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, July 03, 2009

Smart, Not Too Fancy

Today’s Belmont feature, the restricted Caress Stakes for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the turf, has drawn a fairly eclectic group of females. However, the best of these appears to be early line favorite Smart and Fancy (5-2).

The Tony Dutrow trained 6-year-old is everything you’d want in a turf sprinter: speed, grit and excellent performance figures. Add to that, a race shape that should find her stalking the anticipated pacesetter Lucky Copy who’s making her first start in almost a year, good spacing, a strong workline since her recent season’s debut while retaining leading rider Dominguez.

The danger here is the unknown in the form of Masada (10-1) making her U. S. debut for Christophe Clement with a first-time Lasix, first-time 4-year-old angle. Clement is profitable with first-time U.S. runners and Rajiv Maragh has been the go-to rider of choice recently. The early line odds seem way out of line.

But we must take the talented, highly consistent Smart and Fancy at no lower than 8-5, and an exacta box with Masada and Mohegan Sky (6-1), who's best figures have come on Belmont Park turf.

Running Totals: (453) 135-94-61 Total Dollar Return: $943.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Form and Price Over Talent and Speed

Today’s Belmont Park feature, the Wandering Cloud for state-bred fillies sprinting six furlongs has attracted some fast ladies. Clearly, favorites Dance Gal Dance (5-2) and Northern Netti (2-1) will be difficult to beat.

Each is making their second starts off long layups and figure to improve. The former was used hard to gain the lead and tired only in the shadow of the wire; it was a good effort.

Northern Netti showed extreme promise at 2 but ran so fast in winning the Bouwerie that it set her back physically. But there’s no questioning her speed or overall ability. She’s worked thrice since her last in open company at Delaware.

But there’s one filly who, while slower on performance figures, is on the come. Muffy has gotten good at the right time, showed improved speed and punch in her latest, especially encouraging since it was her first start with blinkers.

Given that the favorites have drawn the rail and the outside, respectively, there’s a reasonable chance of a speed duel which would set the table for improving 4-year-old. Ramon Dominguez rides her back for John Hertler.

Taking Muffy to win at 9-2 or greater and keying her in the multiples with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (453) 135-94-61 Total Dollar Return: $943.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Totally Awesome

Today’s feature at Belmont Park, a starter allowances going a flat mile for three year olds and up, has drawn a rather eclectic group; shippers, barn changers, ostensibly cheap claimers, you name it. Regulars know we also seek value first and given a race fraught with uncertainty, that’s seems mandatory here.

Even with a relatively small field--half the Carlos Martin (same rider named) entry must be scratched--there’s the promise of a lively pace from this group. Race shape, trainer stats, improved figures and an early line price of 4-1 indicates that Awesome Mich is where you want your money.

Trainer Mark Hennig has gotten the optimum for this three year old gelding after adding blinkers two starts back. He has tactical speed, which will place him wherever Eibar Coa wishes, is forward looking on performance figures and the spacing is good for this improved runner making his third start off a layoff, a 25 percent proposition for this outfit. We acknowledge he’s racing around one turn here but the distance suits perfectly.

Taking Awesome Mich to win at 3-1 or greater, and boxing him in the exactas with streaking favorite El Tamberito (2-1) and new acquisition Il Postino (6-1).

Running Totals: (452) 135-94-61 Total Dollar Return: $943.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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