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.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Groomedforvictory Well Spotted, Well Named

The feature at the Big A today is the Study Hard for state-breds going a mile on the main track. Law Enforcement (9-5) is the early favorite and for good reason; by definition he’s the fastest horse attracting Alan Garcia. But taking a short price on a horse inexperienced over the track and who failed to hit the board in his only start going this far doesn’t make sense.

If you were classifying here and were looking for an early line that looked a bit out of line, you would find Naughty New Yorker (5-1), who’s cut his teeth on tougher virtually throughout his career, had an impossible trip in the Empire Classic and has won on this track twice and at the distance thrice. But we still believe he’s more two turns than one.

The only alternative left is Groomedforvictory (5-2) who could not be sharper, has never been off the board in five starts at the distance with three wins and never worse than second in three Aqueduct appearances. Seeking his third straight and with a bullet work for this rise in class and Dominguez on the re-ride, we don’t see we have any alternative.

Taking Groomedforvictory to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exotics with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (546) 168-107-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,167.40 [win selections only] {Saturday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Value Almost Always Available in Churchill’s Cardinal Handicap

Always an interesting feature and good betting race on the fall docket at Churchill Downs is the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf at nine furlongs.

Today’s field is incredibly evenly matched with many of the entrants dropping out of Grade 1 and Grade 2 stakes, including one from Southern California. The filly we think that has the best chance of falling between the wagering cracks is Acoma, despite early line odds of 5-2.

Making her second start off a freshening, David Carroll has really put her on the fence in the morning and she’s responded with two very sharp and strong breezes. Undefeated in two starts on Churchill turf but inexperienced at the distance, she’s well drawn inside here beneath underrated turf rider Jesus Castanon.

Her strong late kick is suited to the race shape as the Cardinal is top-heavy with speed. Her pedigree is screaming out for today’s added distance and betting value seems assured.

Betting Acoma to win at 3-1 or greater and boxing her in the exacta with price shot Long Approach [12-1]. (The latter is worth a small saver wager to win at 8-1 or more).

Running Totals: (545) 167-107-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,158.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, November 20, 2009

Looking Sassy in the Feature

Maybe the only way for the competition in today’s Monarch’s Maze overnight stakes to beat the uncoupled Christophe Clement entry if for the race to get rained off the turf. Otherwise, it will be difficult for any of Grassy’s rivals, even Bittel Road (3-1), to abort this three-year-old’s development.

Grassy (9-5) has made four lifetime starts and performance figure-wise never has taken a backward step. He has handled any footing, was very competitive last time with stronger than he meets here, reunites with Dominguez, his winning partner two back.

Most significantly, however, his development has been incremental, making a bounce less likely, and the spacing is perfect. Bittel Road, meanwhile, is very talented, also owns turf figures that are forward looking, but is coming off a long layup, giving him the look of a horse that is using this spot for an upcoming Florida campaign. Still, there’s no denying his talent.

Taking Grassy to win at 7-5 or greater and boxing him in the exacta with Bittel Road and uncoupled mate, Golden Mexico (5-1).

Running Totals: (546) 167-107-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,158.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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