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 01, 2010

Start 2010 with Pletcher’s Filly

In today’s New Year’s feature at Aqueduct, it appears, just like on the final day of racing in 2009, trainer Todd Pletcher has himself to beat.

In a very uninspiring five-horse sprint, we normally might, under today’s circumstances, opt for the weight switch of five pounds that favors Distorted Passion over Awesome Ashley.

But given the small field and probably of a contested pace, running style and post position, we give the edge to Awesome Ashley, who came from far back to beat her stablemate on Dec. 5.

‘Ashley’ is highly likely do so again under Rosie Napravnik, who proved last out that she really gets along with this miss.

Taking Awesome Ashley to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with Distorted Passion.

Running Totals: (568) 178-115-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,227.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nighty Nite 2009

The final stakes race for 2009 in New York is the venerable Gallant Fox Handicap, a race that used to be much sought after and now, an ungraded curtain closer. Nevertheless, it has drawn a full field of older horses over the marathon route of 13 furlongs--that’s a mile and five-eighths, a long way indeed.

The temptation is to throw deep on the last day of the year, especially in a large field on this somewhat narrow oval. But we cannot in good conscience. You can play this one over and over and it still comes up Nite Light, the 8-5 overnight choice. Let’s count the ways.

The first thing that stands out is that he won this race by 10 lengths as a 3-year-old of 2007, his only start at the distance. He’s not tasted defeat in two winner-track starts, drops down out of the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, and has been freshened and reserved for this by a barn, Todd Pletcher’s, that’s a worthy 37% at this meet.

Add Ramon Dominguez to the mix and he’s very formidable indeed but don‘t expect to make a fortune to close out the year.

Taking Nite Light to win at 3-2 or greater and keying him first and second in multiple with two uncoupled stablemates; fast working Tiger’s Rock (12-1), with the hot David Cohen in the boot, and Atoned (4-1), making his third start off a layup for an outfit that’s a profitable 28% in that role. Further, add game old pro Lord Kipling (12-1) to the mix, who will dictate the pace as far as C. C. Lopez and the 6-year-old’s heart will take him.

Running Totals: (567) 178-114-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,227.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smokin From the Start

Today’s feature race in New York is a non-winners of 3 other than-optional claimer for three-year-olds and Up at six furlongs has drawn a pretty salty group.

And while we’re not thrilled to be carrying highweight in this situation, we like the idea of possibly being loose on the early lead.

And who better to engineer a frontrunning winter track score than C. C. Lopez, the best speed rider this side of Hall of Famers Earlie Fires and Bobby Ussery.

Not only has the gelded three-year-old Smokin Hero (3-1) won half his eight starts at the distance, but he earned his best performance figure on a wet inner track last season, so you know he likes the surface. His mid-pack draw should help him dictate the proceedings.

Taking Smokin Hero to win at 3-1 or greater and keying him first and second in the multiples with Carbonite (5-2) from the ever dangerous Tony Dutrow/Ramon Dominguez team and fast-working Mt. Glittermore (4-1).

Running Totals: (566) 178-113-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,227.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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