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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.
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.