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.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Z Humor No Laughing Matter for Pass the Tab Rivals

With yesterday’s races taken off the turf and with heavy rains in the area all Saturday night, we can’t believe that today’s Pass the Tab Stakes, for horses that have not won a stakes on turf at a mile or more this year, will remain on the grass. Therefore out selection here is for a wet main track only.

Z Humor (6-1) hasn’t really shown any development as a three-year-old after winning the Delta Jackpot last December. So, this is his time of year and, while his figures have not improved this season, they’re more than fast enough to compete with this group.

Used hard setting a strong pace in the Grade 2 Jerome, he kept trying while tiring after being displaced on the lead. The race was better than it looks on paper. After anticipated scratches, his outside draw will augur well and he’s getting a great deal of class relief in this spot. Chalk this one up for the Pletcher/Velazquez team, but at nowhere near his quoted overnight line.

Taking Z Humor to win at 3-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (311) 95-64-40. Total Dollar Return: $650.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Hail Mary from Temporary Saint

Today’s Grade 3 Stuyvesant Handicap finds this solid field in various states of form. But some appear on the precipice of regression, some are too close to call, or their class lines are spotty, their current form unknowable. Frankly, it’s not the kind of race we will get heavily involved in but have found one interesting entrant who should be fair odds.

Temporary Saint is a recent refugee from the claming ranks but don’t hold that against him. This spring, in his third start of the year, he made the transition from $50,000 Bruce Levine claim to G3 winner, more significantly on this track, at today’s distance.

His pattern coming into this is almost identical and the five-year-old gelding has run well in several barns including his present one, David Jacobson’s. Coming back on short rest is a barn specialty and the gelding returns on eight days rest coming out off a rapidly run mile won by the talented, albeit enigmatic Bribon, in which he chased a strong pace while racing on the inside throughout. Significantly, he drops seven pounds off that effort and retains the aggressive Eddie Castro.

Taking Temporary Saint to win at 5-1 or greater and keying him in exactas with late developing four-year-old Solar Flare, shipping in for Larry Jones, and the super-sharp state-bred, Stud Muffin.

Running Totals: (310) 95-64-39. Total Dollar Return: $650.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, November 14, 2008

It’s Not Nice to Fooli Houli

Don’t Fooli Houli (3-1), Key Event (3-1), and Bontempi (5-2). The winner of today’s feature should come from that trio.

Key Event is fastest on performance figures, and by a significant margin. The six-year-old seems to be improving with age and keeps marching forward incrementally, meaning that there may not be a backward move in his immediate future. Any chinks in the armor might be his seeming preference for firm ground, unlikely here. He has handle good turf but his figures regress on yielding or soft.

Don’t Fooli Houli will like off ground, based on his last, and his prior was faster than anything in here other than Key Event. The problem is that he might be more sprint meant than middle-distance oriented. But he’s nicely drawn, in capable hands of low profile connections and is coming off a Turf Decline Line Equiform pattern owning tactical speed.

Bontempi is also on a pattern, a Pace Low, and any improvement over his prior figure, which was competitive, puts him in this off the freshening for the Tagg/Coa team. That competitive figure, incidentally, came on off ground. Rooting for this race to remain on turf.

Taking Don’t Fooli Houli to win at 5-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (310) 95-64-39. Total Dollar Return: $650.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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