Pricci's Free Daily Feature Race Analysis

Whenever his daily work schedule permits, HorseRaceInsider executive editor John Pricci will analyze that day's feature race from a major thoroughbred-racing jurisdiction.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nothing Like a Day at the Beach

The great thing about the Saratoga race meet, of course, is the fact that today’s feature race is a Grade 2 stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.

Not bad for a Wednesday.

In any event, the Lake George is loaded and while the two early line favorites easily are the most probable winners, it’s far from a two-horse race vis a vis wagering.

The two favorites, obviously, are Stephanie’s Kitten (5-2) and Samitar (3-1). Stephanie’s Kitten is developing beautifully with figures that are marching forward incrementally. But for “class on the grass” fans, she’s got that, too, as the winner of the G1 Alcibiades and the G2 Breeders’ Juvenile Fillies Turf.

And it certainly would be appropriate if last year’s leading Saratoga rider and upcoming Hall of Fame inductee were to win it. His next loss aboard this Catalano-trained filly will be his first in four rides.

But the wildcard in her is Samitar, yet another Martin Schwartz high-priced European purchase. She is a Group 1 winner in Europe and, as such, might have this field at her mercy—and that includes the accomplished Stephanie’s Kitten.

To make matters worse for the early line choice, Samitar attracts Ramon Dominguez, who appeared to be on a mission even before Sunday’s six-pack of winners.

Still, we’ll take Stephanie’s Kitten to win at early line odds or greater, an exacta box with Samitar, and will use the sharp improving Centre Court (4-1), G2 winning Better Lucky (8-1), Dancing Solo (10-1), seeking her third straight with Bravo shipping up to ride, and Medolina, 3-for-3 lifetime with Castellano—the last two fillies being Todd Pletcher trainees.

Running Totals: (1122) 345-218-168 Total Dollar Return: $2,373.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Monday, July 23, 2012

It’s New York-Bred Time

Today’s Saratoga feature is the Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-breds 3YOs & up going one mile and an eighth.

Lunar Victory (7-2) has been absent since open company win in March after establishing a career best figure, the fastest recent number in the race. He’s training strongly for Bill Mott who obviously is adept with lengthy absentees.

Taking Lunar Victory to win at 5-2 or greater and key boxing him with Johannesberg Smile (5-2) and Fiddlers Afleet (2-1) Exotic players can add the speedy Sailmate (4-1)to their mix.

Running Totals: (1121) 344-218-168 Total Dollar Return: $2,368.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Identifying the Sanford Winner

Today’s Grade 2 Sanford going in is at least as difficult as the opening day Schuylerville; a representative field in which almost all the runners have some kind of chance; some better than others, of course.

What the race doesn’t lack is speed, and it’s interspersed from one end of the starting gate to the other. The trick is finding the horse with an edge in this kind of matchup of young horses with varying experience.

We believe that edge goes to Bern Identity (4-1). That’s because on Equiform performance figures, his 2 furlong number gives him a fairly significant edge.

Whether he’s good enough remains to be seen; but what is known is that he figures to be the speed of the speed with an alert beginning.

His double-digit maiden score was as impressive as it was fast and he’s come back to work four times since, including a very sharp blowout, the fastest work among his peer group that week—and it came over the Saratoga main track

We’re taking Bern Identity to win at 3-1 or greater and key boxing him first and second in multiples with two top figure runners in this heat; the very well regarded Rose Junction (5-2) and the much improved Handsome Jack (9-2).

Running Totals: (1120) 343-218-168 Total Dollar Return: $2,363.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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