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, 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


Sunday, September 27, 2009

This New York-Bred’s a Real Trooper

A pair of juvenile stakes for New York-breds, one for the girls, one for the boys. Today, it’s gentlemen first. In the Bertram Bongard at 7 furlongs, it’s clear that early line favorite One Note Samba (9-5) will be the post time choice as well, and why not?

The fastest horse by definition, given his maiden score two back, Todd Pletcher gave him a chance to prove he was worthy of open rivals. The G1 Hopeful group proved much too salty, and after an early hot-paced duel, he tired. It’s back to reality here and his last should have toughened him sufficiently.

But in the George Weaver-trained City Trooper (3-1), we have a colt that’s almost as fast on performance figures, also has three races worth of experience, but it’s his proven ability to handle a wet track and overcome adversity that appeals most.

After showing good early speed in his debut, he came from well off the pace to finish second despite a tough trip in his second start, then proved that no fluke with a troubled-trip score to break his maiden on a wet Saratoga track last out. There appears to be sufficient early pace pressure to harass the favorite here.

Taking City Trooper to win and place at 3-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (512) 152-105-71 Total Dollar Return: $1,031.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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