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.



Thursday, February 21, 2008


Freshness Key to Jovanna’s Success


The NYRA racing week begins with a very contentious preliminary allowances sprint for state-bred fillies going 6 furlongs. Four females are worthy of consideration but we’ll narrow our focus in the top tier contenders to two: Jovanna (4-1) and Meriwether Jessica (2-1).

Jovanna, returning off a 57-day layup for Rick Dutrow and Ramon Dominguez, has been trying to emulate the figure she earned winning her open-lengths debut three subsequent starts, without success. But her second start came in a stakes over the quirky Finger Lakes surface, then came a stumbling start and a too-soon return following that effort. Now, she’s had recovery time and returns fresh. That might be her hole card.

Meriwether Jessica has acquitted herself very well against better fillies, including open class competition. After her open lengths debut came four straight placings in stakes company, including the G3 Tempted. She has raced very well going long and short, benefits from conditioning and experience, and she might actually prefer sprinting over routing. She’s been working very well for her return and Linda Rice and C.C. Lopez have been a formidable team in New York winter competition.

With speed signed on from other high profile outfits, Jovanna has a chance to fall between the parimutuel cracks despite the presence of leading rider Dominguez. Taking Jovanna to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Meriwether Jessica. Trifecta players can key Jovanna first and second, adding La Ransom (5-1) and Jet Setting (5-2) to the mix.

Running Totals: (177) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Monday, February 18, 2008


It Is Now Post Time for the “Cappy”


Today’s Big A feature is the Fred Caposella for three-year-olds at six furlongs. The “Cappy” has only drawn a field of five with no shortage of speed. We’ll concentrate on two: Law N Dora (5-2) and Laysh Laysh Laysh (4-1).

Early line favorite Go Go Shoot (2-1) was not easy to eliminate, but something had to give here. C. C. Lopez is very likely to hustle the speed of the speed out of the chute but coming back relatively quickly off a career best effort while picking up six pounds is not very inviting at a short price.

Law N Dora chased Go Go last time but had to settle for place. Today, with a switch to Rajiv Maragh, we’re looking for a change of tactics, too, reverting to his effort of two starts back in which he sat a pocket trip before tipping outside for the win. He blew out sharply at his Philadelphia Park base for this.

Should a pace duel develop, not extremely likely in a small field, it will be to Laysh Laysh Laysh’s best advantage. Riding a two-race streak for the very live David Jacobson shed, he has the best late lick in this heat, speed figures more than competitive enough to compete, and drops six significant pounds off his recent score. It’s up to new pilot Mario Pino to time this colt’s move perfectly.

Taking Law N Dora to win at 2-1 or more and an exacta box with Laysh Laysh Laysh.

Running Totals: (176) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, February 17, 2008


Can’t Avoid Dearly Precious Favorite


Today’s feature has attracted an interesting field of three-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs. Unfortunately, it’s not a very compelling betting race.

Hard as we try, it’s very difficult to get past the favorite and likely second choice. Sherine (9-5) is the most accomplished of the group, while Armonk (4-1) is extremely sharp. Something’s got to give here.

Sherine deserves the favorite’s role. She’s won half her six lifetime starts, performs well going long, short, on dirt and on turf. She’s 1-for-1 on the winter surface and at today’s distance. She’s not as attractive as Armonk as a betting proposition but she has more versatility and conditioning, an advantage here.

Armonk is very quick, loves this surface, as her 2-for-2 mark suggests, but she appears to be one dimensional and there are others with speed to test her here. With showers predicted for the afternoon, a wet track figures to help her rivals here. But if you run with her, you’re likely doing it at your peril.

Taking Sherine to win, no price restrictions, and exacta key boxes first and second with Armonk and either half of the Gary Contessa entry, both making their first starts for the meet’s leading outfit.

Running Totals: (175) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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