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, December 29, 2007

Taking a Horse for Course and the Longer Dutrow

Today’s Grade 3 Gravesend has attracted six fast sprinters, almost all of them capable of winning this contentious feature for three-year-olds and up. We’ll concentrate on three, from the inside, out: Pavo (7-2), P. Kerney (6-1) and City Attraction (2-1).

We’ve been waiting for Pavo to race back for two reasons: He’ll be making his first start off Tony Dutrow’s claim, a 27 % scenario, and for him to get back on his favorite surface. And we know this how? Because three of his four lifetime wins have come on this ground and his fastest performance figure also came over this surface. Add the pole, Ramon Dominguez and lots of early gas to suit his late kick and you have a plausible situation for victory.

P. Kerney is racing in excellent form and offers good value if anywhere near early line odds at off time. He owns an excellent blend of speed and stamina, a rare gift even at this level, has been working bullets at his Laurel base, and trainer Mike Trombetta is profitable when his runners make their second start off a layup. Since Trombetta’s claim, he’s won three of five, all beneath Travis Dunkelberger, who takes the jaunt up I-95 for the mount.

City Attraction is the logical early favorite. Reserved by Rick Dutrow is favor of this spot, his performance figures are consistently faster than most of his rivals here, he owns tactical speed, and seems to do his best running outside rivals. Drawing post six in a small field could not suit his talents any better. Dutrow owns a career flat-bet profit in graded stakes. Like we said, it’s a beauty.

Taking surface loving Pavo to win at 3-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas with his two main rivals here. Trifecta players can add Joey P. to their mix in money positions.

Running Totals: (151) 55-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $333.10 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Pick An Entry, Any Entry

An entertaining but not very interesting feature--a non-winners of 3 other/than allowances optional $75,000 claimer. That’s because six of the eight entrants are coupled overnight, leaving at most five betting interests.

The major contenders appear to be the Tony Dutrow entry of Lord Snowden and Morine’s Victory (7-5) the coupling of Leonardo and Touchdown Kid (8-5) through common ownership interests, and the Levine entry of Callmetony and Man of Danger (3-1).

The Dutrow entry seems the most formidable. Both Lord Snowden and Morine’s Victory can win although only one will start since Ramon Dominguez is named on both horses. Morine’s Victory is, by definition, the fastest horse on performance figures, is a win machine with a lifetime mark of 18 wins from 40 starts, and likes the inner track, with a (2) 1-1-0 across the board. Lord Snowden, meanwhile, is winless in four starts over the ground but has been second in three of four starts and fit’s the race shape nicely as a late runner in a speed laden group.

Leonardo appears the stronger of the common-ownership coupling. He has much potential as a late developing soon-to-be four-year-old and has held his own in stakes competition elsewhere. His mate, touchdown Kid, is 2-for-4 over this surface, comes from the resurgent barn of Rick Schosberg and an outside draw fits his close-up stalking style.

Callmetony is clearly the stronger of the Levine coupling. He has excellent tactical speed, the rail post to facilitate a good stalking trip and once again tries his best distance, 20-for-26 in the money with nine wins at three-quarters of a mile. Actually, a tough trip in last probably cost him his 10th.

It will be tough taking money from this race unless Dutrow scratches Morine’s Victory and goes solely with Lord Snowden, who would be a much bigger price of the two. So, we’ll take the Dutrow entry to win, no price parameters, and an exacta key first and second with the two major contenders here.

Running Totals: (151) 55-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $333.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Go Fernando Baby, Go!

No race without a standout should ever really be called easy, especially today’s feature, a secondary allowances/optional $25,000 for state-bred 3-year-olds and up going two turns on the winter track. Like we said, especially not today’s.

It’s drawn a full field replete with classy returnees from long lay-ups, youngsters with good development lines but clearly slower that the group, and a handful of hot barns, too.

In particular, three of the 12 have caught our eye, from the inside, out: Building New Era (3-1), Tergesti (20-1) and Go Fernando Go (7-2). I could go a lot deeper.

Building New Era hails from the prolific Contessa shed and attracts go-to guy, Ramon Dominguez. Nicely drawn inside, he’s drops precipitously, never has raced this cheaply and sports a recent sharp work for this. The big question is are we looking at a negative dropdown here. A soon to be five-year-old, the claiming price gives the impression that the barn might be giving up on this guy. In truth, it’s a tough read.

Tergesti is clearly not as fast on performance figures as the better members of the group but is on a healthy line, hails from an outfit that has enjoyed a comeback season, and has earned his best figures, with consistency, over the Big A’s winter surface. He showed improvement with a recent class drop, is up a notch here, a sign of confidence from the barn, and probably should have won his last if not for a rough trip. He has enough tactical speed to secure a ground saving trip at a huge price.

Go Fernando Go is from the high percentage Tony Dutrow shed, has excellent back figures, by definition the consistently fastest horse here, and has shown a decided preference for the surface. His high turn of early speed should enable him to outrun the group and benefits from a switch to Alan Garcia. Of all the major contenders here--and there are many--this one is most likely to run his race.

Taking track loving speedster Go Fernando Go to win at 5-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exacta boxes with the logical favorite and live price shot.

Running Totals: (150) 55-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $333.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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