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 05, 2007


Mature Mott Returnee Set for Belmont Feature


If the late President Reagan were a handicapper, he would have this to say to NYRA racing secretary P.J. Campo: “Well, there you go again!”

Yes, another turf sprint feature, but this time at 7 furlongs. At least we’re stretching out, anyway.

Today’s eighth in New York is for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, for non-winners of one other than maiden or claiming.

We really can’t see anything interesting beyond two fillies in the field of 10 that includes an entry: Emmy Carly (2-1) and Lorelei Legend (8-1).

Emmy Carly figures to be higher odds at post time, given her return from a long layoff. She’s the fastest filly in the group on performance figures and likely has upside potential here given her added maturity at 4. That figure came on Belmont turf, she returns for Bill Mott currently in the midst of a Hall of Fame season and excellent off a lengthy respite. Interesting that he reaches out for Channing Hill, who doesn’t ride for this barn normally, and returns off a series of steady works.

Meanwhile, Lorelei Legend will appreciate the return to 7 furlongs, distance of her only--and fastest--victory. Making her second start off a freshening, she turns back for Bobby Frankel, a profitable angle for this Hall of Famer, taps Johnny Velazquez, a 30 percent team when hooking up, and comes from a Saratoga route that might turn out to be a key race with one winner from two subsequent starters. Not as fast as some of her rivals here, that could change since she appears to be a late developing three-year-old.

Taking Emmy Carly to win at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box with Lorelei Legend.

Running Totals: (114) 40-27-13. Dollar Return: $130.00 [win selections only] {Thursday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, October 04, 2007


Taking Upside in Yet Another Featured Turf Sprint


Before we get into today’s feature, this note. I like turf sprints as much as anyone, especially the six furlong variety, which generally are more formful. But to card this type as the feature almost every non stakes day is getting a little old.

Today’s feature has a rare condition for this circuit: for horses that broke their maiden for $50,000 or less and which have not won a race other than maiden or claiming. It’s very difficult, consequently, to get a line on who fits these conditions best when matching up rivals.

We’ll concentrate on two: returnee Lady Limit (4-1) and Moneypenny (3-1). First, the favorite.

Looks like the line-maker found this race challenging, too. He chose a filly that won her last race--not inconsequential in this group--earned a good performance figure but we believe, most significantly, that the filly is coming off a recent Gary Contessa claim, a profitable 20 percent angle for this outfit. Her late kick fits the race shape well but whether she can replicate her good route figure turning back is problematical.

Lady Limit, a fast filly coming off a layup from a good return outfit, that of trainer Billy Badgett, is intriguing because she has the most upside. Hard to get a line on her turf debut, her first start at 3 and at five furlongs where here early fractions were very quick. She figured to tire and did.

Today she comes off a 12-week layup with a series of bullet and near-bullet workouts in tow. She certainly owns enough turf pedigree to be effective, has improved with maturity, is well drawn and attracts the streaking Eibar Coa. Most encouraging was he ability to change to a stalking style that resulted in a lifetime best effort. Given recuperative time by her new trainer, she looks set for best here.

Taking Lady Limit to win at 7-2 or greater and an exacta box with Moneypenny.

Running Totals: (114) 40-27-13. Dollar Return: $130.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Chances Are Tagg’s Filly Will Fire


Not an easy spot to begin the week (seems like all spots difficult for us lately), an “optional non-winners of two other/than, $50,000 claiming,” at six furlongs on the Belmont turf. The favorite, a fast filly from California named Thru N' Thru (8-5), will be trying this distance and course for the first time. Like we said, however, she’s fast.

Two logical contenders are Queen Amira (5-1) and Willshefire (7-2). Let’s examine both.

While Bill Mott Queen Amira seems to lack a winning profile, her lifetime best effort came on this course under these conditions, that is if Wednesday’s course is firm. Since then, she’s competed at varying distances or over unsuitable ground. She needs a good trip to suit her late kick and might get that given the early speed signed on. The inside helps, as would a focused Kent Desormeaux (not always a given).

Willshefire comes from the white hot Barclay Tagg/Eibar Coa connections. She loves the distance and the course, with two wins at each, and has a versatile style that allows her to either front-run or stalk to victory. That seems the case here as she’s drawn outside the speedy Bob Baffert filly from Del Mar.

Given that their performance figures are all within a couple of lengths on the best game, the trip will be the thing.

Taking Willshefire to win at 3-1 or greater, keying her first and second in exactas with the other two fillies.

Running Totals: (113) 40-27-12. Dollar Return: $130.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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