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.

Most recent entries

Monthly Archives

Syndicate



Friday, February 12, 2016


Tampa Bay Downs in Saturday Spotlight


123BET.COM WEEKEND PREVIEW FEBRUARY 12, 2016

By John Pricci
Exclusively for 123GAMING.COM

Reprinted via special promotional arrangement with http://www.123BET.com


OLDSMAR, FL., February 12, 2016—The inexorable March toward Louisville continues this holiday weekend.

Champion Juvenile Nyquist returns on Presidents Day in Santa Anita’s G2 San Vicente, an important West Coast springboard, along with Oaklawn Park’s Southwest Stakes—with an expectant large field if the $500,000 means anything.

The Southwest is almost always a great betting race and Arkansas has become a trendy path to Churchill Downs ever since Smarty Jones, really, and especially thanks to 2015 Horse of the Year, American Pharoah.

Golden Gate Fields will take its second NoCal step to the Midwest with Saturday’s G3 El Camino Real Derby which, ironically, has proven over the years to be a better Preakness than Derby barometer. No less than 14 have been entered.

All Florida roads lead north on Alligator Alley this weekend when bettor-friendly Tampa Bay Downs offers the Sam F. Davis Memorial, a great leg-up, figuratively and literally, to the March 12 Tampa Derby and, hopefully for those entered, beyond.

The Grade 3 mile and a sixteenth took a recruiting hit several years ago when Churchill Downs removed it from the Derby points qualifier rotation, and this year the event lost some star power when the accomplished Airoforce got off to a late start to the campaign.

Nonetheless, Mark Casse will have an interesting prospect in Whatawonderflworld, a winner of three straight going long, including the recent Ocala Breeders’ Championship. The Davis will be his fifth career run but only his first on dirt.

Other horses that promise to make the Davis a good betting race are Rafting, a Tapit colt and winner of the Smooth Air for Graham Motion; Morning Fire, winner of the 7-furlong Pasco prep, and two from Mr. Pletcher—who’s bringing Johnny and Javier with him.

There are three other stakes of note on Tampa’s docket: the G3 Endeavour, featuring the return of Filly Turf Champion Tepin; the G3 Tampa Stakes that has attracted a field of 12, including more than a few graded winners, and finally the listed Suncoast featuring a dozen sophomore fillies going two turns.

In addition to those four races, we’re taking a handicapping look-in at Laurel’s G2 Barbara Fritchie—only seven entrants but a highly competitive event, and we’re going to try to help you make sense of the 14-horse El Camino Real.

To get there we’re going to go through the Campbell, a once important handicap fixture that’s been reduced in prestige and purse but is still sought after by Maryland horsemen. This year’s event features the redoubtable gelded six-year-old Page McKenney, bringing his lifetime slate of (42) 15-12-4 into the fray.

Now, on to Oldsmar!

TAMPA BAY DOWNS G3 SAM F. DAVIS 1-1/16 MILES


First, the Pletcher horses, who have things in common: Gettysburg is owned by Winstar, the nursery that has won this race five times, whole or in partnership, and both his recent works were in company with today’s stablemate, Destin, whose recent fourth in FG’s G3 LeComte was a too-late, better-than looked fourth with a good gallop out.

While Whatawonderflworld has yet to run on dirt, he has a record of experienced accomplishment and distance racing is his forte. Rafting, meanwhile, won the Smooth Air at ‘Calder’ Nov. 28 and has been training right along for Graham Motion. He showed high class holding off favorite Fellowship, recently third to Mohaymen in the Holy Bull.

PROBABLE WINNER: GETTYSBURG (5-2)
THE VALUE BET: RAFTING (7-2) at 3-1 or greater
EXOTICA: WHATAWONDERFLWORLD (7-2), MORNING FIRE (4-1)


G3 ENDEVOUR STAKES TURF 1-1/16 MILES


If this were a Grade 1 for all the marbles, then we couldn’t look past 2015 champion turf mare Tepin. Not that it will be easy to do that here with the best mare in the race. But it’s a G3 and 2016 is directly in front of her. She can be at 80% and still handle these.

However, we must give some of her rivals a look at what certainly will be betable prices:

Lady Lara took advantage of a ground saving trip to win the G3 My Charmer Nov. 21, runs well fresh and has an excellent turn of foot as demonstrated in her rough trip fourth, beaten 1-1/4 lengths by Tepin in the G1 Just a Game on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

Photo Call also makes her season’s debut but has won several times when fresh and has enough tactical speed to work out a good trip, especially with Javier at the reins. She ended 2015 a G1 Rodeo Drive score followed by a lost-ground throughout try behind Stephanie’s Kitten in the BC F & M Turf, beaten less than four lengths.

PROBABLE WINNER: TEPIN
THE VALUE BET: PHOTO CALL (9-2) at 4-1 or greater
EXOTICA: LADY LARA (4-1)
TOTE BUSTER: LEXIE LOU (8-1)


G3 TAMPA BAY STAKES TURF 1-1/16 MILES


Exiting a live race, War Correspondent looked badly in need of his first start in 10 months. He chased a soft pace three wide throughout the G2 Fort Lauderdale, was forced to commit on the turn before losing his action in midstretch.

Runnerup Lukas Alley came back to win the G1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Christophe Clement came back with two works since, he draws the pole and reunites with winning rider Johnny Velazquez. But this is a wide open betting race.

Old Time Hockey, narrowly beaten in this last year, returns to his favorite course [(3) 2-1-0] and Ronnie Allen takes a return call from Tom Proctor. Special Envoy should benefit from last and is a three-time course and distance winner. Reload is training lights out for Shug at Payson and is reuniting with favorite partner Javier.


PANCOAST STAKES 3YO Fillies 1 MILE, 40 YARDS

On the basis of their place and show finishes behind talented R Girls Charmer in 7F Gasparilla here Jan. 23, Cosmic Girl and Missalaney are the established local form and will take beating to win this.

This 12-filly scramble boasts a half-dozen fillies on the come that have shown ability but the fact that most are very lightly raced just adds to the inscrutability of today’s two-turner. The good news is the chance of price play on some logical filly with a big shot.

Among these are Dreamup, uncoupled mate of Cosmic Girl; experienced course and distance winner Hey Girl Hey; highly regarded juvenile maiden breaker Smart Shopping, and recent Pletcher maiden breaker Holders Season.

PROBABLE WINNER
: COSMIC GIRL (3-1)
THE VALUE BET: DREAMUP (6-1) or greater
EXOTICA: SMART SHOPPING (4-1), HOLDERS SEASON (6-1)
TOTE BUSTERS: HEY GIRL HEY (10-1), MISSALANEY (8-1)


LAUREL JOHN B. CAMPBELL HANDICAP 1-1/8 MILES


It’s Page McKenney (7-5) against the world; 10 equines, anyway, including accomplished New York-bred Kid Cruz (7-2), post draw #11 doing him no favors with the race’s short run to the first turn.

The good news is that Hot City Girl’s stablemate is sometimes slow to begin; his best gambit might be to break last and drop over to the fence.

But the interesting runner is Horse for Course [(10) 4-5-1] Golden Glint (6-1), who gets four pounds from the fave and much improved since Kieron Magee’s three-back claim

PROBABLE WINNER
: PAGE MC KENNEY
THE VALUE BET: GOLDEN GLINT at 5-1 or greater
EXOTICA: KID CRUZ (7-2)


G2 BARBARA FRITCHIE STAKES F & M 7 FURLONGS


This race has a storied history and today’s field adds to this sprint’s respected past. Five of the seven entrants are graded stakes placed, two Grade 1 winners and a runnerup, and the defending Fritchie champion, a winner of 10 of 18 lifetime, seven on this track.

The leading contenders are Hot City Girl (9-5), an excellent second in the G1 La Brea last out, Princess Violet, winner of Keeneland’s G1 Madison, and the prolific Lady Sabelia (2-1), who beat Princess Violet (6-1) in the 2015 Fritchie.

PROBABLE WINNER
: LADY SABELIA
THE VALUE BET: PRINCESS VIOLET at 9-2 or greater
EXOTICA: HOT CITY GIRL
TOTE BUSTER: SWEET ON SMOKEY (20-1)


GOLDEN GATE FIELDS G3 EL CAMINO REAL DERBY 1-1/8 MILES


Since this will be run on an All-Weather surface, a race over the track is a huge edge. To that end, impressive California Cup winner ships back north to see if he can defeat the second in third finishers in that race, plus 11 others.

And this doesn’t include Gold Rush winner Mana Strike who won over the Tapeta here on Dec. 5.

But here’s a chance for bettors to go to school on the Sam F Davis run earlier in the afternoon and closely observe how Rafting performs in Northern Florida. If he runs well, then Kasseopia could wind up being the key to this.

A winner over a synthetic surface at Kempton, he finished second Woodbine’s G3 Grey Stakes in his juvenile finale now makes his sophomore debut going first time for Graham Motion. Training at Palm Meadows this winter, he’s been breezing fetlock to fetlock with Rafting (compare Jan. 23 and Jan. 30 workouts).

PROBABLE WINNER: FRANK CONVERSATION (2-1)
THE VALUE BET: KASSEOPIA (7-2) at 3-1 or greater
EXOTICA: MR. COKER (9-2)
TOTE BUSTERS: MANA STREAK (15-1), TUSK (15-1)

For on-the-record selections, see Saturday's Feature Race Analysis section

Written by John Pricci

Comments (11)

 
 

Friday, February 05, 2016


Weekend Preview: The Magnificent Seven


Exclusively for http://www.123BET.com

By John Pricci


Reprinted via special promotional agreement with 123GAMING.com

It’s the first week of February and while the three-year-old spotlight takes a back seat to older Grade 1 handicappers on both dirt and turf in South Florida, West Coast sophomores will get their moment in the sun; literally and figuratively.

The Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Memorial attracted its share of tried and true stakes runners but none that have yet to reach the division’s upper echelon; the operative word being yet.

As Bob Baffert said this week in relation to Mor Spirit’s three-year-old debut in the mile and a sixteenth Lewis: “This is when you start heading to the deeper part of the pool.” Baffert should know; he’s won this race five times.

But star quality, or lack thereof, is not the case with respect to sophomore fillies seeking to become Kentucky Oaks titlists thanks to the return of the brilliant, undefeated Songbird (1-5); the operative word being brilliant.

Further, Oaklawn Park offers the Martha Washington Stakes as the early stop on the three-year-old filly road to Churchill Downs on the first Friday in May. The question: Is Nickname top class and worthy of elite status?

Santa Anita’s Grade 2 San Antonio for older handicappers took a jolt this week when the four-year-old debut of Dortmund was put on hold yet again. Baffert said he didn’t like the way he was training, but isn’t it likely more than just that?

Stablemate Hopportunity (3-1) will step into the breach and is a worthy top contender very likely to improve off his season’s debut show finish in the G2 San Pascual. Of course, there will be no shortage of talent in Gulfstream Park’s storied G1 Donn.

G3 Hal’s Hope winner Mshawish is using Saturday’s 9 furlongs as a bridge to Dubai. Depending on how he runs, he will race in either the $10 million Dubai World Cup or the Dubai Turf, also a Grade 1.

The Medaglia d’Oro six year-old will attempt to become a G1 winner on two surfaces, having won last year’s GP Turf Handicap, this year’s renewal one of three supporting graded stakes on the docket. The 13-race card is, as expected, offers value-laden opportunities.

A handicapping overview of seven races of major interest on both coasts:
SANTA ANITA G3 ROBERT B LEWIS 3YO 1-1/16 MILES

Today’s two turner is an educational test for the talented Mor Chances as Baffert and Gary Stevens continue the process; having him relax and keeping the long-striding ridgling free of traffic. Winner of the G1 Los Al Futurity, he is a worthy 8-5 ML favorite.

The competition figures to come from three insider runners: Baffert’s Let’s Meet in Rio (6-1), who flew home late for the place in the shorter G3 Sham.

I Will Score (5-2) is 2-for-2 for Team Hollendorfer/Smith, a winner of two fast sprints whose pedigree figures to handle the longer trip. It will be his ability to rate around two turns which comes into question.

Dressed in Hermes (6-1) is a graded winner of demonstrable ability but both his stakes wins, including Del Mar’s G3 DeMille, have come on turf. Today he makes his 3YO and two-turn dirt debut.

PROBABLE WINNER: MOR SPIRIT
BEST VALUE: LET’S MEET IN RIO
EXOTICA: DRESSED IN HERMES

***


G2 SAN ANTONIO STAKES 1-1/8 MILES

Hopportunity (3-1), making his first start since last fall’s G1 Clark in the G2 San Pascual, really didn’t settle into best stride until the final sixteenth; too little, too late. Over a span of 12 days into this; Baffert’s worked him thrice, a total of 14 fast furlongs: Game on.

Three of interest in here are Donworth, (6-1), who showed promise at 3 for Graham Motion and now returns for his first start since June; first-time Doug O’Neill for the Reddam outfit.

Martin Garcia hops off Hopportunity and on to Cyrus Alexander (6-1), a late developing Hollendorfer four-year-old. Coming off two mile tries, his pedigree is well suited to today’s extra furlong.

El Kabeir (6-1) makes his second SA start for John Terranova after getting a feel for the surface in the G1 Malibu in which he finished six lengths behind sprint champion Runhappy--that should sharpen him for Saturday’s suitably longer trip.

PROBABLE WINNER
: HOPPERTUNITY
BEST VALUE: EL KABEIR
EXOTICA: DONWORTH, CAT BURGLAR (4-1)

***

OAKLAWN PARK MARTHA WASHINGTON STAKES 3YO FILLIES 1 MILE

Indeed, it has been seven years since this race elevated Rachel Alexandra to elite status. Can it do the same for Nickname? Well, yes and no.

Nickname (8-5) is the only Grade winner in the field and was last seen finishing 9-1/4 lengths behind Songbird in the Juvenile Fillies; no disgrace that. Her freshness, inside post and stalking style should put in the game assuming a clean break.

Ready to Confess (6-1) and Dorodansa (4-1) are of great interest. The former never has taken a backward step on the Thoro-Graph scale and has earned an excellent Pricci Energy Rating. Further, her recent 5F breeze was fastest of 24 on the day.

Dorodansa has the style and partner (Chris Landeros) to take advantage of a very lively pace, snatching and grabbing notwithstanding. Durango (9-2) worked very fast for this.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: NICKNAME
BEST VALUE: DORODANSA
EXOTICA: READY TO CONFESS, DURANGO

***

GULFSTREAM PARK LADY’S TURF SPRINT F & M 5 FURLONGS

Welcoming the return of Eclipse finalist Lady Shipman (3-5), making her first start for Kiaran McLaughlin who is, of course, profitable and 25% efficient with 90 days + returnees.

Seven-for-nine with two seconds sprinting on turf, Gulfstream is one of five courses over which she won last season. Irad Ortiz, aboard for her narrow defeat in the G1 BC Filly Turf Sprint is down from New York to presumably enjoy the ride.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: LADY SHIPMAN
BEST VALUE: JEWEL OF A CAT (6-1)
EXOTIC TOTE BUSTER: CATCHING FIREFLIES (10-1)

***

G3 FRED HOOPER 1 MILE


A handicapping dilemma: Possible loose leader vs. super sharp comebacker; what to do?

Given Javier Castellano’s aggressive nature, post, dynamics and distance, track loving Wildcat Red (5-2) figures to be double tough. But a video review of Ami’s Flatter’s 4YO debut on Jan 13 will take your breath away; promise.

The top of our ticket will include these two. Not using either of Todd’s duo defensively, only as exotics filler.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: WILDCAT RED
THE VALUE PLAY: AMI’S FLATTER
EXOTIC TOTE BUSTERS: GRANDE SHORES (12-1), JUST CALL KENNY (15-1)

***

G1 GULFSTREAM PARK TURF HANDICAP 1-1/8 MILES


Happy for the return of redoubtable The Pizza Man (4-5), remarkably effective at any distance from a mile or more and over any type of ground.

While he won fresh last year, this will be his first start at a 7YO so we’re not all that anxious to jump into the win pool with him, though two-way exactas are a must for the gelding who earned our 2015 Eclipse vote.

The two most interesting potential upsetters are Takeover Target (10-1) and Shining Copper (6-1).

The latter was purchased as a rabbit for eventual turf champion Big Blue Kitten but he’s decidedly more than that. Always employed as a pacesetter, he stayed very well while being hard used in G1 company. Rating at 9 furlongs could be a whole different ballgame.

Takeover Target, meanwhile, jumped up big time in his four-year-old debut despite a very tough trip on this course and sheds 7 important pounds, getting 6 from the fave.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: THE PIZZA MAN
THE VALUE PLAY: TAKEOVER TARGET
EXOTICA: SHINING COPPER, ALL INCLUDED (12-1)

***

G1 DONN HANDICAP 1-1/8 MILES

Even with perennial leading trainer Todd Pletcher entering three of the eight starters, this is an interesting diverse group and literally any one of them can win this given the right dynamics.

Keen Ice (5-2), the only horse to finish ahead of Horse of the World American Pharoah in a year and a half is training unlike he has ever done before; the problem is that this is a springboard to Dubai, there could be a little mental rust, and gives the field anywhere from 3 to 8 pounds.

Not sure that Pletcher wants to go deep into the well of Mshawish (7-2) as he, too, in Dubai bound, but this is where he needs to find out about Itsaknockout (4-1).

Making 4YO debut, Itsaknockout jumped up big time in his Hallandale return. Not only was the mile race fast but was visually impressive as well—his fourth win in five local starts.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER:
ITSAKNOCKOUT
THE VALUE PLAY: IT’SAKNOCKOUT
EXOTIC TOTE BUSTER: FINANCIAL MODEL (10-1)

For on-the-record selections, see Saturday's Feature Race Analysis section


Written by John Pricci

Comments (0)

 
 

Friday, January 29, 2016


Handicapping Preview of Weekend Stakes


WEEKEND STAKES PREVIEW JAN. 30, 2016

By John Pricci

Exclusive to 123GAMING.com



HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., January 29, 2016--Excellent stakes programs all over the country, including here, featuring the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes, the first serious stop on South Florida’s road to Louisville via the Florida Derby.

New York takes a second step in its three-year-old series with the G3 Withers Stakes, like the Holy Bull, at 1-1/16 miles. Flexibility is poised to repeat his victory in the Jerome earlier this month.

In fact, here’s a six-pack of graded events for all ages and sexes as anxious handicappers, both locally and in New York await. Here’s a handicapping look-in:

AQUEDUCT RACE TRACK G3 JEROME 3YO 1-1/16 MILES


It could turn out that there are better sophomore runners in Chad Brown’s barn, but for now Flexibility (6-5) will have to do. Yes, he did benefit from perfect dynamics to win the Jerome, but good horses put themselves in that position.

Twice second to Mohaymen previously, replicating his prior performance figure on the Thoro-Graph scale--while not earning as high a Pricci Energy Rating, but he didn’t need to. In fact, it should have left gas in today’s tank.

The only other proven commodity is Sapling winner and Champagne and Delta Jackpot runnerup, Sunny Ridge (5-2). Both colts are experienced, the latter being the fresher of the two.

King Kranz (8-1) is on the Derby trail but this is his first two-turn rodeo and his pedigree does not scream 10 furlongs. He has ability, given his placing to the very talented Annual Report in Belmont’s G2 Futurity.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER
: FLEXIBILITY

THE PLAY: Would take Sunny Ridge if 3-1 or more were available, unlikely unless the crowd goes overboard on Flexibility. Otherwise, would key the favorite in all multiple pools.

EXOTIC FILLER: KING KRANZ, VORTICITY (8-1)

***


G3 TOBOGGAN 4 & UP 6 FURLONGS


Dad’s Caps (5-2) is the most accomplished, a G1 winner with seven-figure earnings. But this is his first race his June and while this is a worthy prize, the true goal is a G1 Carter repeat. He’s working bullets but the rust may show here, making him worth trying to beat.

The “now horse” is Green Grotto (2-1), currently New York’s best sprinter as he seeks his third straight here. Late blooming 6YO keeps improving, earning a G1-type figure winning the Gravesend geared down. He comes into this off a New Pace Top and an excellent Pricci Energy Rating.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: GREEN GROTTO

THE VALUE PLAY: Sassicaia is Dad’s Caps uncoupled mate. He returned off a 4–month freshening to earn a career best TG figure in his surface reprise, is 2-for-2 at the trip (1-for-12 at all others), fits the speedy race shape, and sheds 6 pounds, getting 9 from ‘Grotto’. Will bet to win at 8-1 or more and taking two-way exactas.

EXOTIC TOTE BUSTERS: SASSICAIA (15-1); CAPTAIN SERIOUS (10-1)

***

GULFSTREAM PARK G2 FORWARD GAL 3YO FILLIES 7 FURLONGS


Believe it or not, Cathryn Sophia (6-5) and Secretariat have two things in common: 31 lengths victories at 3. Of course, Big Red got his completing the Triple Crown. However, the filly, needed two races to accrue that victory margin—a maiden breaker at Parx followed by a listed stakes at Laurel going today’ trip. Both wins were “in hand” scores and she’s been working bullets at Palm Meadows for her season’s debut.

Pairing 0’s on the Thoro-Graph scale speaks to her freakish speed, she has good spacing and also comes off a New Pace Top and high, forward-looking Pricci Ratings. Unbeatable on paper, she goes first time for hot-riding Joel Rosario.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER:
CATHRYN SOPHIA

THE PLAY: The class rise makes taking a chance with Island Saint tempting (3-1) as she jumped up big time for Todd Pletcher in her surface debut, who said her hole card may be letting her run freely early instead of taking a hold. Sounds good, but chasing ‘Cathryn’ might not be ideal. So we won’t pull this trigger and we likely will key the favorite in super-exotics.

EXOTICS FILLER: ISLAND SAINT (3-1), CONQUEST BABAYAGA (7-2) [earned two good synth figures now makes dirt debut for live Case outfit].

EXOTICS TOTE-BUSTERS:
BALLET DIVA (15-1) [fast and gritty local]; DAD’S KIDDO (15-1) [style suits dynamics and barn looking to impress in first full season here].

***

GRADE 2 SWALE 3YO 7 FURLONGS


Another freakishly fast colt who returned off a visually impressive winning debut to repeat in even more impressive style in the G3 Hutcheson. The competition is tougher for Awesome Banner, but even tougher for his rivals.

As with the favorite, there’s potential in this short field. Richie the Bull will look to improve his record to 4-for-5 and has conditioning turning back from the state-bred 8.5F Futurity at Hawthorne last out.

Noholdingback Bear was in no danger of catching Awesome Banner when the Hutch runnerup but all chaser and especially closers were seriously compromised by the strongest speed bias of the meet, Jan, 2. He should appreciate the added furlong. Like the favorite he’s never regressed, and he gets six pounds.

Cardio Cowboy scratched out of the Hutch for this and ran nearly as fast as Awesome Banner, winning his 6.5-furlong debut by almost five. Not turning back for the Hutcheson may prove a smart move, and the team of Coletti Jr. and Frankie Pennington are a profitable 22% hooking up.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER:
AWESOME BANNER (6-5)

THE VALUE PLAY: NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR (6-1), but 5-1 or more is required to win; two-way exactas in any case.

EXOTIC FILLER: RICHIE the BULL (6-1)

***

GRADE 3 SWEETEST CHANT 3YO FILLIES 1 MILE TURF


Unlike the seemingly “easy” prelude to the first turf stakes in today’s 123 Preview, it’s difficult to know where to begin, much less which filly might win this prep for next month’s longer Herecomesthebride.

Fillies with the best chance to earn the top prize are: Second-Lasix Module (8-1) who has never regressed, has recency, Johnny and the pole; Sapphire Kitten (7-2) was fast on the TG scale at 2 and was beaten a mere 1-1/4 lengths by extremely talented Catch a Glimpse despite all sorts of trouble in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Then there’s Pricedtoperfection (4-1) with competitive figures, a healthy developmental pattern and with Chad Brown looking to win this for the fifth consecutive year; Spinamiss (8-1), owning good Euro credentials and won her U.S. debut off a lengthy layup for Pletcher at Tampa and now tries GP switching to Javier.

But, wait, there’s more: Gliding By (6-1) had no chance in the BC JF Turf and an impossible local prep for this here on Jan. 10; fast, undefeated Ami’s Mesa (8-1), going synth-to-turf is out of a potential blue hen mare, and Conquest Bebop (5-1), who just missed racing wide throughout in her turf/GP debut.

What do you say, how about we just box them all up? (smiley face here)

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: SAPPHIRE KITTEN

POTENTIAL VALUE PLAYS: GLIDING BY and/or MODULE to win, requiring at least early-line odds of 6-1 and 8-1, respectively.

SUPER-EXOTICS FILLER
: PRICEDTOPERFECTION, SPINAMISS, AMI’S MESA, CONQUEST BEBOP

***

GRADE 2 HOLY BULL 3YO 1-1/16 MILES


With Dale Romans opting to reserve Cherry Wine for the Fountain of Youth or shipping somewhere else, we’re down to the Big Three: Mohaymen (6-5); Greenpointcrusader (8-5) and Conquest Big E (7-2).

Without a true speed type signed on, an inside post, and a short stretch at the trip, we’d expect Mohaymen to take the lead and hold it all the way around. Of course, we reserve the right to be absolutely wrong about this.

Greenpointcrusader was our top juvenile colt last year and we were disappointed in his BC Juvenile effort despite the extenuating circumstances. Still, this very talented colt has a right to redeem himself at 3—in a big way. Frankly, we have no idea exactly what to expect on Saturday.

Conversely, we do expect Conquest Big E to shake his underachieving reputation (Mark Casse’s word, not mine) today. Whether that will be good enough to hand Mohaymen his first defeat is a separate issue. We think he can; just don’t think that he will.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER
: MOHAYMEN

VALUE PLAY: CONQUEST BIG E, only at minimum odds of 5-1.

EXOTICS TOTE BUSTER: FELLOWSHIP (20-1) underrated colt with the big late kick had absolutely no chance on Jan. 2’s speed-biased oval.


Reprinted via special promotional arrangement with http://www.123BET.COM


For daily on the record wagers, see Saturday's Feature Race Analysis section

Written by John Pricci

Comments (6)

 
 

Page 9 of 241 pages « FirstP  <  7 8 9 10 11 >  Last »