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.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Old Stature of Liberty Play: Laurentide Ice

Today it’s the ladies’ turn, the New York Stallion series, Statue of Liberty division, for three-year-old fillies going nine furlongs on the inner turf course. This race is not as neatly defined as the boys were yesterday, with many either trying turf, going long for the first time, and other assorted puzzles.

Of the eight entered, we’re taking a closer look at four of them, from the inside, out, Don’t Mind Me (2-1), Tishmeister (6-1), Laurentide Ice (7-2) and Karakorum Elektra (10-1).

Don’t Mind Me is the favorite, understandably. She broke her debut at two on the Saratoga turf and never has taken a backward step on performance figures. She is, by definition, the second fastest filly in here, she hails from a white hot Galluscio barn and picks up Ramon Dominguez. She has pedigree on both sides suited to today’s stretchout. Her early line odds are a bit short, however.

Tishmeister is the fastest filly and has the benefit of a recent race over this course. After her maiden breaker two back, she set the pace but settled for second on July 26. The odds are more than fair. The problems are that her speedy style is anti-profile and has that lone win but five seconds in 14 career tries. JJ Castellano suits her nicely.

Laurentide Ice has better figures on dirt but her grass debut was OK, considering she broke from the 10 post in a field of 10 and raced very wide off a hungry pace in that turf debut. Interestingly, the hot Kent Desormeaux chooses her over the early line favorite. On all counts that makes her interesting.

Karakorum Elektra was sharpened for speed in a recent turf sprint but has come from off the pace successfully going long, breaking her maiden May 3rd. She figures to benefit from her most recent start.

Taking Laurentide Ice to win at 5-2 or greater and keying her in three trifecta positions with the other three fillies.

Running Totals: (76) 34-16-10 Dollar Return: $197.70

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Get Serious About Today’s Spa Feature

Week 3 begins with the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion series for three-year-old state-bred colts going nine furlongs on the Spa inner turf course. It has drawn a good-sized field and we’ll narrow our focus to three: Thunderestimate (5-2), Get Serious (3-1) and Good Prospect (8-1).

While Thunderestimate appears a nice colt seeking his fourth straight victory and never has taken a backward step on performance figures, he doesn’t enjoy the kind of wide edge over his rivals that his record might suggest at short odds. Also, he's making his first start at today’s extended distance.

The fastest horse in the race is the shipper, Get Serious. Going back to early spring, he’s been trained like a good horse, showed improvement to win his second start in fast time, then was ambitiously placed in an open company stakes, his two turn debut, the Long Branch, a race that typically attracts some talented three-year-olds.

This year was no exception when First Defence shipped over from New York for Bobby Frankel and won the event convincingly at a very short price, earning an excellent figure. But Get Serious was a very good second. The rub here is that he has no turf experience, a shortcoming that didn’t stop Nobiz Like Shobiz in Monday’s Hall of Fame. Either you like turf or you don’t. Get Serious gets a chance to prove it while meeting state-breds for the first time. Bred for turf on top and distance on the bottom of his pedigree, he should be a very tough out.

Good Prospect is a colt with better than a puncher’s chance to upset. His most recent turf figure was competitive with the early line favorite’s, and he’s continued to improve since that race. Today he reunites with Johnny Velazquez, aboard for a turf win at today’s route. That's not insignificant. Today's favorites can make no mistakes.

We rarely do this, but we’re suggesting two win plays (though only one will be reflected in the running totals).

Taking Get Serious to win at 2-1 or greater, and a saver wager on Good Prospect at 5-1 or more. Additionally, taking an exacta part wheel of Get Serious and Good Prospect with each other and Thunderestimate for second to complete the play.

Running Totals: (76) 34-16-10. Dollar Return: $197.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Monday, August 06, 2007

In Hall of Fame, Mott’s Hot

Today’s feature honors those to be inducted this morning as well as all members of the Hall of Fame, past and present. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is for three-year-olds at nine furlongs on the Saratoga turf inner.

Normally a sizable field, this Grade 2 edition has drawn but a half dozen. We’ll look at three, from the rail, out: Marcavelly (2-1), Distorted Reality (5-2) and Nobiz Like Shobiz (9-5).

Unquestionably, Nobiz Like Shobiz is the most accomplished, and fastest on the Equiform performance scale. But he’s a tough read. He’s not particularly well bred for his turf debut and still has a bit of those goofy focus issues in the stretch (though he was better when blinkers were removed for his latest), and he’ll be a short price.

On the plus side, however, is his recent :58 4/5 work on the Oklahoma turf course and he gets in light at 115 pounds after carrying scaleweights all spring against the best three-year-olds in America. What to do?

Meanwhile, Marcavelly is from the Bill Mott barn that’s having no less than a sensational meet. Even when his horses are getting beat, they’re running well, and he’s doing it in every category, even with two-year-olds! Marcavelly is a multiple graded stakes winner on grass, draws the pole, has good early speed but is even better from off the pace. But he spots his two main rivals three and seven pounds, not insignificant in a close race.

Distorted Reality peaked last out but not significantly so, making a bounce less likely, and is the only horse with a win at nine furlongs. That win was accompanied by blinkers off and he’s worked very sharply since that effort. JV riding for Pletcher here, albeit Todd having a less than stellar meet to date.

Six-horse races can be trappy. And this one’s fraught with all sorts of questions.

Taking Marcavelly to win at 2-1 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with his two main rivals.

Running Totals: (74) 34-15-10 Dollar Return: $197.70 [win selections only] (does not include Sunday’s results)

Written by John Pricci

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