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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, June 07, 2007

Potential Over Proven Class At Fair Odds

Thursday’s Belmont Week feature is a "non-winners of 3 other-than…optional claiming $75,000" for older turf runners going nine furlongs over what figures again to be "good" Belmont turf.

There is no disputing that Dave (3-1) and Golden Commander (7-2) deserve their first and second choice status. Dave, arguably the class, is consistently fastest, and makes his second start off a layup following a tough-trip return. Johnny Velazquez rides him back hoping to atone for helping that tough trip along. Golden Commander is a nine furlong grass specialist and has proven back class and speed.

Cosmic Kris is a longshot (12-1) with a chance. His last was good, losing ground on the turn while in the midst of a strong move. His figures are fairly competitive, he’s drawn inside, and worked a strong 5/8ths while under restraint recently. Whether his peak try is good enough to beat these is another matter. It might pay to guess if he’s anything near early line odds.

But Mystic Ruler (8-1) looks like a comer. He continues his incremental improvement, has four-year-old upside potential, is 50 days fresh, and attracts Prado off the second choice. He, too, is working well for Rick Violette. Further improvement today puts him in the photograph at playable odds.

Taking Mystic Ruler to win at 5-1 or greater, and keying him first and second in trifectas with the three contenders named.

One of Two Suggested Win Bets Won Yesterday But Did Not Meet Price Requirements

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Interesting Betting Race Begins Belmont Week

Wednesday’s feature to begin Belmont Stakes week is a good betting race, “a non-winners of two other than…optional claiming” at six furlongs on the inner turf course, attracting a full field. From the inside out, any one of six could win, although one from the also eligible list is unlikely to start.

Ferocious Won (4-1) has the best performance figures, the right connections and a promising turf pedigree, but it’s hard to spot experience to so many proven turf horses. Not a good percentage win play, but easily could prove us wrong.

Redefined (9-2) is razor sharp coming off a win, the spacing is good, and trainer John Parisella continues to overachieve given limited opportunities.

Theconfidenceman (6-1) is very interesting. He makes his second start off a layup for Leo O’Brien, who’s twice as effective coming off a prep race than when he is when not. The turf pro has good back figures and fits the conditions nicely at fair early line odds.

Metro Meteor (8-1) is the other interesting entrant. He was scratched recently from a recent stakes going longer now returns in a more favorable spot for Gary Contessa, a profitable 18 percent with new acquisitions. The horse is fast, can finish, and likes this course. His late run could be very effective in this spot.

No Parole (3-1) is a six-furlong turf specialist at Belmont Park but, at early line odds and with a wide draw, looms a poor percentage win play.

I almost don’t want to see Mr Sam I Am (8-1) draw in. He’s 2-for-3 on Belmont turf and 1-for-1 at the distance. On performance figures, he broke through in his recent four-year-old debut, and is dangerous on the turn-back for Todd and Johnny. His early line odds offer value but he is unlikely to be anything near that price at post time.

We are betting two horses to win here: Theconfidenceman at 5-1 or better, and Metro Meteor at 6-1 or more. Both will be counted in running totals but only if they satisfy odds requirements. (That’s only fair when suggesting two win plays in the same race. Selections are for turf only).

We will also key Theconfidenceman and Metro Meteor first and second with the other horses named in the trifecta, giving us a chance to cash twice if it breaks the right way.

Running Totals: (35) 15-9-7 Dollar Return: $82.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spectacular Bid Could Lap This Crew

Unlike many in the local media, we are not down on New York-breds. But today’s division of the New York Stallion Stakes, Spectacular Bid division for males, is a lame excuse for a weekend stakes race at Belmont Park. Spectacular Bid deserved better than to be sacrileged by this group.

The most likely winner should come from one of three betting interests: The Gary Contessa entry of Stunt Man and Solid Strike, coupled at 5-2, Good Prospect (3-1) and Smash ‘Em Sammy (7-2). All have weaknesses.

Solid Strike was a good second under these conditions in the Sleepy Hollow here as a two-year-old. He comes up to this nicely off graduating distances for his third start following a layoff. Channing Hill is his regular rider.

Mate Stunt Man comes off a career best performance figure and returns on relatively short rest, 24 days. You could consider him a bounce candidate, or a fast horse setting the table for his mate, or a horse that could bounce and still win. Backing the entry is the percentage play.

Good Prospect comes off a strong effort on the turf and has a competitive dirt figure to go back to at a mile and 70 yards. Not ideal, but he just might be improving. Johnny Velazquez must think so; he rides him back this afternoon.

Smash ’Em Sammy has earned good performance figures with consistency, which is more than we can say for his main rivals here, but he is unproven at a mile. What to do?

Take either or both halves of the entry to win, at no lower than 2-1, and key them first and second in exactas and trifectas with the other two. It’s the better short-price than long-face

Running Totals: (34) 15-8-7 Return: $82.30 (win selections only)

Written by John Pricci

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