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.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Groomedforvictory Well Named

A race on the main track, finally, to end the NYRA week, the 7-furlong Mike Lee for New York bred three-year-olds.

There’s some gas in here, as you might expect, headed by an undefeated Finger Lakes shipper, Tin Cup Chalice (4-1), who not only is fast but has shown versatility and the ability to overcome trouble. He’s worked bullets at his upstate base, hails from the top barn of Michael Lecesse and regular rider Pedro Rodriguez ships down with him.

The problem is that he is likely to meet early pressure from at least two sources, which should set the table nicely for favorite Groomedforvictory.

The outside post at this distance should give new rider Alan Garcia several options, ideally providing perfect stalking position from which Garcia can pounce. He should try to catch some cover before tipping out for the drive, trying not to get hung wide on Belmont’s expansive turn. Hopefully, Garcia will earn the big bucks in this spot.

Taking Groomedforvictory to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with the talented shipper.

Running Totals (224) 71-46-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mauralakana, I Double Dare You To Do It Again

Another NYRA feature on the turf but don’t mind seeing this one, the Grade 2 New York Handicap at 10 furlongs for fillies and mares, 3 & up. In the five horse field, it’s as easy as 1-2-3, or 3-2-1, or… Well, you get the idea, it’s tough.

Although you probably think it’s easy if you saw Mauralakana (1-1) finish for the win the G2 Sheepshead Bay at 11 furlongs. Go catch a replay somewhere and let me know if her feet actually touched the ground in the final furlongs. She came her last three furlongs in :35 3/5 and the course was not freakishly fast. It was amazing, so amazing, in fact, that it’s unlikely she can duplicate it. Still, she looms the most likely winner.

Hostess (3-1) is really taking the worst of the weights here. She finished willingly too late behind the choice last out, beaten almost four lengths. She picks up three pounds and the winners picks up four. Doesn’t add up. She certainly figures to improve in her second start following a brief layup, but it’s hard to envision her turning the tables completely, even if the favorite regresses.

The interesting filly is import Dynaforce (5-1), making her U.S. debut for layup ace Bill Mott with first-time Lasix, at least Johnny Velazquez thinks so. He gets off Hostess to ride the unknown filly, Group 2 placed in her four year old finale last year at Deauville. She gets seven pounds from the favorite and has tremendous upside. Worth a gamble at anything near dearly line odds.

Taking Dynaforce at 4-1 or greater, exacta boxes with her main contenders here.

Running Totals: (224) 71-46-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, June 20, 2008

When Looking for Value, Always et a Receipt

Another grass feature, this one a preliminary allowances for females going a mile on the Widener turf course. A good mix of accomplishment and promise in this grassy group.

We’ll look at favorite Song Of Love (5-2), Queens Full (4-1) and Receipt (5-1).

The favorite has never run on turf but earned a top performance figure in her 7 furlong debut, has tactical speed, and boasts a nice blend of nature and nurture for her first start. The fact that the barn is 29 percent at the meet and that the filly has the pole and Eibar Coa gives her a big chance. A victory certainly would be surprise, but a decent price would be.

Queens Full has competitive figures, hits hard, makes her second start off a layup for Christophe Clement, 26 percent efficient in that category, also draws inside and picks up the erstwhile Garrett Gomez. Between her and the favorite it will be a battle of who gets the perfect trip.

Hopefully, Receipt can out-move them both down. After earning a good, competitive figure on turf two back, she was hindered by a dawdling pace next time out, compromising her chances. The Shug McGaughey barn specializes in third-time out starters, going a profitable 25 percent in that category. If anyone’s hotter than Alan Garcia recently, he has yet to identify himself.

Taking Receipt to win at 7-2 or greater and exacta keys first and second with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (223) 71-46-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only}

Written by John Pricci


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