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.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Race Shape Suits Run With Me

Today’s puzzle looks best served by taking a page out of the Handicapping 101 Handbook. Two horses, or more, could hook up in an early duel while another, turning back in distance from seven furlongs to six and having some late punch should come on to beat everyone. But that’s if Run With Me (3-1) runs back to his last race.

True Quality (2-1) was much improved to break his maiden--his main track debut--by open lengths. Speed riding C. C. Lopez hustled the third-time starter away from the barrier to secure a clear lead and was never threatened. It was a lifetime best effort but returns on a short 19-day rest.

August Rex (5-2) recovered from a roughed start, stalked a strong pace, and won prolonged stretch duel to win his debut, also earning an excellent figure. He, too, is susceptible to react, however, but he’s had five weeks recovery and has worked twice subsequently. And all the Levine barn has been doing in win of late. Rajiv Maragh retains the mount.

Maragh has been the regular rider of Run With Me but opts off today in favor of the Levine trainee. Does that mean August Rex is better, or that Levine has a stronger barn at the moment than the capable, low profile Tim Ritvo. Run With Me’s last effort was also a lifetime best and he’s back on a short 19-day turnaround here.

But the thinking is that Stewart Elliott will work out a stalking trip behind the speed and the shorter distance should help his closing kick. His figure last time out was so good that he can react adversely and still handle this group. He’s very likely to be fair odds.

Taking Run With Me to win at 5-2 or greater and keying him in exacta boxes with his two speedy rivals here.

Running Totals: (199) 65-43-22. Total Dollar Return $405.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Good Better Again Best

Today’s preliminary allowance feature for fillies and mares 4 & up going a flat mile has drawn but five entrants, nevertheless is competitive--one you get past the favorite that is:

Inside Passage (2-1) makes her first start for Barclay Tagg, a profitable 30 percent effective in that scenario. The filly earned competitive figures at 3 so, with any 4-year-old development, she could be in the conversation for the race’s best figure earner. The filly has been in steady training since February and certainly will be fit for this. Main stable rider Eibar is aloft but the filly must overcome the rail post at this distance.

Positive Prospect (9-2) has never taken a backwards step and showed much improved early speed in her latest. She certainly has enough pedigree for today's mini-stretchout and Rajiv Maragh has a nice way with pace types--and virtually anything he rides for the prolific Gary Contessa. She is the likely pacesetter of the group.

But Better Again (6-5) looks like too much filly here. She comes from a series of quickly run miles vs. better at Gulfstream, showing improvement with blinkers last out, a key race that produced two winners from four subsequent starters. She’s the fastest on performance figures and position conscious Cornelio Velasquez should have her positioned perfectly from her outside slip.

Taking Better Again to win, no price restrictions, and exactas with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (198) 65-42-22. Total Dollar Return: $405.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Contessa’s Friendly Skies

The final week of the Aqueduct spring meet features a full field but looks the same as all the other features recently. Is there any beating the Contessa juggernaut. Not recently and that’s why we’re apparently looking at yet another short-priced winner.

Taking The Redeye (9-5) owns not only the fastest performance figures but by far the best record at this mile and three-sixteenths route. Owning tactical speed and a budding top rider in Rajiv Maragh, it’s impossible to make a logical case against him in this spot. Perhaps we can optimize the play in the exacta pool.

Tergesti (8-1) does very well for the Schosberg barn and is on a good line, improving incrementally since reuniting with this outfit. He seems poised for another forward move, although the added weight, making a 123-pound assignment, is troublesome. At these early line odds you can’t be too choosy.

Lorrcan (15-1) is a four-year-old with some upside potential and will be a big price. Two of his three lifetime wins have come on this surface and today will be his last chance to make hay at the Big A until the fall. He’s also marching forward and as a son of Aptitude will relish the added distance.

Taking The Redeye to win with no price restrictions and keying him first and second in exactas with his price-play rivals here. Trifecta and Dime Super fans may add Dont Knock America (15-1) and Ready Enough (6-1) in money positions.

Running Totals: (197) 65-42-22. Total Dollar Return: $405.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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