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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, January 05, 2008


New York to Louisville Route Runs Through Philadelphia


The New York Road to the Derby begins with today’s Count Fleet Stakes at a mile and 70 yards. These races for young three-year-olds are always a tricky forecast because young horses develop in leaps and bounds--or not.

On demonstrable form and performance-figure patterns, the field of seven looks like a two-horse affair for the top prize: Roman Emperor (4-1) vs. Giant Moon (5-2).

Roman Emperor is by the hottest sire of the moment, Empire Maker, whose offspring just keep getting better as the distances lengthen. Since adding blinkers for his second start, the Steve Klesaris trainee is 2-for-2, his latest showing improved early speed, a career pace top. The effort came at today’s distance and indicated another forward move is forthcoming. There should be enough early pace to suit his considerable late foot. Jeremy Rose ships in for the mount.

Giant Moon is undefeated in three career starts and this will be his toughest test on several levels. It will be his first start in open company vs. a group he cannot dominate on talent alone. Couple that with an outside post, speed to his inside, and a short run to the first turn; it’s not an inviting play at short odds. The good news for his fans, however, is that he wasn’t wound tightly for his last, according to trainer Rick Schosberg, and still won. No question that talent is there.

But we’re taking Roman Emperor to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with Giant Moon. Trifecta players should consider Red Reef (6-1) and Run With Me (12-1) in money positions second and third.

Running Totals: (156) 56-34-16. Total Dollar Return: $347.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, January 04, 2008


I’ll See Your Dutrows and Raise You One McLaughlin


Today’s feature, a secondary allowances optional $75,000 claiming for fillies and mares going a mile and 70 yards, has drawn seven entrants, including an entry. What a skull buster! And if you’re a wee bit paranoid, consider that Tony Dutrow saddles favorite Street Bird (2-1), while brother Rick the entry, including surface loving Maggies Smile (3-1).

Street Bird drew off to win her latest by open lengths under similar conditions. Owning early speed, the rail, and speed maven C. C. Lopez, she’ll be a tough out. However, we’re hoping the class rise and stuffer competition might neutralize those advantages.

Maggies Smile is 3-for-4 on this surface and has been toughened in a series of stakes. However, she, too, is long on early speed and appears one dimensional. Brother vs. brother in a speed duel? Unlikely, but who knows?

Littletown Bridge (4-1) might provide good value. The Kairan McLaughlin trainee, switching to Alan Garcia, is coming off a very sharp sprint effort and earned her best performance figure going long on this surface last year. Coupled with the fact that the barn is a profitable 21% efficient when stretching from a sprint to a route, and comes from a live race (the only runner to emerge from that race won her next start), there is reason to expect further improvement in her second start off the layup.

Taking Littletown Bridge to win at 3-1 or greater, boxing her in the exacta with Maggies Smile, and adding late-running Morning Gallop in second and third positions in the trifecta.

Running Totals: (155) 56-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $347.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, January 03, 2008


Rank Has its Privileges


Another tough feature race in New York--if you’re looking to make a score. Today’s feature is a preliminary allowances for newly turned three-year-old state-breds at six furlongs. The race drew seven but is effectively a match race between Another Foose (8-5) and That’srightofficer (1-1).

Another Foose won his debut stylishly, battling on the pace before drawing away through a final quarter-mile of :24 1/5. He’s trained well since that race, including a recent lung-opening bullet. Ramon Dominguez picks up this mount from Gary Contessa.

That’srightofficer wasn’t a stylish winner, but a super impressive one. He ran by the leaders with ease when asked for his best and drew off rapidly, earning a top performance figure. While his main rival has a bit more freshening, coming back in 40 days, the Rick Schosberg trainee has the benefit of a race over the winter surface. Alan Garcia replaces Edgar Prado, in Florida for today’s Gulfstream opener. If he runs back to his debut, Another Foose will be completing a short-priced exacta.

Taking That’srightofficer to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Another Foose. Trifecta players can add Hussonfirst (12-1) in underneath money positions.

Running Totals: (154) 56-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $347.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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