John Pricci executive editor John Pricci contributes to his "Feature Race Analysis" section five times a week, focusing on New York.

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Pricci's Free Daily Feature Race Analysis

Five days per week and every racing day during the Saratoga meet, John Pricci will provide horse racing selections of that day's feature race. When the racing schedule dictates otherwise, there will be analysis from other major thoroughbred Tracks. Check back here 5 days a week for free horse racing selections.

In addition to his race analysis, John will provide commentary in a weekly "On the Line" column and daily blogs under the "Pricci's Morning Line" banner.

Friday, October 02, 2009

From Russia With Love

Today’s nominal feature is the Shopin Love for state-bred fillies going one mile on the Widener turf course.

Listen up, we’re not playing loose with your money. When many of the fillies entered here last ran at Saratoga, we had plenty to say (check archives, Woodward day at Saratoga).

We commented how the winner, Mother Russia, won because no one else seemed to want to. Four of them are running back here: Our Golden Dream, Exclusive Scheme, Mother Russia and Akilina.

If you look at the short comments in any major past performance disseminator, this is what you will read:

Fourth finisher Our Golden Dream: “chased winner in hand.”

Third finisher Exclusive Scheme: “in hand, split rivals.”

Akilina: “firm hold on rail”

Winner Mother Russia: “uncontested, in hand.”

Every wiseguy at Belmont Park will have an opinion on this race: On the blind, I’m picking Mother Russia to repeat, using the seldom employed Wise Guy Double Reverse Angle!

Taking Mother Russia, don’t care about the price, boxing her in the exacta with, who else, Exclusive Scheme.

Running Totals: (515) 154-105-72 Total Dollar Return: $1,040.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Spritely Is Live

Today’s Belmont feature, run as the third race, is the overnight Quick Mischief Stakes at 1-1/16th miles on the main track for fillies and mares 3 & up. And inasmuch as we’d like to fool around in here, there’s, you know, an obligation to try to protect your bankroll as well. Meaning?

Meaning I can’t beat Spritely (7-5).

Solo Piano (6-1) looks interesting of a New Pace Top, but the effort was a lifetime best at 7 furlongs and she has no form at this distance, making her a tough read.

Newport Harbor (8-1) has not taken a backward step on performance figures since this spring but she seems better suited to sprinting, as does her trainer’s MO.

The second choice at 8-5 is Sea Chanter which, like the favorite, is trained by Todd Pletcher and she comes from the key race G1 Personal Ensign. But she was beaten 24 lengths in there.

Sea Chanter can be forgiven since that was 10 furlongs on a wet track, she had trouble, and her best effort this year came under these conditions on this track before leaving for Saratoga.

But Spritely is proved fastest, handles the route, has tactical speed in a scenario indicating a perfect trip should be in the offing and she reunites with Johnny V, back in top class form.

And so we’ll take Spritely at 6-5 or more and key in her in exactas and trifectas with price shots Solo Piano and Newport Harbor.

Running Totals: (514) 153-105-72 Total Dollar Return: $1,037.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

There’s a Good Moon On the Rise

Today’s overnight feature, the Mr. Right, is interesting, a field of good horses in various stages of their form cycle. The three major players are Honour Devil (7-2), Rising Moon (3-1) and Coal Play (2-1).

Because of the presence of the speedy Mint Lane, it’s worth trying to beat Coal Play at a short price. Even if their riders slow the early pace down, they still are likely to entertain each other through this mile and a sixteenth.

Honour Devil, a tough-read albeit classy absentee from top connections, is also likely to show some freshness in his return from a long layup and the pole draw probably will force his rider’s hand early on, which can add to the pace mix.

Which leaves us with Rising Moon, who might not be as good as some of his rivals here but looks well intended and suit’s the race shape well. The last time this horse went turf to dirt, it resulted in a victory.

That’s the tack here for a barn showing a huge ROI in this surface-switch scenario. His tactical speed helps, as does the presence of Ramon Dominguez, and the price should be fair.

Taking Rising Moon to win at 3-1 or greater, keying him first and second in trifectas with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (513) 152-105-72 Total Dollar Return: $1,031.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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