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, September 27, 2008

You Need Fabulous Speed to Win the Vosburgh

The five Grade 1 stakes on the Jockey Club Gold Cup card comes replete with many hard-to-beat short-priced favorites, headed by Curlin (3-5) in the JCGC. Consequently, we’ll take a short detour and look at the highly contentious Vosburgh at six furlongs. We view it as a battle of the two early choices, with the hope the linemaker has the wrong public choice.

Fabulous Strike would have been one of the BC Sprint favorites had he not gone wrong following his 2007 Vosburgh score. Freshened since winning his season’s debut earlier this year, Fabulous Strike (5-2) has earned the fastest performance figures with consistency, he can front run or stalk from close range, and earned his lifetime best figure on a wet track, which he figures to get today, and has won three of four lifetime starts on this strip. Ramon Dominguez will not hurt his chances.

Lucky Island (2-1) is right behind figure-wise and, after disappointing in his lone Saratoga start, returns to the surface over which he earned his best figures and is undefeated in two starts. After a poor start, he rallied strongly for a money position behind First Defence in the Forego, which has produced a winner from one subsequent starter. Today, Lucky Island returns to his best distance and retains Alan Garcia.

Taking whatever value is offered on Fabulous Strike at 3-1 or greater, an exacta box with Lucky Island, and as a trifecta key that includes price shot Kodiak Kowboy (10-1).

Running Totals: (281) 86-57-33. Total Dollar Return: $515.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Speed in the Slop Even More Dangerous

Today’s feature is the Salute Me Sir for older state-breds going a mile and a sixteenth. With a virtual monsoon predicted for the area overnight and through Friday, and with the Jockey Club Gold Cup program scheduled for Saturday, who knows if the card will even be realized.

But, if it is, speed and the ability to handle a wet track will become overwhelming considerations. And the horse’s name is, appropriately, Stormin Normandy. He is the pace, he earns the fastest figures consistently, and his lifetime best figure came over a sloppy track. Don’t expect to get rich on the Rick Dutrow charge, ridden by Edgar Prado.

The main dangers are Stud Muffin and R Clear Victory. Stud Muffin returns to his favorite surface and distance, if performance figures are the measure, and there will be no lack of pace due to the presence of Stormin Normandy. R Clear Victory has been marching forward, earning a figure competitive with the favorite’s in his latest start. He’s been wisely freshened briefly by Steve Asmussen, who’s reaching out for Channing Hill here, who’ll be in stalking position throughout.

Taking Stormin Normandy to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (281) 86-57-33. Total Dollar Return: $515.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Inside Passage the Inside Track to Value

It’s easy to pick out today’s top horses in today’s non-winners of 3 allowances going a mile at Belmont Park but it’s not easy to separate them. The major contenders are Inside Passage (6-1), Boca Grande (2-1) and Debbie Got Even (3-1).

Boca Grande is a worthy favorite. She’s classy, earns the best performance figures with consistency and maker her third start off a layup accompanied by a significant drop. There should be enough pace on to suit this late closer.

Inside Passage is back in her proper conditions after trying restricted stakes company in three recent starts. She’s a dual winner at today’s distance, has won over this surface, showing her preference by earning her best figure at Belmont Park. Eibar Coa is 21 percent efficient riding for Barclay Tagg, who, remarkably, is profitable lifetime after saddling nearly 500 horses at this venue.

Debbie Got Even has tactical speed, an excellent draw outside in a small field, competitive figures on best and with a style that should allow John Velazquez to put her in the sweet spot of this race and pounce when ready.

But we must take any value offered on Inside Passage to win at 4-1 or greater and an exacta and trifecta key first and second with her two rivals here, an extra ticket with Boca Grande.

Running Totals: (280) 86-57-32. Total Dollar Return: $515.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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