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, September 30, 2007

Order In the Court

The centerpiece of today’s four Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup prep program is the storied Jockey Club Gold Cup, headed by racing’s newest star, Lawyer Ron (3-5).

While the tendency will be to think regression off two very fast, powerhouse efforts, it’s hard to envision what that regression will mean in terms of his bet-against-ability; especially if the crowd goes overboard for Preakness hero Curlin (5-2).

Triple Crown horses always attract a big following, sometimes creating good betting opportunities.

Thing is that Lawyer Ron is a Triple Crown colt, too, class of 2006. But he’s a better four-year-old for his new barn, a different training style and maturity obviously making the difference.

Lawyer Ron has reached full potential and he’s been nothing less than awesome, in the old school sense of the word. If he turns out to be a fad, an equine flavor of the month, it would be a surprise. But even if that’s what occurs, he has a least one more big one inside him. Taking Todd Pletcher at his word, the horse thrives on work.

On performance figures, Curlin’s Haskell was not as bad as it looks. And, of course, he’s fresher, sharper now, that enervating mile and a half now more than three months away. And he will get those four pounds of scale-weight in deference to his age.

Parenthetically, we believe the scale favors the three-year-olds at this time of year.

This being a very big race, we’re compelled to give The Chief, a.k.a. Allen Jerkens, a second look. His Political Force (8-1) loves Belmont, given his record on it and performance figures that are faster than over any over surface. And he’s 1-for-1 at 10 furlongs.

But it’s Lawyer Ron’s Jockey Club Gold Cup to lose. Taking him to win, boxing him in the exacta with Political Force and first in exactas with both listed contenders.

Running Totals: (112) 40-26-11. Dollar Return: $230.00 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Lady Is a Champ

Lots of stakes on today’s card but the centerpiece is the $600,000 Flower Bowl, Grade 1, at a mile and quarter for three-year-olds and up. As you might expect, this race is loaded.

But let’s face it. Todd Pletcher holds the key here, and if Wait a While was sharp and good enough to overcome a sub-par Saratoga meet for the three-time defending Eclipse champion trainer, we can only infer one thing: The champ is back.

But, as stated, this is a deep group. Masseuse might be coming off a 69-day layup for Jimmy Toner, but his barn has been firing on all cylinders recently, a profitable 22 percent over the last 90 days. Further, the filly is 3-for-4 on Belmont turf.

My Typhoon is better than her last indicates a lot better. She has won on this course, goes well for regular partner Eddie Castro and trainer Bill Mott, while a little chilly at Belmont, has continued his torrid Saratoga pace elsewhere. Her figures are competitive.

Rosinka will try to win her fifth straight, and fourth beneath Jeremy Rose, on three different courses. The Graham Motion four-year-old lasted to win her latest at the Spa, making a bold mid-race move then lasting under pressure at 11 furlongs. The mini-turn-back will suit her here.

Royal Highness is the likely second favorite, raising her game to win the G1 Beverly D. at Arlington last out. She’s blossomed for Christophe Clement since landing in the U.S. and racing on Lasix. She’s had seven weeks recovery since her last and has trained well for her return.

But, like we said, the champ is back. Despite a roughed start and rallying wide into the lane, she drew off powerfully to win the Ballston Spa, a G2 at a shorter distance, which should serve as an excellent prep for this. She’s not only 2-for-2 at 10 furlongs but did it in Grade 1 company. Garrett Gomez fits like a glove, the filly’s versatile style giving him plenty of options. Should she run her Ballston Spa back, this group is competing for second money. If not, Royal Highness is likely to inherit the victory.

Taking Wait a While to win, no price restrictions, an exacta box with Royal Highness, and keying her in the trifecta with all listed contenders.

Running Totals: (111) 40-26-11. Dollar Return: $230.00 [win selections only] {Friday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, September 28, 2007

How About Some Inside Info?

Today's feature is interesting, like most seven furlong turf events drawing a sizable field on the Widener course. This sprint is a secondary allowances, optional claiming $50,000. Three that have caught our eye are, from the inside, out: Metro Meteor (3-1), Theconfidenceman (4-1) and Inside Info (15-1).

Metro Meteor is the most likely winner. He is sharp, fastest on performance figures, significantly faster, won his only start at this distance and is a four-time winner over the course. He takes a confident rise off a tough trip loss at the $35,000 level, and Raffy Bejarano knows how to time the winning last run on grass.

Theconfidenceman is very interesting. He showed improvement last out, a late developer, typical of many geldings that come into their own at ages 5 and 6. He earned a competitive figure with a fast finish last out and has done his best racing in this course, particuarly if performance figures are the measure. Entered back quickly for the crafty Leo O'Brien, Jose Lezcano, an underrated, talented grass rider, takes the re-ride.

Inside Info is a huge price on the early line. He showed marked improvement despite a very rough trip last out and gets a favorable rider switch to veteran turf ace, Jean Luc Samyn. Not very far behind the second favorite here, he should provide excellent value in a very competitive group.

Taking Inside Info to win and place at 8-1 or greater, and exacta keys first and second with his two logical rivals.

Running Totals: (110) 40-26-11. Dollar Return: $230.00 [win selections only] {Thursday's results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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