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, December 06, 2007


Lots of Extra Speed in this Heat


Today’s feature is an absolute beauty, the Xtra Heat Stakes for two-year-old fillies going six furlongs. Competitive? Seven of the eight fillies entered are coming off a win, several of them in stakes. We’ll concentrate on the two early line favorites: Dill Or No Dill (5-2) and Throbbin’ Heart (3-1).

The only filly coming off a loss in her last race is Dill Or No Dill, but with good reason. The pace she set was suicidal, the company too tough (Indian Blessing’s Grade 1 Frizette), and the one mile distance probably beyond her scope--at least at this stage. But she was a stakes winner sprinting in the Midwest previously and joined the Contessa barn shortly following that win. The speed of the speed, she's working well for her return and is nicely drawn. She attracts speed maven C. C. Lopez.

Throbbin’ Heart has been a gem of consistency on performance figures and has been tested for class despite only having broken her maiden last time out, her third lifetime start. She finished second with a game late-run placing behind protem champion Indian Blessing. Following another game placing behind the promising Elusive Lady, she broke her maiden while showing speed but still kicking home nicely to get the job done. Such balance is often emblematic of top class; we shall see.

Taking Throbbin’ Heart to win at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box with Dill Or No Dill. Also, we'll key her first and second in trifectas with 'Dill,' conditions-suiting D J Lightning (5-1), and top-figure earning Porte Bonheur (9-2).

Running Totals: (142) 51-30-16. Total Dollar Return: $297.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Banking on Ramon to Steal Big A Feature


Today’s feature is a secondary allowances, $50,000 optional claiming at a mile and 70 yards that figures to be a good, competitive race if all go postward. The race will come down to three outfits who will saddle the early favorites, but the competitive nature should ensure bettable odds for any or all of them.

The white hot Anthony Dutrow, 4 for his last 11 starters, 3 for his last five with Alan Garcia, will send out an entry (3-1) with Garcia named on both, meaning only one will start. And either Indian Hawke or Three In The Bag could win. The former would represent a bounce-rebound since his rapid effort two starts back took its toll. It is among the fastest performance figures in the race. If Dutrow elects to start Three In The Bag, that runner would be seeking its fourth win in seven career starts over the winter surface.

Perfect Vow is the early line favorite at 5-2. Trained by Dan Peitz, this is a very well regarded three-year-old who was expected to join the Triple Crown chase earlier this year until he was sidelined. But he returned with a vengeance on Nov. 2 in a main track sprint. But he has run well going longer on this surface and has twice worked in 59-and-change twice since his return. Peitz has chosen a realistic spot here for continued development. Of the three betting interests under consideration, he would be the most likely to be a post-time underlay.

Stolen Time (7-2) is as consistent as they come, which is the good and bad news. He runs competitive figures nearly every time he shows up. But sometimes he gets there and sometimes does not. He likes this surface, though, has enough tactical speed to jump into the race, an inside post, and a rider, Ramon Dominguez, who is known for his ground saving prowess. Of the three, he is the most likely value in this interesting two-turner.

Taking Stolen Time to win at 3-1 or greater and as an exacta and trifecta key first and second with the two contenders noted here.

Running Totals: (141) 51-30-16. Total Dollar Return: $297.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, December 02, 2007


Speed Kills in Big A Feature


Today’s feature is the East View Stakes for state-bred juvenile fillies going around two turns at a mile and a sixteenth. The group is long on speed and questionable on staying power; that’s the quandary here.

Sherine (2-1) is a worthy favorite. Fastest on performance figures, she has excellent early speed and can sustain that speed strongly to the wire. At least she’s done that sprinting, and has enough bottom-side pedigree for the stretch out as a granddaughter of Red Ransom. And inside post and the presence of Alan Garcia only helps.

Meriwether Jessica (5-2) is the logical and main contender. She placed gamely in the open class Grade 3 Tempted last out and was reserved from a subsequent start in open company in favor of this two-turner vs. state-breds. Eibar Coa takes the ride for steady patron Linda Rice who’s been on a roll since Saratoga, especially with her young New York-breds. The fast working ’Jessica’ should be rating just off the pace and will make her presence known just before turning for home.

But we’ll take the speedy Sherine to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with the Rice filly. Trifecta players should consider using two-day turn-around Jovanna (4-1) and long-winded Deities Day (6-1) in both in-the-money positions.

Running Totals: (140) 50-30-16. Total Dollar Return: $294.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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