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, September 10, 2008

Taking the Fastest Horse Our Rallying Cry

Today’s feature--the best race on the card--is the seventh, a non-winner of 3 other-than/optional claiming at 7 furlongs on the Widener turf. It has drawn a full field and appears to be a five-horse--check that--three interest battle among the Clement and Frankel entries, and Saeed bin Suroor’s early line favorite, Rallying Cry (3-1).

The favorite is logical and will be a tough out. He is consistently fastest on the Equiform scale and has been competing in either roughly run or extremely hot paced turf sprints. The barn is batting a lofty 30 percent-plus in sprints and in allowance spots, Kent Desormeaux finally might be heating up after a dismal few months and this War Chant colt seems to have the perfect blend of speed and kick. He’s also nicely positioned toward the inside in a bulky field where the competition might be hung out to dry. He’s also back in under allowance conditions here.

The Clement entry (4-1) of Perfect Casting and Quietly Mine look, well, double tough. Perfect Casting likes this course, the spacing is perfect and he’s suited nicely by the race shape. Mate Quietly Mine is getting class relief in here and drops out of the Can-Grade 3 Highlander that’s produced three next-out winners. Alan Garcia rides the latter, a class dropper and true Belmont turf specialist, owning a (5) 2-2-1 slate on this ground. Perfect Casting has also shown an affinity for this course.

The Frankel entry (7-2) of Trimaran and Joe Bravo is well spotted. Trimaran owns a win at the distance and over the course, has been wisely freshened over the Saratoga break while getting ready at Belmont for his return. Edgar Prado, aboard for his latest win, takes the re-ride. Meanwhile, the four-legged Joe Bravo could be anything. He’s a Group 1 winner in Brazil, has carried weight successfully, which he’s not asked to do here, also has worked bullets at Belmont over the Spa hiatus, gets Lasix for the first time and attracts Johnny Velazquez.

In a tight fit, taking Rallying Cry to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exacta and trifecta boxes with his coupled rivals here, even if one member of the entry scratches in favor of the other. Interesting race.

Running Totals: (271) 84-53-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Good Service Can Be Hard to Find

Today’s featured Schenectady Handicap for fillies and mares, 3 & up, looks like a two horse affair on paper with both favorites looming large. However, we believe the linemaker might give us some value on the second choice, not the first.

Light Tactic (8-5) is a deserving favorite. She is the most accomplished member of the group, has won half her lifetime starts at this distance, over the track, and survived a rough trip to finish second in her lone Saratoga start, the Union Avenue. It was her first start since January which likely was used as a springboard for this richer event. White hot Alan Garcia takes the re-ride for Rick Schosberg.

Under Serviced (2-1) would be undefeated in four starts had she been not forced wide entering the stretch in her only start when she was equipped with front bandages. Removed last out, she responded with a game score at seven furlongs and now turns back to what has proven her most effective distance. Mr. Baffert is 30 percent efficient with runners attempting repeat wins and she boasts two sharp works from the most recent score. If possible, note the front bandage situation prior to wagering.

Taking Under Serviced to win at 2-1 or greater and a cold exacta with Light Tactic.

Running Totals: (270) 83-53-32 Total Dollar Return: $498.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Versatility the Buy Word in Garden City

The dilemma of trying to pick which feature to analyze on the first Saturday program of the Belmont fall meeting is the prediction the metropolitan area might get six inches of rain, putting the entire card in jeopardy.

But of the two, one that features a tough odds on favorite in Indian Blessing, we’ll opt for a look at the G1 Garden City for three-year-old turf fillies at nine furlongs.

We understand, of course, that this race is odds on to be rescheduled to the main track and if it does, or if predictions are wrong and it somehow remains on turf, Pure Clan would have a wide edge since she can handle any footing, turf or dirt, sloppy or soft.

In that regard, trainer Bobby Frankel is prepared for both as well, entering the talented Country Star as a main-track-only starter.

Pure Clan has been very hard hitting. While her record on turf is superior to her dirt slate, she runs her faster races consistently on a dirt track, be it wet or dry. She had a very tough wide trip when third in the G1 Kentucky Oaks, a very, yet showed enough class and versatility to win the grassy G1 Hollywood Oaks, a race that always attracts top European stock. She is two months fresh, carefully pointed to this by Robert Holthus, and attracts Julien Leparoux, aboard for five of her six career victories.

For her part, Country Star is well spotted if this race is rescheduled. She won her recent return off a long layup at Saratoga, overcoming a tough trip and beating a solid field while not wound up for her best go. A double G1 winner at two and a worthy effort while finishing just behind the choice in this year’s Oaks.

Taking Pure Clan to win on either surface at 2-1 or greater. Will make an exacta box with Country Star should this race be rescheduled to a wet main track.

Running Totals: (269) 83-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $498.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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