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, August 05, 2016


Great Talent and Future Stars on Display Whitney Day


SARATOGA RACE COURSE LATE PICK 4 RESULTS JULY 30, 2016

By John Pricci, exclusively for http://www.123BET.com


Comments from July 30 P4 at SARATOGA, notable winners & money finishers
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SARATOGA LATE PICK 4 JULY, 30, 2016


RACE 8 ALLOWANCES 1-3/16 MILES MELLON TURF


5-Ray’s The Bar (3-1) showed high promise in first two starts as 2015 juvenile but so far has failed to show added development at 3. Chad 24% in LAY-3 scenario, may come around reuniting with Javier. (WON: $8.60 )
3-Idiosyncratic (6-1) finished well after the fact last time out, his first start since 2014, but was away again since April appearance. Chad 27% effective with 90-days+ layups and Irad a profitable 30% for this barn last two months, winning with 4 of last 11 rides. (2ND, EX: $53.00)

RACE 9: Grade 1 VANDERBILT HANDICAP 3&UP 6 FURLONGS

4-A.P. Indian (5-1) comes off consecutive sharp scores going seven-eighths, including G3 Belmont Sprint Championship. Sharp blowout for streaking Delacour barn having career season and Bravo, looking to make it three straight, on board. (WON: 11.40 )
5-Holy Boss (9-2) is effective when patiently handled but has proven inconsistent sort. True North third gets Johnny on the re-ride, loves the Spa and Asmussen has been live at meet thus far; nicely posted. (EX: 58.00)

RACE 10 Grade 2 JIM DANDY STAKES 3YO 1-1/8 MILES

2-Laoban (20-1) had fastest recent blowout of 130 peers last week on this surface. Given that, and switch to Jose Ortiz, Guillot appears intent on the lead. Still winless in seven lifetime starts. (WON: 56.00)
5-Governor Malibu (9-2)
has steadily improving PERs since taking state-bred stakes on Aqueduct Inner this winter. Good-finish Peter Pan runnerup was victimized by tough trip in Belmont. Has worked his way—literally—into this race and gets along well with Joel. (EX: 269.50)

RACE 11 Maiden Claiming F & M 1-16 MILES INNER TURF

4-Newcomb (8-1) drops into claimer for the first time for Proctor, a 23% angle, has trained steadily (missing work Jul 19?) at Fair Hill base and picks up Geroux; Looks like live ship-in. (WON: 8.80)
1-Smile Big (3-1) never has raced this cheaply for Chad, whose dropdowns have been hot and colt at meet thus far. Showed improved early speed when adding blinkers for MTH finale; drop and switch to Irad for logical, formidable early favorite. (EX: 29.40)

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SARATOGA LATE PICK 4 WHITNEY DAY AUGUST 6, 2016



RACE 8: Grade 1 TEST STAKES 3YO F 7 FURLONGS


1-Poala Queen (20-1) tried the G1 Kentucky Oaks and Acorn to no avail in last two starts and while likely appreciating the cut back, this group appears to too tough for breakthrough performance.
2-One True Kiss (15-1) has come close in G3 sprints recently but lacks Spa experience. Would take a Hall of Fame miracle in this spot.
3-Kareena (9-5) is a very exciting prospect, barn taking exact Jersey Girl Stakes prep route that was successful with Cavorting in 2015. Co-fastest Thoro-Graph figures and owns top Pricci Energy Rating. Visually impressive and likely to make the Grade here.
4-Malibu Stacy (15-1) has improved this summer, just missing when beaten a neck in G3 Victory Ride following maiden score. Weaver barn going well at meet and filly can earn minors with continued improvement.
5-Lightstream (8-1) earned field’s co-fastest figure breaking maiden at the trip in GP debut followed by win in 7F G3 Beaumont at KEE. Third in recent G1 Mother Goose, Lynch barn profitable with turnbacks and is major threat with a return to winter-spring form.
6-Lewis Bay (9-2) is not as fast as these but is multiple G2 winner and recently toughened in G1s. Chad profitable at otherworldly 44% rate with his turnbacks given sizable sample and Irad fits perfectly.
7-Off the Tracks (8-5) won G3 Schuylerville here at 2 and Todd 25% efficient in LAY-3 scenarios. Mother Goose winner carefully managed into this spot and is well posted at this trip; formidable rival.
8-Kinsley Kisses (15-1) is the uncoupled Todd in this matchup and a specialist at the trip (3) 2-0-1. Reunites with Johnny but this a very tall order meeting faster despite adding blinkers on the turnback.
RACE 9: Grade 3 WAYA STAKES F&M 1-1/2 MILES INNER TURF

1-Photo Call (8-1) this is Todd in a LAY-3 situation again, owns tactical speed, and is pole sitting with switch to aggressive turf ace Carmouche. Lacks figures but dynamics a big help.
2-Achnaha (12-1) has been very competitive in recent starts but has been unable to handle many of today’s rivals previously; solid Spa turf work around dogs July 25.
3-Suffused (7-2) has improved with each of three starts for Mott, breaking through to win latest at even longer marathon trip. Carefully pointed to this with Jose Ortiz re-riding.
4-Real Smart (6-1) has won two of three U.S. starts for Motion who has gotten off to a hot start this meet. Up from Fair Hill base reuniting with Johnny for toughest test to date.
5-Vielsam (20-1) ran a flat race behind Real Smart in Dick Memorial after just missing three back in Pimlico’s G3 Gallorette. Forrest Boyce 1-for-1 shipping in, but barn is 0-for-40 in that scenario.
6-Guapaza (5-2) has been highly competitive on T-G scale in three New York appearances, albeit not so much on PER scale. Chad 28% effective with potential repeaters and winning rider Javier takes the return call.
7-Ball Dancing (12-1) showed high promise last year as 4YO but has yet to run back to that form this season. Showed very good late life in latest at WO and Julien’s on the re-ride; further improvement very possible.
8-Al’s Gal (20-1) earned top PER when fast-closing, tough-trip second in G3 Bewitch three back and was third again in G3 Modesty at AP last out. Highly competitive on both T-G and PER scales and looms stark overlay at early line odds.
9-Trophee (6-1) was able to pair-up lifetime best performance figure despite laughably slow pace in Belmont finale. Likes this course (3) 1-0-1 but needs a little help up front; fair value on early line.
8-Desiree Clary (8-1) was able to overcome moderate pace while winning U.S. debut at Belmont July 8. Stabled in Saratoga since May and late runner gets switch to Irad; needs improvement but appears live here.

RACE 10: The Grade 1 WHITNEY STAKES 3 & UP 1-1/8 MILES


1-El Kabeir (20-1)
has been pointed to this and has been training very well. Dynamics suit, but not necessarily the competition; very tall order.
2-Comfort (8-1) hails from Todd barn that has very good record in this race. Rapidly improving 4YO is straight forward on figures, is nicely drawn with Johnny, and rates a puncher’s chance. Need at least early odds vs. this group.
3-Upstart (10-1) is another that’s been working well and loves Saratoga, winning here twice at 2. Remains winless in four tries at this trip, however.
4-Frosted (3-5) earned the highest figure ever recorded, according to Thoro-Graph’s Jerry Brown and must regress off that effort. But despite weight assignment (124 pounds), there’s plenty of wiggle room. Returns with good spacing, loves the trip (4) 2-2-0 and highly competitive albeit winless on this surface.
5-Noble Bird (10-1) was inappropriately placed in Met Mile following huge two-turn score in G3 1-3/16 miles Pimlico Special in prior. Freshened and working strongly, returns to favorable two-turn dynamics but like choice shoulders top weight.
6-Effinex (7-2) (also 124) makes difficult turnback from G2 10 furlongs to G1 nine-panel trip, but has laudable (7) 3-1-0 slate at this distance and three latest wins were beneath Smith.

RACE 11: DE LA ROSE STAKES F&M 1 MILE INNER TURF


1-Roca Rojo (4-1) demonstrated huge turn of foot going 7 furlongs in U.S. debut for Chad in fast, visually impressive winning performance. Well spotted for advance into listed stakes company with Johnny on the re-ride; formidable rival.
2-Industrial Policy (20-1) made some ground too late following roughed start when out-posted in WO’s G2 Dance Smartly. Better placement here and switches to hot riding, strong finishing Santana.
3-Stormy Victoria (6-1) gamely won torrid stretch battle last out, her second U.S. victory at 7 furlongs now is up in class and distance. Good enough—if good enough—and picks up Irad.
4-Lady Lara (8-1) has always been promising turf mare but has disappointed often; finished willingly in rapidly run G1 Just A Game and drop just might be what Mott ordered.
5-Mayla (30-1) could have found a softer spot for turf debut; may be rain dancing in here.
6-Call Thirty Seven (20-1) has excellent early speed--which has been holding fairly well on this course--is working strongly at Monmouth base, reunites with winning rider Alvarado and is 3-for-4 at the trip--1-for-9 all others. Solid overlay on early line.
7-Excilly (12-1) has been Group placed in Europe and makes U.S. debut for Dascombe barn that’s 1-for-1 shipping to U.S. for listed stakes; attracts Julien and goes firs-Lasix. Intriguing dark horse.
8-Akatea (12-1) made solid, very wide rally to beat weaker in Belmont finale after being humbled by Tepin—no disgrace. Like Clement, looking to find out more today.
9-Robillard (6-1) is developing nicely at 4 for Kiaran, 27% effective and profitable in non-graded competition. Winless in two Spa starts but is 1-for-1 at the distance. Winning Carmouche aboard for the re-ride.
10-Zindaya (3-1) drew off impressively late to win strongly run Intercontinental for Chad in Belmont finale. Profitable spacing into this (28%), is (2) 1-1-0 on Spa turf and Javier on the re-ride. Barn appears to have this group surrounded top and bottom.
11-My Sweet Girl (10-1) owns Spa win and a victory at the trip but recent win came over yielding ground. Franco takes the re-ride but filly has something to prove vs. these.
12-Bitty Kitty (30-1) apparently moved prematurely, from far back, taking lead into stretch before understandably tiring late in listed stakes at the Pea Patch last out. Class rise and wide drawn certainly doesn’t enhance chances.

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


Written by John Pricci

Comments (0)

 
 

Friday, July 29, 2016


All-Entrants Look at Spa Saturday Late Pick 4


By John Pricci, exclusively for 123GAMING.com

Comments from July 23 P4 at SARATOGA, notable winners & money finishers



RACE 8 Allowance Optional Claiming 1 Mile INNER TURF


2-Our Way (6-1) ran well in recent salty spots after being victimized by a series of bad trips dating back to January at GP. Has some tactical speed and pole position with switch to Jose Ortiz indicates switch to close-range tactics. (Win: $22.00)
3-Tizzarunner (12-1) was a tough trip second in turf debut this winter, a listed stakes, indicative of confidence from Casse shed. Takes meaningful for barn that’s profitable 21% effective with second-time turfers. (Ex: $150.00)
9-Hockey School (8-1) raced wide following troubled start in last after breaking maiden by open lengths previously over yielding ground. Has five works since his last, switches to Rosario, and bred to improve given today’s two-turn dynamic. (Tri: $1,776)

RACE 9 Allowances 3 & UP 1-1/8 MILES


5-Tale of Verve (12-1)
finally showed some life in last following series of dull efforts. This still requires act of fact even if reuniting with winning pilot Rosario. (Win, 37.40)
4-My Man Sam (8-5) returns from the Triple Crown scene following game placing behind lone quality speed Matt King Coal this winter, following up with wild-horse-finish placing in the Blue Grass and deceptively good horror trip in the Derby. Freshened since, pointed to this meet; best figures and looms formidable favorite despite spotting weight to elders. (Ex: 94.00)

RACE 10 Grade 1 DIANA STAKES F & M 1-1/8 Miles MELLON TURF

6-Dacita (5-1) flashed excellent turn of foot to win G2 New York in final strides, drawing out late. Drops four pounds for this, retains Irad, and enters off series of very sharp drills. T-G pattern very healthy and earned co-high lifetime best on Spa grass in 2015. (Win: 10.20)
7-Recepta (9-2) has been extremely competitive despite spate of tough trips in series of G1s, retains Johnny, is favorable weighted and finally gets away from inside posts which have compromised her position early. Reported training well and is 1-for-1 at Spa. (Ex: 95.50)
9-Rainha Da Bateria (20-1) entered stretch extremely wide in rapid Just A Game, losing all chance, but made up deficit late, closing into wild late pace coming for last of 12. Working bullets recently, attracts Leparoux and has puncher’s chance at big price. (Tri: 1,217.00)

RACE 11 Claiming 3 & UP 1-1/16 Miles INNER TURF

4-Procurement (8-1) has never raced this cheaply for turf ace Maker or anyone else. Javier on a return call. Lacks Spa turf experience and winless in six starts at the distance. (Win: 14.60)
10-Dream Man (6-1) beat similar in Belmont finale, dropdowns notwithstanding, earning excellent performance figures and three of four career wins have come at the trip. Indeed, all recent tries have been competitive and gelded 8YO retains Alvarado. (Ex: 92.50)
======================================================================

SARATOGA LATE PICK 4 JULY, 30, 2016


Reprinted via promotional arragement http://www.123BET.com

RACE 8 ALLOWANCES 1-3/16 MILES MELLON TURF

1-Captain Moss (10-1) comes from sharp score over $50K starters following narrow defeat at this level in prior. Well drawn with tactical speed, has won half his six turf starts and Franco was aboard for three most recent wins. Brilliant work Jul 21; value on early line.
2-Alexahente (20-1) placed gamely in first start for Elizabeth Voss--whose dad always prepped at Delaware before shipping to Spa—beating a next-out winner. Another tactical runner with position; attracts Carmouche.
3-Idiosyncratic (6-1)
finished well after the fact last time out, his first start since 2014, but was away again since April appearance. Chad 27% effective with 90-days+ layups and Irad a profitable 30% for this barn last two months, winning with 4 of last 11 rides.
4-Muhaawer (8-1) has been away since last year’s key event (3 next-out wins) but Kiaran en fuego with many winners coming off layups, validating 23% profitability with 90-days+ returnees. Crisp works at Greentree Center and Santana 1-for-1 for this barn recently.
5-Ray’s The Bar (3-1) showed high promise in first two starts as 2015 juvenile but so far has failed to show added development at 3. Chad 24% in LAY-3 scenario and is reuniting with Javier.
6-Circus Performer (9-2) exits two better-than-it-looks performances at Belmont for Todd—his latest from post 10 on Belmont Inner--earning excellent Pricci Energy Rating. Better position here and returning in Joel's hands.
7-Hunter O’ Riley (8-1) raced as if in need of 3YO debut in first start for Toner after impressing with late-run potential at 2. Barn’s horses improve in second start, gets switch to Recepta’s rider, and showed some affinity for Spa turf in 2015 racing debut.

8-Harpoon (20-1)
was a good second on this course last year but handled only Monmouth claimers successfully in subsequent starts.
9-Bingo Kitten (12-1) made very solid mid-race move from wide post in Churchill spring finale, understandably tiring late off a 5-month layup. Ramsey/Maker team coming alive and Julien taking the return call.
10-Joe Star (12-1) Group 1-placed in Brazil and getting first-Lasix for crafty owner and trainer. Boasts sharp works at SA, then three longer and softer here, including 7-furlong turf breeze around dogs followed by a one-mile conditioner; gets Lezcano.
11-King’s Obsession (20-1), winless since Gulfstream maiden-breaker, finished one-paced at Suffolk, an apparent prep, now makes Spa debut for Sheppard with switch to Geroux following local breeze; intriguing…
12-Tiz Town (12-1) finished well late for third in quickly run turf-route Belmont finale after being beaten by 3-1/2 lengths in CD Grade 3 Louisville ‘Cap. Turn-back in distance suits here, Saez sticks, and owner/trainer won here last week.


RACE 9: Grade 1 VANDERBILT HANDICAP 3&UP 6 FURLONGS


1-Anchor Down (5-2) chased the pace throughout rapidly run G1 Met Mile, placing very gamely behind freaking Frosted. Todd can be deadly with turnbacks but 4YO meets swift group here breaking from the rail. Underlay on early line.
2-Catalina Red (5-1), on bounce-rebound pattern, was used up chasing hot pace in G2 True North last out but is more effective as tactical speedster than on the chase. Good spacing into this, but loses Javier to Respite. Value at early line odds.
3-Delta Bluesman (3-1), the second of three Navarro’s in here (#s 2 & 6), has been showing marked improvement to win last three. Recent MTH work 2nd fastest of 72 peers to work that week. Brilliant talent Jaramillo up from SoFla for the re-ride.
4-A.P. Indian (5-1) comes off consecutive sharp scores going seven-eighths, including G3 Belmont Sprint Championship. Sharp blowout for streaking Delacour barn having career season and Bravo, looking to make it three straight, on board.
5-Holy Boss (9-2) is effective when patiently handled but has proven inconsistent sort. True North third gets Johnny on the re-ride and Asmussen has been live at meet thus far; nicely posted and loves the Spa
6-Chublicious (12-1) is 2-for-2 since barn switch to super trainer Navarro, is well posted with a style suiting today’s dynamics. Hot-riding Gallardo up from Jersey Shore looking for third straight score; price shot off excellent Thoro-Graph figure last out..
7-Requite (12-1) has been freshened and pointed for this coming off career-best score over weaker in GP listed stakes, his 2016 debut. Weaver profitable with this spacing and Javier, second on him over this track in 2015 G2 Amsterdam.
8-All Star Red (20-1) makes mini-turnback to most effective distance but is very ambitiously placed vs. this group.


RACE 10 Grade 2 JIM DANDY STAKES 3YO 1-1/8 MILES


1-Creator (3-1) is versatile and very classy, winning 9-furlong G1 Arkansas Derby and Test of the Champion at a mile and a half, under pluperfect Irad handling. Reported training well but this appears a very likely prep; mixed signals.
2-Laoban (20-1) had fastest recent blowout of 130 peers last week on this surface. Given that, and switch to Jose Ortiz, Guillot appears intent on the lead. Still winless in seven lifetime starts.
3-Mohaymen (9-5) has been freshened since very good fourth place in tough trip Derby try. Training strongly at Greentree Center, rates to have preferred stalking trip off Laoban, getting first run on two high-class rivals.
4-Destin (2-1) just missed, unlucky to lose the Belmont after stalking the pace throughout. Multiple graded winner will appreciate shorter trip here but also is likely to be more interested in using this as a bridge to Travers. Looms favorite’s main rival.
5-Governor Malibu (9-2) has steadily improving PERs since taking state-bred stakes on Aqueduct Inner this winter. Good-finish Peter Pan runnerup was victimized by tough trip in Belmont. Has worked his way—literally—into this race and gets along well with Joel.
6-Race Me Home (15-1) was a good second to Economic Model in listed Easy Goer following maiden score. From mare that’s produced five winners from as many starters and his recent blowout for this 3rd fastest of 130 peers this week through Thursday. Straight forward on both T-G and PER scales; money prospects.


RACE 11 Maiden Claiming F & M 1-16 MILES INNER TURF

1-Smile Big (3-1) never has raced this cheaply for Chad, whose dropdowns have been hot and colt at meet thus far. Showed improved early speed when adding blinkers for MTH finale; drop and switch to Irad for logical, formidable early favorite.
2-Antebellum (9-2) has raced one-paced in three recent starts at this level but Kiaran having freaky Spa, saddling eight winners through Thursday. Profitable on turf and going sprint to route, the switch to Jose Ortiz indicates front-running tack here.
3-Rain in Spain (20-1) gets another free square vs. maidens after being DQ’d following win two back. Kimmel’s horses outrunning their odds this season and is 20% effective in LAY-3 scenario; money prospects at big early line quote.
4-Newcomb (8-1) drops into claimer for the first time for Proctor, a 23% angle, has trained steadily (missing work Jul 19?) at Fair Hill base, and picks up Geroux; Looks live.
5-La Dama de Hierro (30-1) has hit the board only once since Nov. 2014 and has not threatened seriously at high odds recently. Did have tough start vs. state-bred special-weights in season’s debut, however.
6-Bellamy Torch (20-1) was eliminated at the start when dropped to this level in turf debut sprinting. Mott 20% effective with second-time Lasix runners and pedigree says the longer the better. Wake-up potential for long-time clients.
7-Glory to Kitten (5-1) was off slowly in special-weights turf debut, rallied wide into lane (see replay) while finishing well too late. Ramsey/Maker team trying claimers for first time and Julien sticks. Sports two Saratoga works and could vie for favoritism here.
8-Back Road Bellamy (20-1) had some improved speed in second start now drops into claimer for the first time getting big rider switch to Joel. Sharp breeze at Oklahoma TT on Monday and looms potential overlay on early line.
9-Mo’s Ginny (12-1) flashed improved lick when dropped to this level last out before finishing evenly. Albertrani profitable with his maiden claimers and Franco takes the return call. Fits with this kind.
10-Double Dose (4-1) earned top PER when dropped to this level sprinting last out. Todd 25% effective with LAY-3 runners and adding blinkers with Johnny on the re-ride. Spotted well and added distance rates to help chances; strong contender.
11-Globleza (20-1) was outrun in two cheaper sprints at SA now makes Spa and turf debut on the rise for crafty barn profitable with turf debut types, albeit a small sample. Blinkers off and low profile rider adds to intrigue.
12-Dean’s Ticket (30-1) set pressured pace while under wraps, holding gamely for place in Belmont same-level finale. Contessa horses running well at meet and gets Carmouche, losing Irad to Chad runner.
13-AE City Section (20-1) was covered up, shook clear after straightening away into stretch after angling out and finished with a rush late. Six sibs have won grass and gets Javier for effective Bush barn; potential overlay on early line if in.

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


Written by John Pricci

Comments (0)

 
 

Friday, July 22, 2016


Saratoga All-Entrants Late P4 Handicapping Skinny


Exclusively for http://www.123BET.com via Promotional Agreement

Comments from Belmont July 16 LATE PICK 4 on winners & exacta finishers
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RACE 7 MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT 2YO F 6 FURLONGS INNER TURF

7-LULL (5-1), racing without Lasix, also by War Front, is uncoupled Clement newcomer, a barn profitable with first-timers on grass. Attracts Franco but three straight gate works the good news and the bad news. (won, $10.20)
8-ASSCHER (2-1) was totally eliminated by poor start in well-meant debut. Todd 27% with second-timers and Javier takes a return call but pedigree a question mark for us on this surface (2nd, exacta $32.00).

RACE 8 FORBIDDEN APPLE STAKES 1 MILE WIDENER TURF

4-KING KREESA (7-2), another redoubtable state-bred, is 7-time Belmont grass winner with exacta finishes, including 5 wins, in 14 total starts given these dynamics. Might shake free as potential loose leader (won, 6.70).
1-FORCE THE PASS (3-5) was good second behind loose leader and classy miler Obviously in Grade 3 last out and was very willing third in G3 Appleton 4YO debut prior. Big time class relief here and reunites with Johnny; formidable fave. (2nd, exacta 12.00)

RACE 9 $12, 500 CLAIMING 3 & UP 1 MILE


4-POINT HOPE (7-2), blinkers back on for barn that’s recently 4-for-12 in that scenario with two money finishers and switches back to Irad. Barn in slump this meet but class dropper goes for major client; guesswork at short early line odds. (won 16.80)
1-FINDING CANDY (6-1) is 2-for-13 at the trip and 3-for-30 all other distances, reunites with Castellano and goes turf to dirt for barn that’s 16% efficient given that dynamic; looks live in this spot. (2nd, exacta 85.00)

RACE 10 $40,000 MAIDEN CLAIMING F&M 7 FURLONGS WIDENER TURF

5-SUBTLE LADY (7-2) lost rider in season’s debut when dropping to this level now makes second start for Rice, 22% in LAY-2 scenario, and gets switch to Johnny. (won 8.80)
8-ELECTRIFIED (5-2) makes first start in over a year dropping into claimer for first time; barn capable with layups but not particularly well known for successful layup runners; underlay on early line. (2nd, exacta 38.60)
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………....


SATURDAY, JULY 23


RACE 8 Allowance Optional Claiming 1 Mile INNER TURF

1-Wyeth (5-2) was all out to win latest in much improved, albeit perfect trip score going longer following wide trip sprint debut. Worked thrice since latest and Javier takes the return call.
1A-Catapult (5-2) raced greenly for Chad in second start making graded stakes debut following troubled start. Back to proper level for barn 27% efficient with 90 days+ layups and reunites with winning rider Irad Ortiz.
2-Our Way (6-1) ran well in recent salty spots after being victimized by a series of bad trips dating back to January at GP. Has some tactical speed and pole position with switch to Jose Ortiz indicates switch to close-range tactics.
3-Tizzarunner (12-1) was a tough trip second in turf debut this winter, a listed stakes, indicative of confidence from Casse shed. Takes meaningful for barn that’s profitable 21% effective with second-time turfers.
4-Scissors and Tape (15-1) earned improved Pricci Energy Rating in second start following brief freshening. Maker an ace on turf and Leparoux taking the re-ride. Inside draw makes him pace factor here.
5-Gio's Calling (8-1) career best PER came rounding two turns at KEE this spring and gets back to those dynamics today. Three of four sibs own turf wins, reuniting with Luis Saez and T-G pattern is forward-looking.
6-Conquest See Ya (10-1) is uncoupled Casse that has earned highly competitive PERs in three turf starts, his last two in listed stakes. Also notch-dropping and reunites with winning rider Lezcano.
7-Rappel (7-2) showed marked figures improvement going second-time Lasix and first-blinkers in the Manila, his Belmont finale. Lone win came with Franco in the boot, owns highly competitive figures, and was good second on Spa grass last year.
8-Cave Johnson (10-1) is 2-for-5 lifetime on turf, both wins coming at today’s trip. Toner barn’s horses hold their form well and gets switch to Johnny in this spot. Excellent money prospects.
9-Hockey School (8-1) raced wide following troubled start in last after breaking maiden by open lengths previously over yielding ground. Has five works since his last, switches to Rosario, and bred to improve given today’s two-turn dynamic.
10-Jay's Way (20-1) showed much improved speed after adding blinkers last out, Gargan barn profitable going dirt to turf and returning with this type of spacing. Switch to Paco insures aggressive handling from outside slip.
11-Wicked Wink (20-1) is bred to appreciate today’s added distance but showed little in turf debut and is poorly drawn. Lone win from six starts on synthetic surface.


RACE 9 Allowances 3 & UP 1-1/8 MILES

1-Gray Sky (9-2) placed gamely after being pace factor in CD finale and has been toughened by slate of graded stakes. Nicely drawn and weighted returning with five-weeks spacing and reunites with Santana. Appears live off series of recent quick AM drills.
2-Cadeyrn (9-2) hails from Jeremiah Englehart shed, hot in recent weeks and known for longshot productivity at previous Spa meets. Looms controlling speed and switch to Luis Saez augurs well.
3-Conviction (3-1) is 1-for-4 lifetime with somewhat disappointing profile but lone score came rounding two turns at Monmouth, a similar dynamic today. On a favorable Thoro-Graph pattern and highly likely to improve with Todd switching to Johnny.
4-My Man Sam (8-5) returns from the Triple Crown scene following game placing behind lone quality speed Matt King Coal this winter, following up with wild-horse-finish placing in the Blue Grass and deceptively good horror trip in the Derby. Freshened since, pointed to this meet; best figures and looms formidable favorite despite spotting weight to elders.
5-Tale of Verve (12-1) finally showed some life in last following series of dull efforts. This still requires act of fact even if reuniting with winning pilot Rosario.
6-Testosterstone (5-1) beat secondary allowance/optional claiming state-breds in last and was claimed by Chris Englehart. Taps Franco, riding at 24% for barn of late but very tough spot for earning quick return on investment.


RACE 10 Grade 1 DIANA STAKES F & M 1-1/8 Miles MELLON TURF


1-Sandiva (12-1) was freshened and pointed to this, goes well with time between starts, Todd is 28% effective with 90-days+ layups and mare won only start at 9 furlongs. Pole sitting with Franco, she will be in the early mix throughout.
2-Miss Temple City (3-1) talented mare beat males in quick KEE G1 Makers 46 Mile then finished ahead of nine rivals at Ascot. Motion reports all is well since returning but there is 34-day gap in workline at Fair Hill base. Second in 2015 Lake Placid here but this a tough read at short price.
3-Strike Charmer (15-1) was far back behind moderate pace on blistering Belmont course, leaving too much to do in extremely fast late fractions. Two turns figures to help but needs solid pace for her late rally.
4-Wekeela (7-2) was an excellent second to Tepid despite troubled start in 4YO and U.S. debut in G Jenny Wiley then regressed when one-paced in SA’s G1 Gamely behind Illuminant. Trip should suit perfectly with good spacing into this; Javier re-riding formidable early line fave.
5-Mrs McDougal (10-1) finished willingly late for third in that rapid run final-fraction Just A Game now stretches to suitably longer trip switching to Rosario for Spa return where she’s 1-for-1; potential value at early line odds.
6-Dacita (5-1) flashed excellent turn of foot to win G2 New York in final strides, drawing out late. Drops four pounds for this, retains Irad, and enters off series of very sharp drills. T-G pattern very healthy and earned co-high lifetime best on Spa grass in 2015.
7-Recepta (9-2) has been extremely competitive despite spate of tough trips in series of G1s, retains Johnny, is favorable weighted and finally gets away from inside posts which have compromised her position early. Reported training well and is 1-for-1 at Spa.
8-Onus (15-1) her lifetime best on both the PER and T-G scales came at the trip as Laurel 3YO last fall. Had little chance behind slow pace going a mile last time after impressive frontend score in 4YO-debut prior. Meets better but primed for upset beneath J Ortiz.
9-Rainha Da Bateria (20-1) entered stretch extremely wide in rapid Just A Game, losing all chance, but made up deficit late, closing into wild late pace coming for last of 12. Working bullets recently, attracts Leparoux and has puncher’s chance at big price.
10-Isabella Sings (8-1) despite troubled start sprinted away nicely in soft G3 Eatontown prepping for this at Monmouth last out. Paco is 3-for-4 on 4YO filly, only loss by a nose bob, and has the speed to overcome wide draw early. Very competitive Grade 1 renewal.


RACE 11 Claiming 3 & UP 1-1/16 Miles INNER TURF


1-The Imposter (6-1) returns at level of recent claim for barn known for Spa success and gelded 5YO has enough pedigree to stretch out effectively; L Saez aboard for both recent victories. Style should suit today’s dynamics and owns competitive figures on T-G scale.
1a-AE Mr Rosenthal (6-1), winless on dirt, has respectful (28) 5-5-6 slate on today’s surface and picks up Paco for crafty claiming outfit whose trainer is profitable on turf from sizable sample, horses often outrunning their odds.
2-Winter Springs (5-2) Chad apparently giving up dropping this one at least two levels but it’s Saratoga, Irad re-rides, and barn is profitable dropping in with open claimers. Pole sitting with tactical speed; some mixed signals.
3-Aripeka (7-2) is not the soundest 6YO gelding but has plenty of talent, heart, speed figures and versatility. Makes first start at level of Jacobson’s claiming reuniting with winning rider J Ortiz. Worthy rival of ML fave..
4-Procurement (8-1) has never raced this cheaply for turf ace Maker or anyone else. Javier on a return call. Lacks Spa turf experience and winless in six starts at the distance.
5-Street Chief (20-1) has good record on grass, (15) 3-3-1, including one at today’s trip. Has some races that can compete favorable here, attracts Bridgmohan and has money prospects as a price shot.
6-Lure of the South (15-1) has been claimed from six of his last nine starts, going first tie for Steve Klesaris, 23% effective first-time off the claim and profitable with this type of spacing. Attracting Franco, looks live in this spot.
7-Cotton Town (30-1) has never threatened at long odds in all recent starts.
8-Status of Forces (30-1) ditto, as lone recent win came in NL3 over Presque Isle Tapeta. Drops a notch for low percentage outfit whose runners can outperform their odds.
9-Dendrite (20-1) comes off better-than-it-looks turf sprint at Belmont in return to this, winning level. Stretching out, owns a win on this course and a win at today’s trip. Gets weight, attracting promising young apprentice.
10-Dream Man (6-1) beat similar in Belmont finale, dropdowns notwithstanding, earning excellent performance figures and three of four career wins have come at the trip. Indeed, all recent tries have been competitive and gelded 8YO retains Alvarado.
11-Amen Kitten (12-1) dropping out of Arlington Ill-bred stakes, cuts open claiming price in half for local return for Ramsey/Ward team reuniting with Rosario, his only other winning rider over the last two years. Owner drops to win.
12-All Over Me (20-1) drops to level of Morley claim two starts back, is a five-time turf winners, 2-for-3 at the distance, has won on Spa turf and attracts Johnny; puncher’s chance at a price.

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




Written by John Pricci

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