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.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weathering the Storm

Today’s feature, the Darlin Momma, for New York-bred fillies and mares going two turns, salutes one talented New York-bred speedy filly. And it will be that commodity which will determine who finishes first here.

Performance figures, however, can really separate the contenders here, which they’re speed, stalk or rally types. The thing about the ability of the “fastest horse” to win the race regardless of style is a consistent horse will use that speed when necessary.

There are three short-priced fillies on the early line. Rick Dutrow’s By The Light (5-2) is stretching out here off sprints and has won going a mile. Add 70 yards and a second turn and that will be her test. At short odds, there won’t be enough reward for the risk.

Sapphire Sky (5-2) also will get strong support and owns a running style that’s likely more suited to the task than By The Light. C.C. Lopez is familiar with her and she’s been competitive in recent starts. She belongs.

But it’s race favorite Weathered (2-1) that truly deserves the linemaker’s respect. She’s consistently fastest on figures, has done her best racing over this surface, has speed but can stalk, benefiting from her inside post at the trip.

Mike Luzzi is a skilled speed rider who’s far better than his current win percentage suggests and is the five-year-old‘s regular partner. Her recent five furlongs in a minute flat was the fastest of 90 older fillies to work in New York during that week. Second in an open G3 two back, she figures to handle her state-bred rivals.

Taking Weathered to win at 2-1 or greater and keying her first and second in multiples with the speedy inner track specialist, What A Pear (10-1), on the trainer change and fast working Gold For The Queen (10-1) with the streaking David Cohen in the boot.

Running Totals: (574) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Ricoritoa East of Java?

The New York Racing Week begins with a preliminary allowances for older horses going a mile and 70 yards on the winter track. Meaning there’s a short run to the first turn where the rail horse, Ricoriatoa (3-1) is expected to gain the lead and control the pace beneath the heady Richard Migliore. Dominguez figures to apply pressure with class challenged Regents Ridge from the extreme outside.

Can he be rated? Good question. He rated at 7 furlongs going one turn at Belmont; this is another animal entirely. But since claimed by Dominic Galluscio, the newly turned four-year-old has been working lights out, and he’ll be a tough out. Migliore knows him well.

Logical challengers are Web Gem (9-2) and Tranquil Manner (7-2). Web Gem figures to stalk under the hot arrival David Cohen and his inside draw should provide good position. That won’t matter with Tranquil Manner, who really never has taken a backward step on performance figures, which are highly competitive. But he comes from the clouds and may need a tiring surface to get there; not a great proposition at lower odds.

Given a 20 percent strike rate with new claims, we’ll opt for Ricoriatoa to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with Web Gem and Tranquil Manner, and adding the returning So It Goes (10-1) to the trifecta mix. Many turf types act very well on the winter surface.

Running Totals: (573) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good News Runs Wild in Big A Feature

Back to Aqueduct we go for the six-horse Ruthless Stakes, a weather cancellation last Sunday. The redrawn sprint for three-year-old fillies did pick up another horse but the handicapping story remains virtually the same, still a two-horse race between the second favorite and the likely public choice.

Second favorite Funny Feeling (8-5) returns for Michael Maker, returning with good spacing and with the talented Gabriel Saez breaking from post 2. But this group still had Wild News (7-5) to beat for the team of John Parisella and Ramon Dominguez.

She’s a bullet from the gate, but can be rated and worked extremely well for this; her half mile breeze two back was in :48 1/5, 7th fastest of 137 2-year-olds to work the final week of 2009, that large sample including colts!

Then she returned this week with another half mile in :48 2/5, termed breezing, another excellent move just to retain her fitness. Drawn in post four, it will give Ramon plenty of options.

Taking Wild News to win, no price restrictions, a cold exacta with Funny Feeling, adding E Z Passer to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (572) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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