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Racebook Handicapping - Prioress Presents an Interesting Puzzle

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 11:03:15 AM
Racebook betting

The best way to determine if the price is right on a horse is to handicap the race before you know the morning-line odds, and establish what you believe is a fair price. For example, if a horse goes off at odds of 4-1 or better, you’ll bet on it. However, if the odds are lower than 4-1, you’ll pass, because there’s no wagering value according to your handicapping analysis. It’s better to do this work before looking at the morning-line odds, because they may prejudice your analysis. Of course, scratches will affect your analysis and likely change the odds you’re looking for. Don’t feel too bad if you pass on such a horse because he’s only 5-2, and he romps by 5…in the long run you’ll be better off betting with this type of discipline.

Saturday’s Grade 1 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park brings together an interesting mix of equine talent, with a wide range of accomplishments. Let’s take a brief look at each:

Indian Way – Anthony Dutrow takes over for Eoin Harty. Filly just broke her maiden on the Hollywood polytrack in fast time, but she’s relatively inexperienced, faces much tougher here, and has yet to race on dirt. Lots of questions.

Honest to Betsy – Has won 2-of-3 at Belmont, but her lone loss here was to the undefeated By the Light (by 3 lengths), and that foe returns in this event. Needs to step up big time.

Indian Blessing – Two-Year-Old Filly Champ has found the going a bit tougher this year, having finished second in her last two starts to a pair of very nice fillies. Regular rider Gomez stays in California, so John Velazquez fills in. She cuts back to six furlongs, and her last start at Belmont after a three-month layoff had to help. She’s got plenty of early speed, but so do many others in here. Getting involved in a pace duel could hurt her chances at low odds.

By the Light – Undefeated in five starts, although she hasn’t faced this caliber of competition, and her speed figures are a bit light. Rick Dutrow trainee is versatile, and can adapt to any pace scenario. She’s 2-for-2 at Belmont, and Prado gets the return call. She’ll be closing in the late stages. Very Live!

Secret Gypsy – Ronny Werner-trained filly has a ton of early speed. She’s been tiring at longer distances, so the cutback to six furlongs should be to her liking.

Tale of the West – John V. gets off this Pletcher filly to ride Indian Blessing, so Coa fills in. He’s done very well with Pletcher mounts, winning on 15-of-43 in 2007-08. She’s won both her starts easily against lesser, and will have plenty of company on the front end.

Palanka City – Midwest shipper won her first stakes race two back, then drew off to win a Grade 3 event last out at Pimlico. Regular rider Chris Emigh ships in for the mount. Should be in a perfect outside stalking position.

This race could set up nicely for the undefeated By the Light. Look for her to mount a winning rally coming off the turn, and nail the speed in the shadow of the wire. I’ll play her to win at odds of 9-2 or better. Happy gambling!

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?



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