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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This Bud’s For You

Today’s feature to begin the NYRA holiday week is the Star De Lady Anne for three-year-olds that have not won a stakes this year. The six furlong sprint likely will see A Rose For You (7-2) and Ididntmeantoo (5-2) vie for favoritism--and probably the lion’s share of the purse.

A Rose For You has improved dramatically since moving into the Trombetta barn. A winner of two of three at the distance, she is arguably the second best filly on performance figures and likely will shake clear on the early lead with Eibar Coa taking the ride. The bad news, however, is that her early pace performances came at speed friendly Delaware and she’s coming back in 17 days off two enervating efforts. Conversely, it could be that she’s just a late developer and Trombetta’s found the hole card.

Meanwhile, Ididntmeantoo, the other filly with the best performance figures, also improved with a barn switch. Rick Dutrow is calling the shots now and the filly has gotten dramatically better. Back in 27 days, she has the benefit of a race over the track, the site of a lifetime best effort, and should sit a good stalking trip outside the speed. But she does seem ripe for a regression.

Taking A Rose For You to win at 3-1 or greater, and exacta key boxes with Ididntmeantoo and the sharp, improving Wish For Success (3-1).

Running Totals: (317) 95-65-43. Total Dollar Return: $650.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stormin’ From Gate to Wire

It’s only fitting that as the temperatures plummet this weekend the featured Itaka for state-breds 3 & Up going a flat mile will come down to a battle between the Rick Dutrow trained Stormin Normandy (8-5), Barclay Tagg’s Big Truck (7-2), who began to serve notice at this time last year, and old pro Gold and Roses (6-1), a natural at the distance on this track.

The question with Stormin Normandy is how effective will he be stretching out here. He’s faster sprinting, but owns a competitive figure score under these conditions last spring--the only time he’s gone a mile on the Aqueduct main track. Super sharp, he’s had two maintenance works over his home track and Edgar Prado takes the re-ride on the recent Hudson winner. Dutrow’s 38 percent efficient when seeking to repeat.

Big Truck, scratched from yesterday’s open, graded Discovery for this, finds a better spot, not only for the class relief but for the one-turn mile scenario. His most effective game seems as a middle-distance closing sprinter, he gained conditioning from recent turf routes and now returns to dirt, a profitable scenario for these connections.

Gold And Roses is 4-for-7 at the distance and 3-for-7 over this track but of greater significance is going in the right direction again following a recent barn change. The major issue, however, is that he finished behind the favorite in each of their last three meetings. But today’s distance might prove the great equalizer; might, the operative word.

Taking Stormin Normandy to win, no price restrictions, keying him first and second in the exotics with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (316) 95-65-43. Total Dollar Return: $650.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, November 21, 2008

Lieutenant Ron Seeks Promotion

Today’s featured Grade 3 Discovery Handicap can be an interesting betting race depending on how you view the chance of Lieutenant Ron, the 6-5 early line choice. The question is how he handles the nine furlong distance. Proven distance runners with competitive performance figures, or on good lines, are too many to name. Either you take the short price, or take a very long one.

Lieutenant Ron is coming off a new pace top and has run much, much faster figures than these are several occasions. The bad news is that his pedigree is on the short side; the good news is that trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is profitable off this kind off layoff, going long for the first time, and in graded stakes. Love to take a shot against but in these situations against McLaughlin, he’s been right a lot more often than I have. Alan Garcia won’t hurt his chances.

A handful of others could pull the upset. Wishful Tomcat and Premium Gold are both proven at the distance, are both 12-1, but both are most effective in front. Only one horse can lead at a time. Web Gem (9-2) handles the trip and on occasion is faster than the two aforementioned rivals. His late kick is suited by their speed.

That’srightofficer, also at 12-1, is nicely posted, has position speed and attracts Edgar Prado. Ready Set (4-1) is consistently fastest of the remainder and drops a significant five pounds. A repeat of his recent narrow loss in a Meadowlands G3 makes him extremely formidable.

Lieutenant Ron is the most probable winner. Even-money would be fair, but unlikely. I would take 4-1 on Ready Set not to regress but that, too, is iffy. I’ll key the favorite first and second in tris and supers and look for north of 12-1 on That’srightofficer.

Running Totals: (315) 95-65-42. Total Dollar Return: $650.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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