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, January 15, 2010

Right Time of Year for January Gent

Today’s feature is the seventh race from Aqueduct, a contentious sprint for older horses sprinting six furlongs under second allowances, optional claiming conditions.

David Jacobson saddles the favored entry of the streaking Wolfson (8-5), whose won three straight off Jacobson’s claim, and The Truffle Man, a very quick speedster dropping a notch to the $50,000 level. Since David Cohen is named on both, only one will run.

In Wolfson we have a super sharp horse meeting tougher, in ‘Truffle’ we have a faster one weaker a bit lesser. Each has merit, but each is worth trying to beat. The strong alternative here is January Gent.

‘Gent’ is back under the Rick Dutrow shed for whom he’s done his best racing. Further, he turns back to his optimal distance and returns to his favorite surface. We know this because not only does he win here but runs his fastest races over this ground.

Blessed with tactical speed and kick and from a mid-post position, Ramon Dominguez can place him where he wants so that he could time the move that will give him the best chance. Ramon, of course, will save as much ground and horse as possible before asking him for his best turning for home.

Taking January Gent to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second in the multiple with the remaining half of the Jacobson entry and Gold Vendetta (6-1), a most impressive winner over weaker on this track recently and with a license to win it all at fair odds.

Running Totals: (575) 180-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,239.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weathering the Storm

Today’s feature, the Darlin Momma, for New York-bred fillies and mares going two turns, salutes one talented New York-bred speedy filly. And it will be that commodity which will determine who finishes first here.

Performance figures, however, can really separate the contenders here, which they’re speed, stalk or rally types. The thing about the ability of the “fastest horse” to win the race regardless of style is a consistent horse will use that speed when necessary.

There are three short-priced fillies on the early line. Rick Dutrow’s By The Light (5-2) is stretching out here off sprints and has won going a mile. Add 70 yards and a second turn and that will be her test. At short odds, there won’t be enough reward for the risk.

Sapphire Sky (5-2) also will get strong support and owns a running style that’s likely more suited to the task than By The Light. C.C. Lopez is familiar with her and she’s been competitive in recent starts. She belongs.

But it’s race favorite Weathered (2-1) that truly deserves the linemaker’s respect. She’s consistently fastest on figures, has done her best racing over this surface, has speed but can stalk, benefiting from her inside post at the trip.

Mike Luzzi is a skilled speed rider who’s far better than his current win percentage suggests and is the five-year-old‘s regular partner. Her recent five furlongs in a minute flat was the fastest of 90 older fillies to work in New York during that week. Second in an open G3 two back, she figures to handle her state-bred rivals.

Taking Weathered to win at 2-1 or greater and keying her first and second in multiples with the speedy inner track specialist, What A Pear (10-1), on the trainer change and fast working Gold For The Queen (10-1) with the streaking David Cohen in the boot.

Running Totals: (574) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Ricoritoa East of Java?

The New York Racing Week begins with a preliminary allowances for older horses going a mile and 70 yards on the winter track. Meaning there’s a short run to the first turn where the rail horse, Ricoriatoa (3-1) is expected to gain the lead and control the pace beneath the heady Richard Migliore. Dominguez figures to apply pressure with class challenged Regents Ridge from the extreme outside.

Can he be rated? Good question. He rated at 7 furlongs going one turn at Belmont; this is another animal entirely. But since claimed by Dominic Galluscio, the newly turned four-year-old has been working lights out, and he’ll be a tough out. Migliore knows him well.

Logical challengers are Web Gem (9-2) and Tranquil Manner (7-2). Web Gem figures to stalk under the hot arrival David Cohen and his inside draw should provide good position. That won’t matter with Tranquil Manner, who really never has taken a backward step on performance figures, which are highly competitive. But he comes from the clouds and may need a tiring surface to get there; not a great proposition at lower odds.

Given a 20 percent strike rate with new claims, we’ll opt for Ricoriatoa to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with Web Gem and Tranquil Manner, and adding the returning So It Goes (10-1) to the trifecta mix. Many turf types act very well on the winter surface.

Running Totals: (573) 179-116-79 Total Dollar Return: $1,234.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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