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, August 27, 2009

Stars Aligned for Planets Aligned

Today’s feature from Saratoga Race Course is for the up-and-over set, the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers’ Cup Steeplechase Handicap at 2-3/8 miles and it looks like a two-horse affair between favorite Mixed Up (8-5) and Planets Aligned (5-2).

When last seen Mixed Up was winning the G1 Smithwick Memorial over this course August 6. It might not sound like much but the 10-year-old must spot his main rival two pounds, more significant than you might think at this distance.

Planets Aligned was a perfect-trip third when beaten by the favorite in the Smithwick but had the look of a horse that needed the race. He never quickened, remaining one-paced. With that race under his belt, expect a much better effort here.

Taking Planets Aligned to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him in exactas with Mixed Up and his uncoupled stablemate, Slip Away (4-1), who has an excellent chance to get loose on the lead at today’s added distance.

Running Totals: (490) 146-101-67 Total Dollar Return: $1,004.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If I Were a Rich Man…

Today’s feature that begins Travers week is the Albany Handicap for state-bred three year olds going nine furlongs. The key here is the distance at which either the entrants have no experience and/or is not suited to by pedigree.

In that context, the horse with the most upside clearly is Fiddlers Afleet (2-1) which in his short career has found graded open stakes a tad to tough for New York competition just right.

Sent to the barn of Michael Hushion for a state-bred preliminary allowances 7 furlongs at Belmont Park, he dusted the group by nearly 14 lengths as the even money choice.

Ramon Dominguez has been very successful aboard Legal Consent, the fastest horse in her on the Equiform scale, but prefers to ride this colt for the first time off that allowance romp.

With his ability to come from slightly off the pace in a speed laden field, and with Quiet American on the bottom side of his pedigree and the strong, clever Dominguez in the boot, he appears the only way to go. Alas, he will be a short price.

Taking Fiddlers Afleet with no price restrictions to win and boxing him in the exacta with the late developing Pocket Cowboys (9-2).

Running Totals: (489) 145-101-67 Total Dollar Return: $1,000.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Monday, August 24, 2009

This Filly Can Run, Too

There’s no way to score out in today’s featured Union Avenue overnight Stakes unless the race completely falls apart. It seems that trainer Tim Ritvo, who saddles early line favorite Dance Gal Dance (8-5), already a winner over the track in fast time, was so anxious to make this race go that he entered Sorority Sister (15-1), down from Finger Lakes to make this a six-horse field.

The only filly that can beat her on paper is Under Serviced (9-5), making her 4-year-old debut for Bob Baffert. She ran fast enough at three to make her a contender here if she’s set for best. Considering Baffert’s a profitable 21 percent off layups of more than 90 days and with a recent strong five-eighths work for this, she’ll be a strong factor beneath Johnny Velazquez.

Taking Dance Gal Dance to win at 6-5 or greater and boxing her in the exacta with Baffert’s filly.

Running Totals: (488) 145-100-67 Total Dollar Return: $1,000.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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