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, May 22, 2008

Forest Prince Shall Reign in Belmont Turf Feature

Another interesting feature, a gateful of preliminary allowance sprinters going six furlongs on the Belmont inner turf course. What makes this interesting--and difficult--are the many returning from lengthy layups.

We’ll look at three, from the inside, out: Forest Prince (3-1), Snowstalker (8-1) and Mor Chances (12-1).

Forest Prince is a worthy favorite. Meeting older, the turf meant 3-year-old benefits from all the early pace signed on here--given the kick shown winning his turf debut in California. His next start was over the Keeneland Polytrack where he held his form well. He has enough tactical speed, an inside draw and, with Garrett Gomez, is likely to get a ground-saving trip behind battling leaders.

Snowstalker earned good figures as a three-year-old, broke his maiden in his lifetime debut, and attracts Edgar Prado for his 4-year-old return for Wayne Lukas. He has been training well since early last month and any development from three to four gives him the potential to be fastest in here. Lukas has no problem getting them ready off the bench.

Mor Chances is certainly fit coming off a game score going a mile and turns back for Linda Rice, an ace with turf sprinters. Four-year-old is 2-for-3 on turf, both wins coming over this course. Cornelio Velasquez, aboard for the recent win and a regular rider for these connections, retains the mount.

Taking Forest Prince to win at 5-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exacta boxes with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (207) 66-44-24. Total Dollar Return: $409.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Southern Prince Shoots and Scores in Red Wing Dream

Should be an entertaining Belmont Park feature to begin the racing week, the Red Wing Dream Stakes, for turf sprinting males going six furlongs.

Half this field can win, not in a lesser-than-evils way, but because there’s a lot of talented here. The four principals are Southern Prince, Emirates To Dubai, Silver Timber and Quietly Mine.

Southern Prince is the most versatile speedster here, turf or dirt, and is racing in raging form, as has most of Gary Contessa’s strong all year. With his inside draw and excellent early foot, budding star Channing Hill can establish position and try to blow this open at the top of the stretch.

Emirates To Dubai was raging with run when trapped in a pocket on the fence in the G3 Shakertown at Keeneland and never, ever, had a chance. He will benefit from that season’s debut, retains Garrett Gomez, owns a big late running engine and broke his maiden under these condition in his lone Belmont turf-sprint start. But deep closers, even on turf, still need a bit of luck. Saeed bin Suroor does very well in these non-graded events.

Silver Timber also should benefit from his season’s debut while just missing on this course, over which he has compiled a worthy (5) 2-1-1 slate under these conditions. Very interesting to note that this five-year-old was entered and scratched from a sprint stakes on the Preakness undercard in favor of this spot. Rice horses win at a favorable 20 percent rate in their second start after a layup and the hard-hitter attracts Cornelio Velasquez.

Quietly Mine makes his four-year-old debut for the top return outfit of turf ace Christopher Clement. Another deep closer, he was competitive in graded stakes at three in California while competing against older horses--not an easy task in turf sprints, especially for late-rally types. The talented Alan Garcia picks up the mount and this gelding was in training at Payson Park this winter before shipping up north. He won’t be short of condition.

Taking Southern Prince to win at 7-2 or greater, and keying him first and second in trifectas with his three main rivals here.

Running Totals: (207) 66-44-24. Total Dollar Return: $409.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Single Pick Six in Today’s Feature at Belmont


Terrific race to begin the Belmont week, a full field of secondary allowance types for older horses going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf, likely to be rated good. The three main contenders are Cougar Bay (2-1), Pick Six (4-1) and Best Alibi (8-1).

Cougar Bay is a deserving favorite. By definition the fastest horse on performance figures, he returns fresh for Barclay Tagg, who’s been on a tear since returning from Florida and Kentucky, winning with five of 14 recent starters and is very effective when returning his charges on two months rest. Two starts back, Cougar Bay was a good fourth behind Grade 1 winner Einstein and also suffered through a tough trip in his last when an excellent third in a G2 event after making a bold, albeit premature, move to the lead. The shorter distance and class relief makes him a very tough out at a very short price.

Shug McGaughey is also going well with his returnees to this surface. In Pick Six, he has a developing four-year-old coming off an excellent placing in his season’s debut at Keeneland after breaking slowly and making a five wide rally that fell short of victory by a half length. He figures to benefit from that effort, has competitive, forward-looking figures and retains regular rider Johnny Velazquez. Nicely positioned inside, he owns a win on the Belmont lawn.

Best Alibi gets Lasix for the first time making his U.S. debut for Saeed bin Suroor, who’s 38 percent efficient with horses shipping to America for the first time. He’s been competitive in European graded company and his trainer is also adept with horses returning from lengthy layups and adding the diuretic for the first time. Veteran turf ace Jean Luc Samyn has the mount.

Taking Pick Six to win at 7-2 or greater and keying him in exacta boxes first and second with his two main rivals here.

Running Totals: (207) 66-44-24. Total Dollar Return: $409.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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