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.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Versatility the Buy Word in Garden City

The dilemma of trying to pick which feature to analyze on the first Saturday program of the Belmont fall meeting is the prediction the metropolitan area might get six inches of rain, putting the entire card in jeopardy.

But of the two, one that features a tough odds on favorite in Indian Blessing, we’ll opt for a look at the G1 Garden City for three-year-old turf fillies at nine furlongs.

We understand, of course, that this race is odds on to be rescheduled to the main track and if it does, or if predictions are wrong and it somehow remains on turf, Pure Clan would have a wide edge since she can handle any footing, turf or dirt, sloppy or soft.

In that regard, trainer Bobby Frankel is prepared for both as well, entering the talented Country Star as a main-track-only starter.

Pure Clan has been very hard hitting. While her record on turf is superior to her dirt slate, she runs her faster races consistently on a dirt track, be it wet or dry. She had a very tough wide trip when third in the G1 Kentucky Oaks, a very, yet showed enough class and versatility to win the grassy G1 Hollywood Oaks, a race that always attracts top European stock. She is two months fresh, carefully pointed to this by Robert Holthus, and attracts Julien Leparoux, aboard for five of her six career victories.

For her part, Country Star is well spotted if this race is rescheduled. She won her recent return off a long layup at Saratoga, overcoming a tough trip and beating a solid field while not wound up for her best go. A double G1 winner at two and a worthy effort while finishing just behind the choice in this year’s Oaks.

Taking Pure Clan to win on either surface at 2-1 or greater. Will make an exacta box with Country Star should this race be rescheduled to a wet main track.

Running Totals: (269) 83-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $498.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, September 05, 2008

A Diamond in the Feature Is Sumthingtotalkabt

It’s a classic question that faces handicappers as the Belmont Park fall meet open with the restricted Positive Gal Stakes at six furlongs on the Belmont turf course: Side with clearly the fastest horse on performance figures, or an improving horses better positioned that gets weight from his rivals. If you’re a regular reader of this space, you probably have an idea which way we’re leaning here.

Clearly, Stormy West (2-1) is the fastest filly here and she does so consistently. She has run well in turn-back spots, something she’s doing here, and her last was one her best efforts yet. She’s had sufficient recovery time and the Mott/Desormeaux team were doing quite well until they shipped north to Saratoga.

Diamondrella (5-2) has improved dramatically with the barn switch to Angel Penna Jr., however. She’s won two of her last three starts for this outfit, has a proven record sprinting, and loves this course, as two wins over the surface attests. While meeting her toughest test, she gets five pounds from her main rival and draw the pole, as opposed to the extreme outside.

Taking Diamondrella to win at 5-2 or greater and exacta boxes with Stormy West and Sumthingtotalkabt (15-1), used on the pace returning from a layup last out now goes dirt to turf for a profitable 21 percent trainer in that scenario and which won her only start at this distance on grass. She’s also worth a saver wager at 12-1 or more.

Running Totals: (268) 82-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $492.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Monday, September 01, 2008

Youthful Experience Shall Be Served

The highlight of today’s Saratoga 2008 is the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes. Without a clear leader but with some talent on display in this class, today’s seven furlongs will give strong hints as to what might happen later this fall. We’ll concentrate, in post order, on three colts: Break Water Edison (4-1), Munnings (5-2) and Cribnote (7-2).

Break Water Edison was an excellent change-of-pace second in the G2 Saratoga Special at 6-½ furlongs after breaking his maiden going 5-½ at Belmont Park. It takes some class to do that and his performance figures in both starts are very fast and consistent. It’s only a question if they were too fast and if coming back in a bit less than three weeks will have a negative impact. The colt loses Alan Garcia to Vineyard Haven but picks up Kent Desormeaux, who’s been riding in better form in the waning days of this meeting. Trainer John Kimmel is dealing a very hot hand at the moment.

Munnings lacks experience but he’s a grad looking individual who broke his maiden at Saratoga like breaking so many sticks here opening week despite being pressured throughout and overcoming an incident at the start. A $1.7 million purchase for top connections, he drew off in a manner suggesting he might be special, although it’s difficult to hang your hat on one start.

Cribnote also broke maiden here in his second lifetime start with exceptional style by 13-½ lengths, and you don’t see that every day. The bad news is that the win came in restricted state-bred company. The good news is that he showed a truly exceptional turn of foot to take the lead then drew off in handy style to that lengthy margin. He has an experience edge on the early line favorite, Rajiv Maragh has established a rapport and Rick Violette has been fairly effective with limited starters.

We’ re taking Break Water Edison to win at 7-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (267) 82-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $492.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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