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, May 29, 2010

Top Sprinter Cash Refund To Go Six for Seven at Churchill

Were you impressed when Atta Boy Roy (5-2) set a hot pace, opened a clear lead and won the 7 furlong Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap comprehensively beneath Calvin on Derby day? So was I. Today, however, it’s a different distance, distance puzzle.

First of all he’ll have to hustle on the turnback to six furlongs breaking from the rail in today’s G3 Aristides in Louisville. And he has the early speed of developing four year old Chief Of Affairs (5-2) to deal with. But both must deal with Cash Refund (2-1), in our view, one of America’s very best sprinters.

Winner of the Kenner Memorial sprint at Fair Grounds on Louisiana Derby weekend, extending his lifetime mark to 5-for-6, he returns to his favorite surface, given a lifetime best performance figure here, is nicely drawn outside in this small field and will get a perfect view of the action, sitting off the flanks of the co-second choices.

In fact, this looks like a good spot to try beating those co-choices. Taking Cash Refund to win, no price restrictions, and keying him in exactas with likely trip sitter Riley Tucker (7-2) and price shot Cassoulet (15-1).

Running Totals: (658) 207-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,441.80 [win selections only]

Next week, Monday, we will analyze a Memorial Day feature race. Tuesday feature race analysis will resume the following week

Written by John Pricci


Friday, May 28, 2010

Katy Bar the Door

Today’s secondary allowance feature is an interesting handicapping test for a six-horse gate full of fillies and mares, 3 year olds and up.

Does the speedy Wild News (4-1) shake loose again? Is Reforestation (3-1) primed for a forward move, which would make her the first filly here? Is the rapidly improving optional claimer Goodday (7-2) good enough?

Or should we all just accept the anticipated favorite status of Katy Now (2-1), making her first start at 3 and her first for Todd Pletcher? For me, it’s the latter.

While not yet as fast on performance figures as today’s formidable rivals, she has license to go forward on the maturity and new barn angles, and in a four-race career never has taken a backward step.

But after finishing second behind Devil May Care in her second lifetime start for a notorious second-out barn, Carl Nafzger’s, the front bandages came off and she broke her maiden going 7 furlongs on Keeneland’s Polytrack and came back against winners at a mile to her that start by 4 lengths at Churchill.

To say that she is a promising filly belabors the obvious. She’s been training steadily since the winter at Pam Meadows and owns a recent bullet at Belmont Park. She will be ready and appears primed to her competition down in deep stretch.

Taking Katy Now to win, no price restrictions, and keying her first and second in multiples with her rivals here, extra tickets with Reforestation and Goodday.

Running Totals: (657) 206-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,438.10 [win selections only]

Next week, Monday, we will analyze a Memorial Day feature race. Tuesday feature race analysis will resume the following week

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bond Filly Ready for Today’s Engagement

Today’s Belmont Park feature is a secondary allowances, optional claimer for New York bred fillies and mares going a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course, and a competitive event it is.

There seems to be sufficient speed signed out to make the shape advantageous to a trip sitting late runner. Cagey Girl (5-2) has proved consistently fastest--although her best runs have come at the Spa--and makes her debut for the Asmussen barn.

Of the late runners and trip sitters, this route boils down to Triple Tax Exempt (4-1), Smart Engagement (4-1), Exonerated (5-1) and the Tom Bush entry, headed by Ambidaxtrous (7-2).

Of these, we’re looking most closely at Smart Engagement, who has the greatest chance to provide wagering value. She is not as fast as her tougher rivals but never has taken a backward step in three career starts.

She makes her second start following a layup for a barn, Jimmy Bond’s, that’s a profitable 25 percent in that scenario, and Rajiv Maragh takes he re-ride. Hindered by a slow pace yet earning her best performance figure to date, she figures to benefit from a much more lively tempo here.

Taking Smart Engagement to win at 7-2 or greater and keying her first and second in trifectas with her four rivals here.

Running Totals: (656) 206-132-93 Total Dollar Return: $1,438.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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