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, March 07, 2008

Betting Too Drunk To Call Won’t Stagger Home

To bounce or not to bounce, that is the question in today’s featured secondary allowance/optional claiming $25,000 for older New York-bred males. But if the price is right, the question doesn’t have to be pondered all that long.

The eight race today at Aqueduct has drawn a field of nine: The favorites, and they will be formidable, are Quick And Easy (5-2) and Starhumor (3-1).

Quick And Easy was all of that 17 days ago, taking a preliminary allowances by open lengths after opening a six length advantage into the lane. It was a career best effort for the Tim Ritvo trainee and leader rider Ramon Dominguez rides him back. A tactical speedster with kick and a favorable inside post makes him a worthy choice.

But Starhumor has a bit more upside. He’s sitting on a career best effort having gotten back to his top last out. He’s had 33 days between starts and white hot Brice Levine is a profitable 29 percent effective with horses making their third start off a layup. Rajiv Maragh has opted to ride this one back and will need to figure a way to overcome the outside post in this two-turn field of nine.

Too Drunk To Call has virtues beyond his 8-1 morning line. By definition the fastest horse, he is well drawn inside, and he improved immeasurably since the bar shoe was removed for his last race. Channing Hill takes the re-ride and the sharp six-year-old figures to get a good trip once again. At these odds, it’s a no-brainer, even if he‘s returning on nine days rest..

Taking Too Drunk To Call to win at 5-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exacta boxes with his two main rivals here.

Running Totals: (186) 64-41-21. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Rite Moment Looks Like Wrong Favorite

An interesting mid-week overnight stakes, the Limit, for older fillies and mares going a mile and 70 yards. An eclectic group, including an Argentinean import, but this is winter so the early line choice will be saddled by Gary Contessa (2-1). This favorite will try to beat.

There’s no question that Rite Moment is the fastest horses on performance figures, but she has no form at the distance. I realize that a mile and 70 is not that far to stretch, but why find out at a short price? The interesting fillies in here are Street Bird (3-1), Bartola (7-2) and Devil House (9-2).

Street Bird brings a two-race win streak into this and is a four-time winner at the distance with a very worthy 3-for-4 slate on this surface. Speed, the pole, Tony Dutrow are other variables in her favor. But she can rate from close range and that could make all he difference this afternoon.

Bartola is the dark horse here. If class means anything, and it does, she should be the early line choice given that she was a Group 1 winner in her native Argentina. She’s won half her eight lifetime starts but hasn’t run since getting an awful trip against colts in the Group 2 United Emirates Derby last year in Dubai. She makes her U.S. debut for Steve Asmussen off a Gulfstream Park workline and gets Lasix for the first time. As the racetrackers say, she could be any kind.

Devil House might fall between the parimutuel cracks, even if she does hail from the white hot barn of Bruce Levine. She prepped for this by winning an overnight sprint stakes in her winter track debut and has won going two turns. She’s been working bullets for the stretch-out here and C.C. Lopez rides her back off her recent score.

Taking Street Bird to win at early line odds or greater, and keying her first and second in trifectas with her three principal rivals here.

Running Totals: (186) 64-41-21. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not a Ghost of a Chance to Beat This Favorite

An otherwise boring way to begin the NYRA week, a secondary allowances/optional $50,000 claiming sprint that has drawn but five older fillies and mares going 6 furlongs. It seems impossible to think we can beat the favorite, so we’re not going try. But considering there’s a quarter-million dollar plus carryover in the Pick 6 pool, Ghost Dancing (3-5) is as good a single as any on the card.

She’s fastest on performance figures, draws the pole with Ramon Dominguez, and trainer Tony Dutrow is a profitable 30% effective with third-time starters off a layoff. Seems just too much to overcome here.

Two of the four remaining fillies have a puncher’s change. The ubiquitous Gary Contessa is everywhere and re-claim What’s Your Point (4-1) has been going well since she was re-acquired by winning move stable. She owns a closing style in a race that figures to feature a quick pace and is perfectly drawn outside in this small gathering.

The other interesting filly is Bedside Story (5-1) a recent claim by Enrique Arroyo, batting 26% at the meet, for the crafty claiming outfit, Gumpster Stable. She likes to stalk from close range and is sharp given her recent blowout. In fact, all three fillies have worked very well for this.

The best of luck if you plan on diving into the pool.

Taking Ghost Dancing to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta key box with two remaining fillies--if you’re so inclined--plus an extra ticket with Ghost Dancing on top.

Running Totals: (185) 64-40-21. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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