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.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Swapping Racing Luck for Stage Luck

Quick: What do all members of the six-horse Rare Treat have in common? Right, none have a win at the 9-furlong distance. In fact, only one of the older fillies even has experience going this far.

What to do? The next best thing. The surface probably will be wet, damp at minimum. Then there’s those who race well, or have inexperience, over the winter track. But there are too many in this very trappy contest, in which the four fastest females all figure very closely.

Aliysa (5-2) is 5-for-6 on wet tracks and first and second in two inner track starts, but she’s coming back a little quick, 22 days. Runway Rosie (4-1) also does very well over wet and inner track surfaces but she’s coming back even sooner and is a little short on the dam’s side of her pedigree. Then there’s Wild Hoots (3-1) with her extremely fast figures going shorter at Laurel. A pair of double tops now changing venues in 28 days, a lot to ask from a filly.

Obviously, this leaves us with the favorite, Stage Luck (9-5), who has the most upside being second off a layoff, a newly gained four-year-old maturity, a strong determination to win and, most significantly, is 42 days fresh.

Not everyone will rush to the lead but there’s a lot of speed signed on here, making this a rider’s race. Don’t like those kind of race where happenstance; who gets the best ride, the best trip, wins. Of those, Aliysa seems like the prime suspect. But Stage Luck closed fiercely to win her last when all appeared lost. The lightly raced Albertrani trainee looks like she wants to be a racehorse.

Taking Stage Luck to win, at 2-1 or greater, and exacta and trifecta key boxes with Aliysa and Wild Hoots.

Running Totals: (178) 62-37-20. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, February 22, 2008

Take the Afternoon Off

Aqueduct has canceled today’s program due to a winter storm in the metropolitan area. Our free analysis resumes tomorrow with the featured Rare Treat for fillies and mares.

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Freshness Key to Jovanna’s Success

The NYRA racing week begins with a very contentious preliminary allowances sprint for state-bred fillies going 6 furlongs. Four females are worthy of consideration but we’ll narrow our focus in the top tier contenders to two: Jovanna (4-1) and Meriwether Jessica (2-1).

Jovanna, returning off a 57-day layup for Rick Dutrow and Ramon Dominguez, has been trying to emulate the figure she earned winning her open-lengths debut three subsequent starts, without success. But her second start came in a stakes over the quirky Finger Lakes surface, then came a stumbling start and a too-soon return following that effort. Now, she’s had recovery time and returns fresh. That might be her hole card.

Meriwether Jessica has acquitted herself very well against better fillies, including open class competition. After her open lengths debut came four straight placings in stakes company, including the G3 Tempted. She has raced very well going long and short, benefits from conditioning and experience, and she might actually prefer sprinting over routing. She’s been working very well for her return and Linda Rice and C.C. Lopez have been a formidable team in New York winter competition.

With speed signed on from other high profile outfits, Jovanna has a chance to fall between the parimutuel cracks despite the presence of leading rider Dominguez. Taking Jovanna to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Meriwether Jessica. Trifecta players can key Jovanna first and second, adding La Ransom (5-1) and Jet Setting (5-2) to the mix.

Running Totals: (177) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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