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, November 29, 2007


These State-Bred Babies Can Run


It’s always been a cliché: to disparage the state-bred program or damn with feint praise. Today’s feature is an example of neither. This preliminary allowances for juvenile state-bred fillies at six furlongs is deep in speed and talent. We’ll look at three: Palmetto Blues (6-1); Jovanna (5-2) and Noble Fire (3-1).

Palmetto Blues ships in from her New Jersey base but has twice been successful with state-breds on the east side of the Hudson for Jim Ryerson and “Smarty“ Elliott. She showed improvement in her second start, drawing off in deep stretch following a pace duel. Visually, she looked like a filly that would rate, something that would be needed here as there is much early gas in this sprint. The rail should help insure a good trip, given her tactical speed.

Jovanna ran off the screen to win her debut then went up to Finger Lakes and was a very game, albeit disappointing second in her stakes debut. Recycled for 47 days since that effort, she returns to a more likely speed and her pace figures indicates she can be the speed of the speed, given an alert beginning. She’ll be partnered by a apprentice who thus far has not set the world on fire. But Rick Dutrow is giving young Angel Arroyo a big shot here. Who could argue with Dutrow, batting 33 percent at the present meet?

Noble Fire has similar form to Jovanna’s. She was an open lengths maiden winner then finished third in a state-bred stakes against some salty rivals. Like the better members of this group, she’s long on early speed, so it will be a question of whether she can be rated effectively then kick to the wire. If Dutrow is pushing all the right training buttons then Alan Garcia is doing the same on horseback. She seems the more likely to secure the better trip.

Taking Noble Fire to win at 2-1 or greater and keying her first and second with the other two fillies in exactas.

Running Totals: (137) 48-30-15. Total Dollar Return: $281.80 [win selections only] {Wednesday results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Know Thy Condition Book


Today’s feature, a preliminary allowances/optional $75,000 claimer for fillies and mares going six furlongs, marks the opening of the winter surface for the next five months--if there’s racing in New York for the next five months.

It has drawn a relatively full field including two entries and we’ll late at three: Rizzi’s Twist (2-1), La Presse (5-2) and Sunset Cocktail (4-1).

Rizzi’s Twist is part of the Bruce Levine entry, this one owned by the shrewd claiming outfit, Gumpster Stable. Under the unique conditions here, this one drops from secondary allowances because, as a three-year-old, she can enter with a claiming tag despite having won under this allowance condition two starts back. Can you say free ride? If not, can you say fastest filly in the race? Further, she’s good off a brief layup as is her trainer, who’s profitable entering back in this timeframe.

La Presse will try the main track for Kairan McLaughlin and Alan Garcia and should could prove the classiest filly here if she can transfer her solid turf form over to this surface. She came from a million lengths off the pace in her promising Saratoga debut--and might have been best--then she chased a strong pace in a rapid Belmont turf sprint that went in 1:07 4/5. She could easily prove the key here.

Sunset Cocktail is a horse for course, owning a (5) 2-2-0 winter track slate. She earned a competitive figure several starts back and ships in for an outfit adept with their shippers. Further, trainer Derek Ryan is a worthy 2-for-4 when using the live apprentice Carol Cedeno. Because of the low key connections, she could prove excellent value, so check the tote.

Still, we must take the fast, proven commodity, Rizzi’s Twist, at 8-5 or greater and key her first and second in exactas with the other two fillies.

Running Totals: (137) 48-30-15. Total Dollar Return: $281.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


Here Kitty, Kitty


The getaway main track feature is for state-bred fillies and mares at nine furlongs, the Montauk. It’s trappy in that this full field appears as if possibly only three fillies can win; the strong favorite Ice Kool Kitty (5-2), Lauren’s Tizzy (5-1) and Borrowing Base (6-1).

The favorite is clearly the fastest filly in the group, and by a wide margin. She’s 2-for-2 on this surface and 1-for-2 at nine furlongs. What makes her dangerous is her high speed going a distance and it’s ratable speed. The hot riding Edgar Prado gets along with her very well and he’s aboard for one of his main patrons, Rick Dutrow.

Lauren’s Tizzy has tactical speed, she can kick, and owns the rail with its short run to the first turn. Eibar Coa rides for Mark Hennig, a very productive team, and Hennig is having a quietly good meet. Like the choice, she’s undefeated in two local starts and her best figures are alternately at Aqueduct and/or at nine furlongs. She will be the favorite’s main danger entering the lane.

Should these two fillies do themselves harm in the early going, late kicker Borrowing Base will be coming strong beneath underrated finisher Channing Hill. She owns a win and a second at nine furlongs and an excellent slate over the surface at (4) 1-2-1. She’ll be playable odds and has a puncher’s chance to break through. But it won’t be easy.

Ice Kool Kitty is the most probable winner and is playable at 7-5 or greater. We’ll also make an exacta box with Lauren’s Tizzy and a trifecta part wheel using those two fillies first, second and third with Borrowing Base second and third.

Running Totals: (136) 47-30-15. Total Dollar Return: $278.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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