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"
Friday, June 01, 2007
Will Rutherienne Pass Class Test?
A good feature at Belmont Park, the Grade 3 Sands Point at nine furlongs on the inner turf course for three-year-old fillies. Today, the highly promising Rutherienne (5-2) gets her class test. And we believe she’ll pass it.
Her main competition will come from early line favorite Sharp Susan (2-1) and the rapidly improving Classic Neel (3-1). First, the favorite.
Sharp Susan is a proven commodity at nine furlongs, a strong variable here. She has good early speed, is undefeated in two starts at 3, and comes up to this 69 days fresh. Cornelio Velasquez rides her like he owns her and, for all his stakes victories on turf, this would be the first in this race for grass ace Bill Mott.
Classic Neel is interesting. While she might be untested at today’s distance, she’s certainly proven her grass prowess. She won her first two grass starts then was ambitiously placed in Keeneland’s Appalachian Stakes, where she was beaten a mere neck. She will try to become the fifth filly out of that stakes to win a subsequent start and the team of Kiaran McLaughlin and Alan Garcia have been on a tear locally.
Rutherienne has been impressive whenever I’ve seen her. After racing very wide and finishing strongly from far back in the aforementioned Appalachian, she won her Belmont debut last out with authority. Note that trainer Clement is 25 percent effective with repeaters. The filly never has taken a backward step in four career starts, is 1-for-1 at the route, and her recent performance figure was faster than anything on the page. Garrett Gomez in the boot seals the deal.
Taking Rutherienne to win at 8-5 or greater, and keying her first and second in trifectas and exactas with the other two fillies.
Running Totals: (33) 14-8-7 [do not reflect Friday's results]. Return: $78.90 (win selections only)
Written by John Pricci
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Crosstown Traffic Only Needs Open Road
A good opportunity for value in today’s feature race at Belmont Park, the restricted Touch of Love Stakes for three-year-old state-bred fillies going six furlongs.
Talking Treasure is the 8-5 early line choice by virtue of two straight scores, including the Bouwerie Stakes last time out. But that at seven furlongs and this is six. We must try to beat her at expected short odds.
Two fillies have the best chance to pull the upset. The first is Silvercup Baby (8-1). Both of her races at this distance were strong on performance figures and she’s been training well for Carl Domino in her return from a freshening. She will be a good price and rates a puncher’s chance. Domino is profitable with returnees from layoffs of 90 days or more.
But the miss with the best upset chance is Crosstown Traffic (5-1), who ran a faster figure on this track as a two-year-old than any of these have at three. She’s going turf to dirt and turning back in distance for the Kimmel/Desormeaux team. John Kimmel is good in both categories and the filly recently worked a bullet half mile in preparation for this. Locked and loaded.
Taking Crosstown Traffic to win at 7-2 or more, and keying her first and second in exacta and trifecta boxes with Talking Treasure and Silvercup Baby.
Running Totals: (33) 14-8-7 Return: $78.90 (win selections only)
Written by John Pricci
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