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.



Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Opportunity Galore In Belmont Turf Feature


Very interesting feature to resume the racing week at Belmont Park, a secondary allowances for fillies and mares going nine furlongs on the inner turf course. Like many grass races, this one’s wide open with many entrants on the improve and with the distance a curiosity for some.

We’ll concentrate on four, from the inside out; Hot Property (10-1), Makderah (7-2), Lady Renaissance (5-2) and Itsnotthemoney (15-1).

Hot Property is highly competitive on performance figures, hails from a top grass outfit, but is not particularly well bred for turf. While her dam has produced three turf winners, more of her offspring did not handle the weeds. But she continues to train steadily and shows up here. She looks very well intended for Barclay Tagg, a profitable 17 percent with turf debut types.

Makderah is the most probable winner. She’s the fastest on turf figures, has developed very well, showing improvement since adding Lasix. And trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is 28 percent efficient with second-time Lasix runners and the filly is expected to improve further in her second start off a layup.

Lady Renaissance is highly likely to improve for high profile connections, the Clement/Gomez team. However, she’s perceptibly slower than her main rivals and looms an underlay. She would be a poor percentage play to win.

Itsnotthemoney is interesting. While not as fast as Makderah, she is developing nicely, showing incremental improvement. Stakes toughened last year at three, she makes her second start off a freshening, a high percentage move for the Frank Alexander barn. She likes the course, having won here last year and earned a life-best figure on this course last time out. Very live longshot.

Taking Makderah to win, no price restrictions, and we’ll make a smaller, saver wager on Itsnotthemoney at 8-1 or greater. We’ll also key Makderah first and second in trifectas with the other three fillies.

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, May 27, 2007


Sun King Taking Dead Aim On First Grade 1


Today’s Memorial Day feature at Belmont Park is the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, the storied “Met Mile.” Victory In this race virtually assures a profitable stud career for any stallion good enough to win it.

This year’s renewal doesn’t boast a household name, but rather a handful of legitimate G1 types bidding to become future legends. Consequently, however, it’s a great betting race.

Four horses, and another if the track is wet at post time, have a serious chance to win this open renewal. From the inside out: Lawyer Ron (5-2), Sun King (5-1), Silver Wagon (3-1), Silent Name (8-1) and the wet-track lover, Accountforthegold (15-1).

All five are within a couple of lengths on performance figures and there’s not that much disparity in the weight assignments. Open race, indeed.

Lawyer Ron, 3-for-3 at the distance and 2-for-2 on wet tracks, pointed toward this by Todd Pletcher, is the most probable winner. Toughened on the Triple Crown trail last year, he’s ready to come into his own at 4. His most recent figure was a lifetime best, and he’s had sufficient recover time.

Silver Wagon is probably the most accomplished but is most likely better at seven furlongs. His late kick fit’s the speedy race shape here perfectly. Sun King has knocked heads consistently in top company, racing very well, but is still a nose shy of that illusive grade one title. He, too, is very much suited by conditions, given his big late engine, and appeared a short horse in his prep, the recent G3 Westchester. Perhaps the switch to Eibar Coa might finally turn the trick.

Silent Name is an interesting dark horse in that he is a top class miler on turf, won on Polytrack last out in fast time, in this looks like the logical place to find out if he’s G1 quality on dirt. He seems much improved this year. The attraction for 15-1 Accountforthegold is his performance figure earned at a mile on a wet track, among the fastest on the page.

On a fast track, we’ll take the value offered on Sun King to win at 4-1 or greater and an exacta box with Lawyer Ron. The gusto play is keying Sun King first and second in trifectas with all four horses.

Running Totals: (31) 13-8-7 Return: $74.30 (win selections only)

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Sometimes You Just Need To Go For It


Today’s feature at Belmont Park, the Grade 3 Jaipur Stakes for three-year-olds and Up on the inner turf at six furlongs is, simply stated, a great betting race. Of course, you need to pick the winner and apply the best wagering strategy. We believe the reward will be worth the risk..

The attractiveness is betting against early line favorite at 7-2, Will He Shine. A talented sprinter? Yes. Turf experience? No. We won’t pay the privilege to find out if he likes grass at short odds, especially suitable pedigree for the surface in question. And this is a salty group for all, anyway.

From the rail out, there are five horses of interest: Salute The Count (8-1); Metro Meteor (12-1); Congo King (4-1); Weigelia (9-2) and Southern Missile (20-1). We’ll look at two that will key our play.

Congo King’s future is on turf. The four-year-old proved as much in two recent turf stakes vs. strong sprint competition, earning competitive performance figures in his first races for a new barn, Patrick Biancone’s. King has demonstrated enough tactical speed and kick, which fits the speedy race shape here, picks up a position conscious Johnny Velazquez, and worked a bullet half-mile in preparation.

Metro Meteor, meanwhile. is making his second start as a four-year-old and first for very live connections, the Winning Move Stable/Gary Contessa team. Contessa is a winning 21 percent with his starters first off the claim, and the colt demonstrated enough class and kick on the grass at 3 to run down the speed here, with expected improvement, from his inside post at generous odds.

The competition is strong, including the very fast Salute The Count from the rail; the classy winner of last year‘s Jaipur, Weigelia, and the very sharp longshot, Southern Missile, whose only knock is his outside draw.

We believe it permissible on occasion to wager on more than one horse in a race. So we’re taking both Congo King and Metro Meteor to win. Each will be tallied in running-total results. Further, because of the odds involved, we’re making another aggressive play. We’re using each horse as trifecta keys first and second, with Salute The Count, Weigelia and Southern Missile.

Running Totals: (30) 12-9-7 Return: $70.00 (win selections only)

Written by John Pricci

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