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.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Germans Know How To Do It Longer

The last graded stakes of the New York turf season, the G2 Red Smith at 11 furlongs, has attracted an eclectic group, including European-based competition.

The likely post time favorite will be the rapidly developing Summer Patriot whose performance figures indicates he’s never taken a backward step on grass. He had his doubters when stepped up in class and distance at Saratoga but justified Barclay Tagg’s optimism and turf training acumen with a comprehensive victory. Following that came a game third-place effort when stepped up to the G1 level in Belmont’s Turf Classic. Moving forward again, he sheds 10 important pounds in this matchup as well as dropping one graded level. He’s been working lights out and switches to the patient Javier Castellano.

Another rapid developer is the four-year-old Strike A Deal who comes off the fastest performance figure among last-out efforts, albeit against weaker at a shorter route. But when given the opportunity, he moved forward figure-wise when stretched to this distance in the G1 United Nations this past summer and just missed catching a loose leader. Trainer Alan Goldberg is profitable in his career with all turf starters. Veteran turf and pace ace C. C. Lopez takes the re-ride.

But we’ll take any value available on the German marathoner Lauro, whose poised for a forward move in his third start off nearly a two-year absence, showing marked improvement after adding Lasix. The five-year-old has proven remarkably versatile, not only in terms of running style but in his ability to handle any footing. Trainer Andreas Wohler has enjoyed success when shipping to North America and attracts regular stable rider Starke. Lauro has a worthy (4) 2-2-0 slate at today’s distance.

Betting Lauro to win at 3-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (307) 94-63-39 Total Dollar Return: $628.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, November 07, 2008

Highly Competitive Mile at Aqueduct

A skull buster of a feature today, a money allowances/optional claimer at a mile--only a six-horse field but with infinite possibilities.

For instance: The sharp Mister Triester was recently claimed by Gary Contessa from Steve Asmussen, Contessa, of course, profitable for a career first time off the claim. What to do? He will improve upon Asmussen on relatively short rest?

Then there’s stakes winning Sir Whimsey, who seemingly prefers to ran farther but comes off a freshening first-time Steve Asmussen. Why shouldn’t he improve in his first start for a barn that wins at a 22 percent rate with new acquisitions.

Classy? When last seen, Sir Whimsey finished third in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special. And he’s won at this distance and over today’s surface.

And how about Timber Reserve, from the hot John Kimmel shed, who set strong fractions and held well for third in the G2 Meadowlands Cup last time out?

But, instead, we’ll go in another direction--Bribon--who freaked while winning at the distance two starts back, earning the race’s best recent performance figure, has won over the surface, has a worthy (3) 1-2-0 slate at the trip and reunites with Alan Garcia, who rode him to victory at this meet last year.

Bribon’s freaky performance came in his second start off the layup, today’s scenario, and that’s no accident. Trainer Bobby Ribaudo is a profitable 18 percent with second-off-the-layup starters, and is also profitable on the stretch-out and with beaten favorites. His recent return at six furlongs looked like a good race to build on. We shall see.

Taking Bribon to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with Mister Triester and Sir Whimsey.

Running Totals: (306) 93-63-39 Total Dollar Return: $617.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Victory Would Be Grand

Today’s feature, a money allowances for older sprinters going six furlongs, is routinely impossible. Out of seven entered two are coming off extended layups and two are making their second starts off an extended layup. And everyone’s either got speed or wants to stalk from close range.

You’ve got to take a stand somewhere, so we’ll go against the returnees and the speed types and reluctantly take a horse returning from a layup with a barn that excels in that scenario, has a favorable draw, with tactical speed and a position conscious rider.

While it seems that Grand Champion has a lot going for him, plus a touch of back class, Jimmy Jerkens is adding blinkers, which seems not only counter intuitive but not a particularly good angle for this outfit. But Jerkens is good in second-off-the-layup scenario, the colt reunites with Eibar Coa, who gets along with the 5-year-old better than anyone else, and worked well recently, presumably in blinkers.

I think any of the others can not only beat him but finish on the board. Taking Grand Champion to win and place at 3-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (305) 92-63-39 Total Dollar Return: $608.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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