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, January 28, 2009

Mr. Fantasy the Real Thing?

The feature that starts the NYRA racing week is not particularly challenging, nor will it be rewarding if from holds. But we might get a good look at a promising three-year-old, at least.

On paper, trying to beat Mr. Fantasy in this preliminary allowances sprint would be disingenuous. We’re not going to try. Simply stated, he ran a whole in the wind in his only start, earning a figure that would win many sprint stakes, much less a maiden race.

Early line odds of 1-5 almost seem justified.

The McLaughlin barn has been on a tear locally and Alan Garcia leaves balmy South Florida to come up for the ride--obviously he doesn’t this colt to get too far away from him. The E Dubai colt has been away 31 days which should be sufficient.

Legal Consent (4-1), already a stakes winner vs. state-bred company and a colt who has earned excellent sprint figures, is the one to beat coming off a recent game placing with Ramon Dominguez on the re-ride for Carlos Martin.

Mr. Fantasy is the win selection, without price restrictions, and the only real life play would be a cold exacta with Legal Consent which, should it succeed, might set a record for the lowest exacta payoff in New York history. As they say, it is what it is.

Running Totals: (351) 107-71-47 Total Dollar Return: $753.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Settling for Stettler

Today’s feature is a preliminary allowances, $75,000 optional claiming, a category which the connections of early line favorite Stettler--Bruce Levine for owner Roddy Valente--seem to excel. For sure, their entrant will be a very tough out today.

As usual, the team made an astute claim in Southern California, watched it improve for Bill Spawr, then shipped it East where Stettler was a game second in her good figure winter-track debut.

But what really impressed was the way she swept to the lead in a quick final quarter-mile, appearing to have something left at the finish. Sometimes, you play the hand you’re dealt.

Taking Stettler to win at 8-5 or greater and keying her first and second in the trifecta with Mikeslittlegirl (8-1), Casino Key (4-1) and Yankee Victoria (5-2).

Running Totals: (350) 106-71-47 Total Dollar Return: $749.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Err on the Side of Value in Contentious Paumonok

Lots of gas in today’s featured Paumonok, featuring hard-hitting older sprinters going three-quarters on the winter track. It appears we have two choices in today’s six-horse matchup: The top and the bottom, as the racetrackers say.

Ravalo (5-1) breaks from the pole position and is quite remarkable really. He’s won 10 of 21 lifetime starts--off the board only four times--two of those victories coming on today’s surface, where he reunites with Mike Luzzi, aboard the winning Ravalo at the last winter meet here.

He has a high turn of early speed but can sit and pounce if necessary, which is the most likely scenario here. His last was an excellent top figure score at Laurel, where he’s worked well subsequently for this, and ships into the barn of Cleveland Johnson, a Rick Dutrow associate. His early line odds seem out of line given his accomplishments.

The main danger comes from Accredit, on a recent tear and a winner over this surface last out. Accredit hails from the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin, who is showing a profit from all sprint starters in his career--quite an achievement.

McLaughlin reaches out for Rajiv Maragh, a hot pairing of late, is nicely drawn outside with tactical speed and kick and, as a four-year-old, still has some upside potential for added development. Given today’s race dynamics, the break might mean everything here. We’ll count on Mr. Luzzi to make the most of his opportunity.

Taking Ravalo to win at 4-1 or greater, boxing him in the exacta with Accredit and True Quality (2-1), who's coming off a New Pace Top Equiform pattern..

Running Totals: (349) 106-71-46 Total Dollar Return: $749.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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