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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cowboy Tacks Up Kowboy in Amsterdam

Today’s Grade 2 Amsterdam for 3-year-old sprinters at 6-½ furlongs that ends the first week of the meet is an interesting one, a three-ply battle between Desert Key (5-2), Kodiak Kowboy (3-1) and Eaton’s Gift (9-2).

Desert Key is nothing less than a very exciting sprint prospect; could even be Breeders’ Cup material is he keeps doing what he’s been doing. His last was just a super effort--his performance figure reflects that--and trainer Jimmy Jerkens wisely gave him more than enough recovery time. Additionally, he’s won from in front, behind, and since his last worked four times, all bullets. Who knows how good right now?

Kodiak Kowboy might be in a new barn but he’s coming home to Saratoga--home in that his best race at 2 came over this track, at this distance, in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. Today he goes for Larry Jones and Gabriel Saez, has competitive figures and fits the race shape as there’s plenty of gas signed on here. Saez is a talented young, position conscious rider.

Eaton’s Gift won his last race at Churchill while showing improved early speed and now stretches out a half furlong, which appears to be his best go, earning a competitive figure while winning his only start at this hybrid distance. From his outside slip, Kent D., finally with the 5,000 monkey off his back, can use his mount’s speed to play it off the break. Like we said, interesting race.

But we’ll take Kodiak Cowboy to win at 2-1 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (241) 74-50-27. Total Dollar Return: $452.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Taking a Stroll Down Mint Lane

For Detailed Analysis, See Today’s Saratoga Diary

The Play: Taking Mint Lane to win at 2-1 or greater, an exacta box with Pyro, and a trifecta part wheel of those two in all positions, with Tiz Now Tiz Then second and third.

Running Totals: (240) 74-50-27. Total Dollar Return: $452.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Best Offense is First Defence

With four graded stakes to choose from, we’ll choose the Grade 2 Vanderbilt and try to beat the undefeated Bustin Stones (2-1). Why, aside from the short price? Because he missed a scheduled appointment in the Met Mile, is coming off a lifetime best effort and looks a tad tougher at seven-eighths than three-quarters. He remains, obviously, the one to fear.

We look to upset with a horse that loves the course, First Defence (4-1). He ran his best race ever on this track last year, narrowly beaten by Hard Spun in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop. His form this year has been good.

First Defence won his season’s debut, chased an extraordinary hot pace in the aforementioned Met Mile, then won the Grade 3 Jaipur on yielding turf at today’s distance. He’s had four works since, including a recent bullet and has the style to sit behind a plethora of speed and get the jump on the late runners. Regular rider Javeir Castellano rides him like he owns him.

Taking First Defence to win at early line odds of 4-1 or greater and an exacta box with Bustin Stones.

Running Totals: (239) 74-49-27. Total Dollar Return: $452.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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