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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, September 28, 2012


He Can Flat Out Run


ELMONT, NY, September 28, 2012--In the absence of Mucho Macho Man--I didn't get the memo--and Game On Dude, in action 3,000 miles away later this afternoon, the best of the handicap division will be going 1-1/4 Miles today at Belmont Park in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Wise Dan belongs with this group, in fact, could possibly be the best of them, but he seems more bent on being a turf specialist, not necessarily Handicap champion or even Horse of the Year.

You get the feeling that whichever horse wins today, his place at the top of the polls will be tenuous, until we reach the first weekend in November.

The feeling we have is that Flat Out is going to assert himself today and muddy up the picture even more. After all, he's been here before.

In the JCGC, Flat Out will be making his third start for trainer Bill Mott. How charming is that?

For some reason, the man who put him on the map, Charles 'Scooter' Dickey, had the newly turned 6-year-old debut in the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale on the grass last winter. Bad idea as it turned out.

Not only did the last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup show his disdain for the footing but he got absolutely nothing from the effort. So when he finished in the middle of the 11 horse field in Hymn Book's Grade 1 Donn, he failed to make any impression in 2012 and for his next start, he had a new trainer, Mott.

He finished like a semi wild horse for place behind the speedy Monmouth Park lover Rule, who galloped on the lead, literally, getting his opening quarter-mile in the G2 two-turn Monmouth Cup mile in :25 2/5. Dance over, but good race to build on.

In his next start, the storied Whitney at Saratoga, he finished strongly once again, but after racing outside on both turns, entering the stretch in about the 6-path, and after Brian Hernandez had blown the race wide open with Fort Larned, the revelation of 2012.

After giving him some time to briefly recover, Mott put Flat Out on the fence and throughout a series of strong breezes and today, for good measurem he turned the reins over to Joel Rosario. Last year's JCGC renewal was Flat Out's second start at Belmont and second victory.

Drawn outside--but not too far out in post 9--it looks like Rosario should fall in somewhere behind the early leaders. His best Energy Figures have come over Big Sandy. That figures to be the case again at about 5:46 this afternoon.

Written by John Pricci

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