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 15, 2009


Casanova the Right Move in Black-Eyed Susan


Today’s filly companion and first leg of a special double with Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan for three year-old fillies going nine furlongs, is an interesting race that should yield decent odds on whichever filly wins it.

The most accomplished members of the group are winners of listed or restricted stakes, although Don’t Forget Gil (7-2) did win a G3, the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs this winter for trainer Mark Hennig.

A field of 10 was entered, although the connections of Hooh Why announced their intention to scratch earlier in the week.

Don’t Forget Gil has some talent. After winning the Florida Oaks, she turned back into a one-turn G2, New York’s Comely Stakes, and was a good second behind the highly promising Dream Play.

Given her consistency under any conditions--7-for-7 in the money--‘Gil’ figures to race well yet again, and retains Rajiv Maragh, who’s 2-for-3 on the New York-bred.

The interesting filly comes from the Larry Jones shed. Payton D’oro (9-2) has good early speed, an inside draw, is 3-for-3 around turns this season and her two-sided distance pedigree is crying out for more ground.

Always a fast worker, Payton D’oro breezed at half-mile in 1:00.20 at her Delaware Park base and she retains regular rider Terry Thompson. If she continues to develop, this group could be in big trouble.

The most probable winner at what should bettable odds is Casanova Move (5-2), who went very well at today’s trip when a game-finish second to the good filly Justwhistlindixie in the G2 Bonnie Miss. It was her second runnerup finish behind that runner, the other coming in the G2 Davona Dale.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens historically is profitable with his shippers and with horses returning with this type of freshening. Strongly bred for the route, she’ll be partnered by Jose Lezcano, aboard for both her G2 efforts.

Taking Casanova Move to win at 2-1 or greater, boxing her in exactas with her two rivals above, adding odds overlay Bon Jovi Girl (12-1) to the trifecta mix, and using C.M. to key the Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness double.

Running Totals: (423) 128-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only] (Thursday's results not included)

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, May 14, 2009


Toner Turfer Blazes the Way


Interesting grass feature at Belmont Park, nine furlongs on the inner turf for 3 year olds and up, a secondary allowances optional claimer.

Favorites Plenty Coups (3-1) and Expansion (7-2) will be formidable.

Plenty Coups ships in sharp off a frontrunning effort on Keeneland turf, generally anti-profile, he draws the pole and is well suited by pedigree to the added distance. Ramon Dominguez takes the mount for Barclay Tagg and is expected to take advantage of the prevailing conditions and race shape.

Expansion always never runs a bad one and certainly has plenty of conditioning with his grass marathon experience. Alan Garcia fits him nicely as his last race indicates and he must be adept here, trying to save some ground in the run to the first turn from his outside slip.

But we’ll throw deep in here with Blazing Dynamo, an overlay on the early line at 12-1. Making his second start off a layup, a good move for the Toner barn, he reunites with Javier Castellano for a return to his favorite course at what might be his optimal distance.

‘Dynamo’ earned a good performance figure at this trip previously and both lifetime wins came on Belmont turf. Nicely drawn toward the inside, look for a ground saving attempt by Castellano given the gelding’s modicum of tactical speed.

Taking Blazing Dynamo to win at 10-1 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with his rivals here, adding another course lover, Al Basha (6-1), and odds overlay French Vintage (20-1) to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (423) 128-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Any Port in a Storm


Finding the favorite in today’s preliminary allowance feature (turf only, please) at Belmont Park will not require a fishing license. Krista With A K (9-5) has been keeping fast company and proving it by earning the fastest figures in this field consistently--and by a wide margin. She’s the most likely winner.

But Gary Contessa, more a Big A than Belmont type, and more dirt than turf, saddles an interesting entry in Dressmaker (10-1) and Tempest Storm. It’s the latter who is the most appealing. In her most recent start at Aqueduct in which she encountered off ground, she seemed uncomfortable over the going. Not sure what the condition of today’s course will be but it should be more suitable to her than the one across the county line.

With her style, she should have little problem dictating the pace and clearly since improved for Contessa since the claim, winning three grass starts including one over and the course at today’s distance which earned her a career best figure. Making her second start of a layoff and with four-year-old maturity, she figures to go forward from her three-year-old efforts.

Taking Tempest Storm to win at 6-1 or greater (if she flies solo here) and boxing her in the exacta with the Barclay Tagg trained favorite.

Running Totals: (422) 128-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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