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, May 01, 2009

Rachel Alexandra Key to Exotic Payoffs

There is not about taking a base on balls with Rachel Alexandra (3-5) to win the storied G1 Kentucky Oaks. It’s about making money in the exotic pools as well as the Oaks-Derby Double.

Whoever you like in the Kentucky Derby--our Derby betting strategy to be published here Saturday from 1:01 AM forward--by using Rachel Alexandra to get you alive, that strategy could increase the odds on your Derby selection(s) by two points or even higher.

On performance figures, Rachel’s main rival is Justwhistlindixie (5-2). Beyond that, her victories have been visually impressive, most especially her latest at Gulfstream Park. Granted, however, that no three-year-old has been as visually impressive as Rachel Alexandra has been this year--and that includes the boys.

But Gabby’s Golden Girl (10-1) is sitting on a big one as well. Her performance figures have been improving incrementally and never has taken a backward step in her career. She’s been working lights out for Bob Baffert at Churchill and can easily make a multiple-pool ticket worth cashing.

Taking Rachel Alexandra to win, no price restrictions, and taking her on top only in exactas and trifectas with her two main rivals here, adding Flying Spur (8-1) to the trifecta mix.

Bonus Selection: Betting One Caroline to win the G2 Louisville Stakes (7th race) at 5-2 or greater

Running Totals: (416) 127-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $870.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Recent Maker Claim Future Prospect’s Are Bright

Not an inspiring feature at Belmont Park today, a state-bred starter allowances that “have started for a claiming price.” Any claiming price. As such, classifying this group can lead to only one conclusion: Be Bullish (2-1) is the best horse. And since he’s reuniting with Eibar Coa, who’s 2-for-2 on the Schwartz trainee, looms a logical favorite and most probable winner.

But the value lies elsewhere and it appears Future Prospect (7-2) has the most upside. He’s improved since Michael Maker’s claim and broke through with a new lifetime best performance figure.

What’s significant is that it was an incremental move, not one prone to regression, and quite often geldings don‘t come into their own until five years of age, the case here. A winner of 2 of 3 starts at this distance, Maker’s a profitable 29 percent with his routers.

Taking Future Prospect to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Be Bullish.

Running Totals: (415) 126-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $862.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Formidable Is Just That

The Jerkens family could use something nice to happen at Belmont Park, given the disappointing Derby news from the Jimmy Jerkens shed Monday morning. Perhaps like seeing dad win the opening G3 Westchester Mile with Formidable (3-1).

Don’t let the early line fool you. This is a wide open race and getting early line odds at post time is a real possibility. And that would be a fair price.

Formidable has really developed since turning four and comes off a terrific season in South Florida and faces his first acid test here. But this is Allen Giant Killer Jerkens we’re talking about here.

Yes, this young horse is eligible for secondary allowances and meets proven graded winners here. But he’s improving, learning and going forward. The proven horses have been in and out, mostly out lately.

Formidable earned an excellent figure in his seven furlong allowance win two back, then set a pressured pace in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Sprint Handicap and held very well. Actually, he was holding well while the pace was heating up, unusual for a relatively inexperienced stakes performer.

The key here is running style, an outside post position and the addition of first-time Lasix, especially significant when racing at middle and longer distances, the case here. Jose Lezcano, who’s 2-for-2 on the horse, reunites with the Sky Mesa colt.

Taking Formidable to win at 3-1 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with Bribon (7-2), a proven graded winner at the distance and a better horse on the deeper New York tracks, and the sharp state-bred Mor Chances (12-1), stretching out off two sprints for the white hot Rick Dutrow.

Running Totals: (414) 126-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $862.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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