly the spot to turn things around.

See Saturday's Feature Race Analysis section for On-the-Record Selections


Florida Sires Stakes Handicapping Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSbA4vszR6Y&feature=youtu.be

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, September 23, 2016


Pennsylvania Derby All Stakes Pick 4


Reprinted Courtesy of Promotional Agreement with http://www.123BET.com

LAST WEEK WOODBINE MILE PICK 4 SEPTEMBER 17, 2016

RACE 9 Maiden Claiming 6-1/2 Furlongs

5-Ratface Macdougall (6-1) Been showing improved speed with each subsequent start, just missing in last. Has bullet work for this but added sixteenth unlikely to help. Recent blowout fastest of 10 for the week here. (won, 6-1)
8-Sir Bronx (3-1) Carroll barn en fuego recent and is 35% effective with its beaten claimers. Late developing 3YO gelding has improved since dropping to this level for last two. Solid works and Contreras on a return call; obvious must use. (2nd, 5-2)

RACE 10 Grade 1 NORTHERN DANCER 1-1/2 MILES TURF

7-The Pizza Man (8-1) Hasn’t delivered [sorry] since taking Del Mar G2 last fall. Prolific winner is a worthy (9) 3-0-2 at the trip but has not hit the board in either WO appearance. Recent AP work 4th fastest of 47 peers last week. (won, 5-1)
4-Wake Forest (5-2) Talented but has been somewhat enigmatic this season despite winning G1 Man o’ War this spring at Belmont. Solid recent works since tough-trip Million try and gets switch to Irad. Anticipating big last-run finish. (2nd, 5-2)

RACE 11 Allowances 1-1/16 MILES

3-Milwaukee Mist (4-1) 1-for-1 following barn change to Attfield who enjoys success going turf to AW, this runner’s preferred surface. Raffy Hernandez looking for repeat winning ride. (won, 7-2)
1-Cito (8-1) Barn is profitable with its AW performers but has struggled this meet. Three lifetime wins here and loves the trip with five exacta finishes including two wins. Just missed vs. weaker in last but Da Silva sticks; mixed signals. (2nd, 7-1)

RACE 12 Grade 1 WOODBINE MILE TURF

8-Tepin (1-2) Queen of the Turf, literally and figuratively, seeks eighth straight victory, fifth G1 since streak began last fall and her third over males. Wisely given time following arduous Queen Anne score. Outside draw provides Leparoux with options. Obvious one to beat, but this still a prep for defense of 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile title (won, 2-5)
1-Tower of Texas (20-1) Finished well too late [see replay] when second in G2 Play King prepping for this August 20, a race producing one next-out winner from two starters. Won the King Edward at the trip last year... (2nd, 23-1)
2-Mutakayyef (7-2) Has been a different horse this season, winning Group 2 Summer Mile two back before a very game third vs. Postponed in York’s G1 Juddmonte International. Two of three lifetime wins at this trip and reuniting with winning partner O’Neill. Serious rival (3rd, 3-1)

* * *

RACE 8 Pennsylvania Derby Champion Stakes 3 & UP 1-1/16 MILES


1-Cyrus Alexander (6-1) Recent Longacres Mile is a key race producing two next out winners from three returnees. Makes mini-stretch to best trip [(5) 2-2-0], tactical speed, pole position, purposeful strong workline with Hollendorfer reaching out for Bejarano.
2-Encryption (9-2) Two-for-two on this quirky surface, was ambitiously spotted in recent MTH Grade 2. Breen is worthy 3-for-7 shipping to this venue from the Shore. Freshened, owns two recent bullet works and has run well beneath recent sensation Nik Juarez.
3-Bodisattva (10-1) is 4-for-7 at the route--1-for-15 doing anything else--and was third in stamina-building 12 furlongs over the track. Sheds five pounds and both wins this summer have been beneath Taylor Hole.
4-Res Judicata (4-1) A four-time winner here, was second at the trip last out. Won G3 Salvator Mile at MTH three back, has tactical speed, inside draw with John Servis switching to Javier here. Set for best from barn that’s 27% effective with beaten favorites.
5-Mr. Jordan (2-1) Hails from Plesa barn that’s worthy 27% in non-graded events, benefits from mini-two-turn turn-back and Paco on a return call. Very sharp blowout for this but acts best as a need-the-lead type.
6-War Story (12-1) Triple Crown-trailer at 3 was out of his element vs. California Chrome in Pacific Classic following sloppy-track score in Randall, Ohio. Gets prolific Parx veteran Pennington in the boot for barn that’s 29% profitable with new acquisitions.
7-Tale of Life (3-1) Won Spa finale going 9 furlongs and has been effective at today’s shorter trip. Motion barn going very well at the moment, has worked purposefully at Fair Hill base and gets switch to Geroux. Placed well and owns competitive Pricci Energy Ratings and on positive Thoro-Graph line

RACE 9 Grade 3 GALLANT BOB STAKES 6 FURLONGS

1-Fall Salute (15-1)
Goes well off freshening, has tactical speed and versatility. Owns important win over this tricky oval but has yet to win a graded event.
1A-Yellow Chips (15-1) Has an in-and-out profile and has only managed score over optional claiming types—though it did come on this oval.
2-Mind Your Biscuits (9-2) Talented NY-bred has come to hand this summer for effective new outfit, winning Spa’s G2 Amsterdam two back followed by wide-trip chasing of sprint star Drefong in 7F GI King’s Bishop. This makes sense.
3-Threefiveindia (7-2) Earned improved Pricci Energy Rating in first start for Chad at the Spa. Has tactical speed and kick, and attracts Javier from an inside slip. Will be in this from the jump assuming clean break.
4-Navy Hymn (5-1) Keeps improving for Baltas and comes off DH victory vs. older in rapidly run DMR finale. Three-for-three at this trip and September 13 work 4th fastest of 91 peers that week at SA. Bejarano 5-for-6 aboard and gelded runner back vs. 3YOs.
5-Noholdingbackbear (5-2) chased explosive Drefong throughout 7F King’s Bishop and held very gamely for third, finishing ahead of nine rivals. A worthy (5) 3-2-0 at this trip but all lifetime wins have come on synthetics. Underlay on early line.
6-Counterforce (8-1) Has shown little or no development since winning the Bachelor at OP this spring. Needed recent return from layup in the Amsterdam but must raise game in a big way to be effective in this lineup.
7-Awesome Speed (12-1) Has been away since wide-trip try in sloppy Preakness after adding front bandages--possible red flag? Colt is 2-for-2 at 6F and Goldberg barn 21% profitable returning from-90 days+ layups. Very talented but mixed signals for us.
8-Cocked and Loaded (20-1) Chased the pace in Parx’ G3 Smarty Jones off the claim going long—not his game--now returns for Pino, a profitable 27% with new acquisitions making their second start for the barn. Angles aplenty, last was fast, but may have seen better days.
9-Cardio Cowboy (20-1) A worthy 3-for-5 on this surface including a win at the trip. Returned with sharp score off recent brief layup but Pa-bred meets completely different animals here.
10-Klingon Warrior (20-1) Nicely bred, interesting prospect is 2-for-2 lifetime, both wins coming here including one at the trip. Relative inexperience and wide draw in big field mitigates best chances. Interesting price shot given New Pace Top under speed ace CC.
11-Who’s Out (12-1) From the Shared Belief/Songbird team of Hollendorfer/Smith, gained conditioning in recent DMR route now turns back into one-turner where he’s compiled solid (4) 2-2-0 slate. Wide draw and lack of surface experience worrisome, however.


Race 10 Grade 1 COTILLION STAKES 3YO FILLIES 1-1/6 MILES

1-Carina Mia (5-1) Gave 3YO queen Songbird a good scare with perfectly timed turn move in Saratoga’s CCA Oaks and is reunited with Leparoux here after setting hot pressured pace in G1 7F Test. G1 Acorn winner nicely spotted for rebound. Good value potential.
2-Cathryn Sophia (5-2) Loves this course [2-for-2], including blowout score in Princess of Sylmar prepping for this September 3. Kentucky Oaks winner pointed here for some time and recent work 4th fastest of 40 peers at Parx last week. Also ready for best go here.
3-Disco Rose (20-1) is 1-for-8 at this venue over optional claimers and was no match for ‘Cathryn’ here last time. Extremely tall order.
4-Land Over Sea (10-1) Has been five times second to Songbird and was nearly 3 lengths behind ‘Cathryn’ in Kentucky Oaks. Has been carefully pointed here by O’Neill, is suited by today’s speed dynamic and exits grassy Belmont Oaks that produced three next-out winners.
5-Songbird (1-2) Needs no introduction as 2015 champion juvenile goes for 11th straight. Recent 47-3/5 blowout received rare “breezing” designation from SoCal clockers; obviously retains sharpness. This will be her toughest test to date but has not disappointed thus far.
6-Queena Esther (30-1) Is a 3-time Parx winner and 2-for-2 at the trip--but over optional claimers. Beaten off in recent Princess of Sylmar.


Race 11 Grade 2 PENNSYLVANIA DERBY 3YO 1-1/8 MILES

1-Awesome Slew (10-1) Most impressive winning G3 Smarty Jones prep in Parx debut after chasing the pace throughout sloppy Haskell. Pole sitter can win from close range or on the pace if left alone, a dubious scenario here. Retains Paco and looms exotics player.
2-Exaggerator (9-2) Has rebounded off terrible efforts in the past and his Travers was a disaster, his sleepiness going postward an indicator of the non-effort to come. Hated Spa surface and lacks experience at quirky Parx. Of the highest class, but time has come to see top-class fast-track victory.
3-Summer Revolution (8-1) Lightly raced but very talented, was hindered chasing Drefong from pole in 7F King’s Bishop after well-drawn Drefong caught a flyer from the gate. Interesting switch to ‘Big Race Mike’ but unproven at Parx and around two turns. Underlay on early line.
4-Connect (12-1) Was eliminated at the break when drawn wide for Travers, an easy throw-out. But still needs to show he can be a successful pace factor at this grade. Reunites with Castellano, a winner in his only ride on Curlin colt. Much to prove at this level.
5-Cupid (5-1) A $1.4 million money machine for Baffert at G2 level. Speedster has proven he can rate, albeit vs. maidens last winter. Has run well in six of eight starts, including four wins, is 2-for-2 beneath Bejarano and working very well at SA since WVa Derby win.
6-Wild About Deb (20-1) Was third in G2 Peter Pan and second—by 7 lengths--in Smarty Jones prep, his only stakes starts. Lacks experience at this level.
7-Gun Runner (6-1) Appeared too fresh in sloppy Haskell then returned to be very creditable third to Arrogate from post 13 in the Travers. Classy colt has tactical speed, good late kick, and appears well suited by dynamics and draw. Require close to early line odds.
8-My Man Sam (20-1) Was victimized by poor start in Travers but hasn’t delivered since showing promise at 3 when second to Brody’s Cause in Blue Grass this spring beneath Leparoux--back aboard here for the first time since. Super-exotics potential on ML quote.
9-Nyquist (5-2) Following brief freshening after strongly-pressured-pace fourth in Haskell won by mud-lark Exaggerator, he returns with signature mile breezes that got him fit enough to win the Derby. Check for removal of front bandages. Wide draw suggests likely return to winning off-the-pace BC Juvenile tactics. This is a Classic prep, but also possible three-year-old title deal sealer.
10-Sunny Ridge (12-1) Very well managed gelded 3YO has been pointed to Haskell and this since showing stakes potential last winter. Jason Servis 5-for-12 at this meet, 3-for-3 with MTH shippers. Barn 24% profitable given this spacing and exotics worthy at double-digits.
11-Discreet Lover (30-1) has yet to come close at graded level and only 2-for-11 at this venue. From this post, may be looking at triple-digit odds here.
12-Hit It Once More (20-1) A talented NY-bred gelding that’s been nicely managed this summer, skipping the Travers in favor of state-bred Albany at today’s trip, serving as a good prep for this. Two-for-two under speed ace Carmouche but seriously post-compromised.

See Saturday's Feature Race Analysis for On-the-Record Selections



Written by John Pricci

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