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 04, 2008

I’ll See Your Dutrows and Raise You One McLaughlin

Today’s feature, a secondary allowances optional $75,000 claiming for fillies and mares going a mile and 70 yards, has drawn seven entrants, including an entry. What a skull buster! And if you’re a wee bit paranoid, consider that Tony Dutrow saddles favorite Street Bird (2-1), while brother Rick the entry, including surface loving Maggies Smile (3-1).

Street Bird drew off to win her latest by open lengths under similar conditions. Owning early speed, the rail, and speed maven C. C. Lopez, she’ll be a tough out. However, we’re hoping the class rise and stuffer competition might neutralize those advantages.

Maggies Smile is 3-for-4 on this surface and has been toughened in a series of stakes. However, she, too, is long on early speed and appears one dimensional. Brother vs. brother in a speed duel? Unlikely, but who knows?

Littletown Bridge (4-1) might provide good value. The Kairan McLaughlin trainee, switching to Alan Garcia, is coming off a very sharp sprint effort and earned her best performance figure going long on this surface last year. Coupled with the fact that the barn is a profitable 21% efficient when stretching from a sprint to a route, and comes from a live race (the only runner to emerge from that race won her next start), there is reason to expect further improvement in her second start off the layup.

Taking Littletown Bridge to win at 3-1 or greater, boxing her in the exacta with Maggies Smile, and adding late-running Morning Gallop in second and third positions in the trifecta.

Running Totals: (155) 56-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $347.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Rank Has its Privileges

Another tough feature race in New York--if you’re looking to make a score. Today’s feature is a preliminary allowances for newly turned three-year-old state-breds at six furlongs. The race drew seven but is effectively a match race between Another Foose (8-5) and That’srightofficer (1-1).

Another Foose won his debut stylishly, battling on the pace before drawing away through a final quarter-mile of :24 1/5. He’s trained well since that race, including a recent lung-opening bullet. Ramon Dominguez picks up this mount from Gary Contessa.

That’srightofficer wasn’t a stylish winner, but a super impressive one. He ran by the leaders with ease when asked for his best and drew off rapidly, earning a top performance figure. While his main rival has a bit more freshening, coming back in 40 days, the Rick Schosberg trainee has the benefit of a race over the winter surface. Alan Garcia replaces Edgar Prado, in Florida for today’s Gulfstream opener. If he runs back to his debut, Another Foose will be completing a short-priced exacta.

Taking That’srightofficer to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Another Foose. Trifecta players can add Hussonfirst (12-1) in underneath money positions.

Running Totals: (154) 56-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $347.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Taking Control of the Interborough

Not an exciting way to start the new year, although any start in New York these days is welcome. The Interborough at six furlongs has drawn only five fillies for three-year-olds and up but, on form, it looks like a match race between the two favorites: Control Room (8-5) and Oprah Winney (6-5).

The favorite probably should have won her latest, but settled for third in the Garland of Roses following a very poor start. Prior to that, she set a too-fast pace in the Monmouth Park slop in the Breeders’ Cup. Today, the switch to the outside post will suit her style better and picking up Ramon Dominguez won’t hurt. She’s fast, consistent, likes this surface and has a versatile style.

But Control Room has a bit more upside. A newly turned four-year-old, she’s still developing and had something in reserve from a performance-figure perspective when she defeated the favorite in her last. Trainer Michael Trombetta has been on a tear with his New York shippers, especially this one, 2-for-2 when she steps foot on the winter track. She has tactical speed and an inside post, and will be partnered by Julian Pimentel, who’s been riding at 29 % for this barn recently.

We’re taking Control Room to repeat at 7-5 or more and an exacta box with Oprah Winney.

Running Totals: (153) 55-33-16. Total Dollar Return: $333.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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