Thursday, March 30, 2017
Handicapping Profile of xpressbet.com Florida Derby Runners
Saturday's Florida Derby analysis brought to you courtesy of https://www.JohnPricci.com. Pricci Energy Ratings and Star-Ability Ratings for each horse will be available by 2 pm Friday, at the latest, at JohnPricci.com, including a similar analysis for Tote Busters Late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park
RACE 13: Grade 1 FLORIDA DERBY 3YOs 1-1/8 Miles
1 – STATE OF HONOR (8-1)
Pricci Energy Rating: NA
Blinkers certainly have focused him and comes off excellent efforts at Tampa, a very game third and second in the Sam F. Davis and Tampa Bay Derby, respectively. Just missed to then-undefeated Sonic Mule at a flat mile here Jan. 7. Likely to leave for position then sit a pocket trip for Julien. Strong contender and value on early line.
2 – TALK LOGISTICS (30-1)
Has shown promise at times this winter but hasn’t sealed the deal. Finished well late in the Fountain of Youth without threatening but showed subtle improvement. Inside position likely to help here and another potential trip-sitter and looms super-exotics prospect if early line holds.
3 - CHARLIE THE GREEK (30-1)
Finished second in three of his last four starts; the rub? Two runs were in claiming company and one an optional claiming starter race. Taking up a stall space here.
4 – ALWAYS DREAMING (4-1)
Only entrant with benefit of 9-furlongs race over the track, improving his two-turn record to 2-for-2. Tampa maiden win a laugher, as was his N1X, slow time owing to fierce crosswinds and cuppy surface. Training monstrously at Palm Beach base and is very nicely drawn. Strong contender has been pointed here from the jump.
5 - QUINIENTOS (50-1) PER:
Was a stylish maiden winner sprinting then finished one-paced following stumbling beginning in a restricted stakes then tried the Fountain of Youth and was beaten off. Have no idea why he’s back in at this level.
6 – COLEMAN ROCKY (30-1)
Broke his maiden in NY going two turns, albeit on turf, suffered through wide-throughout trip subsequently and then caught slop in off-turner Jan. 29, finishing up strongly in 5-horse field. Florida Derby is a different animal and this is a potentially useful runner that’s ill-spotted with these.
7 – UNBRIDLED HOLIDAY (30-1)
Following very good maiden breaker over Florida-breds going a flat mile here Jan. 16, he was a good third while chasing Always Dreaming wide throughout that Mar. 4 nine furlongs. Loses Saez to Three Rules but picks up Juarez, in midst of career meet. Superfecta/Hi-5 fodder.
8 – IMPRESSIVE EDGE (12-1)
Loves the surface and is coming off an impressive 7-furlong score--entering this off two elongated sprints, old- school style. Has enough pedigree for added distance and some confusion re recent work, which might have been much faster. Romans has twice hit the board with Florida Derby price shots;
9 – BATTALION RUNNER (3-1)
Two-for-two locally including two-turn debut, visually impressive in each, and has more than enough pedigree—for a mile and a quarter! But was entered as stable insurance and likely to run in Wood Memorial as Santa Anita Derby has been ruled out. Doubtful stouter expected to scratch, hurting odds on all major contenders.
10 – THREE RULES (8-1)
Very talented Florida-bred was a better-than-appears sixth in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, placed gamely behind top sprint prospect Favorable Outcomes in G2 Swale then held extremely well when third in the Fountain of Youth. Hurt by the draw but if he clears assuming sharp break, first-over horses will find him no easy target.
11 – GUNNEVERA (9-5)
His backers need to hope he DOESN’T break sharply so that he simply can fall out of there and drop over to the fence; going to be trailing early in any event. This is a very good colt that can mount a sustained late rally with a turn of foot; not merely a grinder. Up to Castellano to work out a trip from post 10--anticipating the late scratch.
See Saturday's Feature Race Analysis for on-the-record selections
Written by John Pricci
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Gems in a Rough Game
In response to several email suggestions, the following is a reproduction of our Tote Busters analysis of the Late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 25. For more information on this and other handicapping services, proceed to https://www.JohnPricci.com
GULFSTREAM PARK LATE PICK 4 MARCH 25, 2017
RACE 10: Maiden Special Weight 3YOs 7-1/2 Furlongs (TURF)
1 – ****SECRETARY AT WAR (2-1) Pricci Energy Ability Rating: 81
From stable mail: Alternated on the pace through from post 12 showing improved speed after apparent greenness in post parade. Benefits from the move inside and switch to Jose Ortiz. Jerkens profitable 29% going long to shorter.
2 – **KEEPING IT QUIET (9-2) PR: First-Time-Starter
Bred both sides for grass and dam has produced two turf winners from four winning runners, including a stakes winner. But Todd not known for turf-debut types (11%). Working steadily, but unspectacularly.
3 – **CRUZ DIEZ (15-1) PR: 71 (dirt)
Trailed throughout strongly run dirt debut going a mile. Grandson of Smart Strike should like turf -- of dam’s six winners from 11 starters, including two SWs, none won on turf. Cold barn adding blinkers.
4 – ***SILVER DEFENSE (4-1) PR: 78
Raced well in both turf starts, showing improvement second time and earning competitive Pricci Rating. Wismer barn had upset winner last Saturday and is profitable in all relevant categories. However, Bravo opts for another here but Lanerie switch does suit runner’s style.
5 – *OMENED BY (15-1) PR: 48
Set pressured pace throughout [turf] debut then tired badly in deep stretch at 67-1. Rider switch to Trujillo here suits, but barn is icy 1-for-94 at this meet through Monday’s racing.
6 – ****STORM TEAM (3-1) PR: 77 (5F)
Earned highly competitive figure while placing second start albeit in 5F sprint—winner repeated on Thursday here--and Goldberg a worthy 24% effective with beaten favorites. Top side of pedigree won’t mind the stretch-out. Paco sticks with this strong contender.
7 - **HERECOMESYOURMAN (10-1) PR: 67
Showed improved speed in recent turf debut at today’s trip despite racing wide throughout. Barn got off the duck here recently and Bravo chooses this one. Returns with good spacing and blinkers off; intriguing price shot at early line odds or greater.
8 – *CHESAPEAKE CITY (15-1) PR: [NA]
Trailed throughout dirt-sprint debut and was beaten off after having excuse-filled break. Has some turf pedigree and mare’s lone winner from two starters won on grass. Capable outfit names Prado but draw did him no favors.
RACE 11: ANY LIMIT STAKES 3YO Fillies 6 Furlongs
1 – **FAITH N HOPE (6-1) PR: 83
Likes to stalk from close range—the likely the tack here assuming sharp break. Stayed fairly well last out after making rally into the lane, earning a competitive PR. Loses Saez but is acquainted with Olivero.
2 – **FASHION RUNAWAY (12-1) PR: 77
Chased the pace and tired going 7F following lifetime best score previously at hybrid 6-1/2F, both at Tampa. Had useful blowout over surface for GP debut but meeting faster/tougher on speedier ground.
3 - ***CURSOR (6-5) PR: 81
Earned highly competitive PR when second in debut at this trip before breaking maiden stretching out, then was even finish in G3 Tempted going 8F. Turn-back makes sense in 3YO de but, as does switch to Jose Ortiz.
4 – ***TRUGE (9-2) PR: 83
Might have been best when beaten a neck by undefeated Who’s the Lady last out at today’s trip with six-wide rally into the lane in second fast-track start. Breeze of 5F 3rd fastest of 23 peers week of 4/24, but loses Ortiz to early line, class tested fave.
5 – ***WHO’S THE LADY (7-2) PR: 84
Three for three lifetime including two at GP, winning from both on and just-off the pace. Versatile filly is well-spotted by O’Connell in this listed event and goes first time for Paco. May offer surprising value; note.
6 - COLORINCOLONEL (30-1) PR:
Filly is 1-for-17 lifetime and barn is 1-for-94 at this meet—and that win was for maiden claiming $12,500.
7 - *MIA (6-1) PR: 68
Has shown high early speed going shorter on occasion but lone win came going 4-1/2F here in June. Generally fails to stay, figures to be chasing wide throughout but 1:01 1 BG was 6th fastest of 58 peers week of 3/19.
RACE 12: G3 SKIP AWAY 4 & UP 1-1/8 Miles
1 – **HY RIVERSIDE (10-1) PR: 88
Game winner of the Sunshine Millions Classic at today’s route then subsequently bounced, chased a strong pace in rapidly run G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, then prepped by racing needlessly wide in backstretch run of G3 Hooper mile. Stretchout and pole a big help, but loses Ortiz to Zulu.
2 – ***FLASHY JEWEL (3-1) PR: 93
Was impressively game taking shorter-stretch 1-1/16-mile Old Hickory after being pressed throughout in his latest. Kenneally is 18% effective with repeaters and this one looms controlling--and possibly lone—speed. Has inside position and stretches to distance at which he’s 1-for-1. Takes catching beneath Bravo.
3 – ****FEAR THE COWBOY (4-1) PR: 94
Was scratched from recent local stakes awaiting this favorable spot. Last was first rate placing at today’s distance, he likes the game, given (19) 6-5-1 lifetime slate, and a surface lover, too: (4) 2-1-1. Goes very well for Rios; major player and potential value for barn that’s otherworldly 34% effective with shippers.
4 – ***ZULU (2-1) PR: 92
Second in the G2 Fountain of Youth here at 3 and won restricted Tamarac in GP return in December. Raced wide at critical juncture of rapidly G2 mile last out, losing any chance, now stretches to suitably longer trip over a strip he loves (5) 3-1-0 and gets Ortiz. Logical Todd favorite.
5 – JOSHUA’S COMPRISE (30-1) PR: 73
Two-for-58 lifetime and barn is 0-for-53 at the meet; next.
6 – ***TEAM COLORS (5-2) PR: 90
Was a good second in last year’s Skip Away and badly needed his recent Hal’s Hope return from an eight-month layup. Jerkens profitable in all relevant categories and an otherworldly 36% going turf to dirt. Switch to Paco may provide perfect speed-battling stalking trip. Very competitive six-horse feature.
RACE 13: Maiden Special Weight F&M 3&UP 7-1/2 Furlongs (TURF)
1 - **GOLDGATE (8-1) PR: FTS
Excellent turf connections on both sides of the tack but Goldberg not known for winning grass firsters. Bred for turf both sides and has been working bullets at PMM base since New Year’s Day. A tricky read.
2 – **LOVIN EMPIRE (6-1) PR: FTS
Has two-sided turf pedigree but of dam’s four winners only one won on grass. Workline a tad spotty for Todd but this one is drawn well and does get Ortiz. More mixed signals here.
3 – ***NIGHT BEFORE (30-1) PR: 61
Raced mid-pack and one-paced in slowly run debut at this trip at 58-1. But barn’s horses improve as second-time starters—19% profitable with 3YOs--and Meneses is one for three with a placing for the barn at this meet. Pedigree is turf and distance meant. Has puncher’s chance at huge odds.
4 – ***EASE HIS PAIN (20-1) PR: 73
Improved after adding blinkers for turf debut in latest, albeit at 75K claiming level, was hampered by rough trip and still beaten only three lengths. Loses Johnny to Dubai but attracts Jaramillo. Has worked thrice since last, nicely drawn and returns with good spacing. Another live price shot.
5 – **GLOBAL AFFAIR (15-1) PR: FTS
Had long series of works in Kentucky, then a three-month break, before getting back into training at Payson this winter. Dam’s lone winner won on turf but Rusty only 3% with his first-timers and jock currently riding at 6%. Yet another requiring a leap of faith.
6 – EVERYTHING’S COPA (20-1) PR: FTS
Preciado capable with firsters but not known for developing grass runners. Not particularly turf bred either but this is dam’s first foal. Alvarez 8% lifetime on turf; has much to overcome.
7 – ****GAME FACTOR (9-5) PR: 76
Made strong move to the lead, battled head-to-head thereafter but drifted in deep stretch costing him the victory on debut. Gets underrated grass partner Panici and Clement, 21% efficient this meet, is 28% profitable with second-time turf runners. Deserving favorite and obvious one to beat.
8 – ***JUNO MOON (10-1) PR: 64
Had tough break from wide post in turf debut, losing too much ground into the lane, finishing fourth but ahead of eight rivals in lone grass start as juvenile. Appeared in need of season’s debut but should benefit, as should the switch to Juarez. Value on early line given 3YO maturity factor.
9 – **EGG ROLL (8-1) PR: FTS
Has two-sided pedigree for grass, but draws tough outside post with inexperienced rider. Mott is bred for turf, too, and this runner has trained at GP, as opposed to Mott’s primary base at Payson. Intrigues but would need every bit of 8-1 or greater. Many tricked-up firsters here…
10 – *SKY RANGER (15-1) PR: 43
Chased the pace and weakened going a mile in sloppy-track off-turfer in Feb. 22 debut. Gets switch to grass-savvy Prado and adds first-Lasix. Four-year-old vs. threes here and looms super-exotics price player.
11 - **KUPURI (20-1) PR: 20-1
Trailed throughout in racing debut on turf at this trip Feb. 12 at nearly 20-1, but now returns for Kenneally who’s 21% effective with second-time starters and Lanerie sticks. Intrigues at anything near early line quote.
12 – ***SILVER SHAKER (5-1) PR: FTS
Makes debut for top connections on all sides of equation—small but classy outfit, Paco, and Chad calling the shots. Brown profitable with turf-debut runners and with first-timers in general but worktab is a bit spotty here. Dam’s five starters are winners, two in stakes, including a grass victor. Live newcomer.
PRICCI RATINGS (PR):
Measures the relationship between pace energy or velocity expended and final measure of that factor needed to complete the effort, expressed in figures, yielding a final Pricci Rating. Our beta-tests revealed that a 5-point PR spread is a significant edge for the higher rated horse. Horses within two PR points are virtually equal, post time odds determining bettability of each entrant. The greatest PR success has come in higher classes; the MSW, ALW and Stakes levels. An important tool, the PR is an integral part of the total picture. Figure shown is lifetime best given the conditions noted, unless indicated otherwise.
**** Prime Bets are must-inclusions in any horizontal wager or vertical wager key. There never will be more than two in any race, also-eligibles notwithstanding.
*** Strong Contenders are key runners that should be included in chaos or “spread” races and/or in conjunction with Prime Bets; bettor’s call.
** Solid contenders are best used to fill out vertical wagers or can be value-added inclusions for larger horizontal bankrolls. Can become strong contenders if late changes alter race dynamics.
*Single stars are intended as super-exotics filler, determined by the individual handicapper.
No stars are given to obviously overmatched entrants.
Star ratings can be upgraded or downgraded one notch based on changing race dynamics and value, or lack thereof. Our testing strongly advises against upgrading or downgrading more than one level.
****Potential P4 Single; must use. ***Must Use. **Money shots (3-star upgrade possible). *Exotics Only. No star, no chance. Races with two **** runners are key to smaller-bankroll plays. ***Runners should be included if only one **** horse appears. Alternatively, one ****runner also can stand alone as dictated by bankroll.
The star rating method includes examination of time-honored tenets including demonstrated class; form-cycle analysis; prevailing race dynamics; running-style suitability to race conditions; pedigree suitability; visual trip analysis; jockey ability and trends; trainer ability and trends; race spacing; workout patterns and dynamics in historical context relative to winning patterns of horses, individuals, or both.
Please remember that this methodology is multi-purposed: It provides a comprehensive picture to aid individual handicappers or as a stand-alone tool that has produced favorable results since mid-2014.
Written by John Pricci