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, October 09, 2008

Is There More Where That Came From?

Well, that was more like it!

Today’s feature is also on the turf, only at seven-eighths of a mile, a preliminary allowances at seven furlongs that has drawn a full well matched field. There are a number of very logical horses. One is ultra-consistent on the Equiform scale, Belle’s Home, early line 7-2 choice and very difficult to fault going postward to George Weaver and Javier Castellano.

Then there’s Choosing, hindered by a very soft pace in last and can handle off ground very well. She’s 5-1 for Bill Mott and turf ace Eddie Castro. Platinumplus (15-1) turns back in her second start for Billy Turner after being used needlessly on the pace last out, a good scenario for the barn switching to Channing Hill. And Chad Brown has a Euro import, Dressmaker (10-1), who’s back on turf and gets first Lasix and Jose Lezcano.

Like yesterday, however, we’re looking for a horse that likes off ground and we’ve found one at a big price that also happens to like the course, sporting a record of (9) 2-2-1 on Belmont ground. Higher Incentive (15-1) is a huge price for the Contessa entrant with Cornelio Velasquez. Each of her best races have come on off ground, over three different courses, including Belmont, where she earned a competitive figure sprinting on firm ground. Her best can upset this group.

Taking Higher Incentive at 10-1 or greater and keying her in all money positions with her main rivals above.

Running Totals: (289) 87-61-33. Total Dollar Return: $578.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

On Playing Faster, Looser

First, an apology. Picking Visionaire to win Sunday’s Jerome over Tale of Ekati, was an inexcusable rookie mistake, and I’m too old to make rookie mistakes. But with recent selections in a Wall Street free fall, handicapping confidence, like consumer confidence, is still a struggle. So, now, in the words of Fast Eddie Felson, no more playing it safe, especially since so many of our choices have failed to reach price criteria.

The key to today’s preliminary allowances/$50,000 starter group at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf will be the ground, which figures to be significantly less than firm. One of the entrants that will relish the footing, if his Equiform figures are a measure, is Forever My Friend (12-1), reuniting with apprentice Sebastian Morales, who’s ridden the three-year-old gelding effectively before.

Having drawn a favorable inside slip, he goes postward for Richard Stoklosa, whose turf runners for a career are a flat-bet profit despite 12 percent efficiency, meaning his runners routinely outrun odds. The fact this horse got a “vanned off” comment following his last will insure a big price. Forever My Friend came back to work a half-mile one week after his last race and surely will be closely inspected by the examining veterinarian.

Taking Forever My Friend to win at early line odds of 12-1 or greater and keying him in all money positions in the multiple pools with Titan of Industry (7-2), Dancing Tin Man (3-1) and Excellent Soldier (8-1).

Running Totals: (288) 86-61-33 Total Dollar Return: $515.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Picture Visionaire WInning the Jerome

Today’s Grade 2 Jerome for three year olds has lots of familiar names; a Belmont winner, Withers winner, Grade 1 King’s Bishop winner, Tampa Derby winner, etc., etc. They are talented in different ways but have been unable to step up to the highest level at route distances. But a mile should be just about right for all of them.

Visionaire (5-2) came into his own at Saratoga, winning the King’s Bishop with an impossible late run, and he’s won both his starts going eight furlongs, and both races under Alan Garcia. And note that Michael Matz is 33 percent efficient with repeaters, profitable despite 171 starters.

Don’t know why I can’t let Tale of Ekati (9-2) go, but he always gives you a reason to consider him again. Like today, when acknowledging his best lifetime effort came on this surface. And one mile should hit him right between the eye. Maybe the switch to an aggressive Cornelio Velasquez might wake him up.

But Harlem Rocker (2-1) seems more brilliant that all of them, is 2-for-2 at the distance, both one-turn affairs, including the G2 Withers. Interesting to note that Eibar Coa could have gone in a couple different directions but landed right here for Todd Pletcher, who’s given the colts six weeks freshening since his wide-trip go in the Travers. He’ll probably get first run on Da’ Tara, the controlling speed who probably wants more distance.

We’ll take Visionaire to make the last run at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (287) 86-61-33 Total Dollar Return: $515.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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