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.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday’s Child

Just when the going has gotten tough in the last fortnight, along comes Any Given Saturday, 2-5 to stop the bleeding in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap at nine furlongs. The Todd Pletcher three-year-old has come to hand this summer and is in the conversation when it comes to viable Breeders’ Cup Classic contenders. He’s sharp, he’s fresh, and he’s much faster than the group. His high cruising speed will allow Garrett Gomez to do whatever he wants.

As the most probable winner, he’s unbettable. But we will make a cold exacta that will count as a win play in the dollar return totals. Sightseeing is much, much better than he showed in the Travers. Despite training better than he ever had in his life, he was inexplicably dull. Now he’s back at his favorite distance, on his favorite surface where he’s never finished out of the money in three starts, winning two. Hot riding Javier Castellano replaces the injured Edgar Prado.

Running Total: (107) 39-26-11. Dollar Return: $227.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Get Down on Down in Belmont Feature

Today’s feature is another interesting turf event, this one carded for preliminary allowance fillies, three-year-olds and up, at 1-1/16 miles on the Widener turf. We believe it comes down to two rivals, favorite Down (3-1) and outsider Wild Hoots (8-1).

The barn appears to be very up on Down. After breaking her maiden on this course in a quickly run special-weights at 7 furlongs, her next start came at the same distance on dirt--the Grade 1 Test Stakes. Clearly that was too ambitious, especially given the lack of seasoning.

Bobby Frankel entered her back on turf last time out and she returned with a good effort, finishing gamely late despite having no running room inside and off slow fractions. She figures to get a more favorable set up here, adds blinkers, and switches to a more aggressive Cornelio Velasquez.

Wild Hoots is interesting. After making a promising debut, she was hindered off a very slow pace last time out, compromising her late kick. Still, she mid-moved into the pace, opened a clear advantage and held well for a game victory. Given added maturity off a recent freshening, she figures to move forward for extremely live connections, Team McLaughlin/Garcia. She figures to be overlooked in the wagering.

On occasion when conditions demand, we suggest betting two horses. That’s the case here, with the main wager counting as a play in the running totals, with the saver wager recorded as a half-play. Taking most probable winner Down to win at 2-1 or greater, for $2, and Wild Hoots to win for $1, no price restriction. Also a two-horse exacta box.

Running Totals: (106) 39-26-11. Dollar Return: $227.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Will Brazilian Be A Valor Lady?

Today’s feature is an overnight stakes, the Valor Lady, for older fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs on the inner turf course. Half of the eight fillies entered can win. They are, from the inside, out: Brazilian (8-1), Astronomia (9-2), Stormy Kiss (5-2) and Trouble Maker (6-1).

Brazilian is making his second start for Christophe Clement, a high percentage situation. She finished strongly late off moderate fractions after shaking clear late inside--showing improvement in her debut for Clement--as the pace was heating up, and was beaten less than two lengths by the race favorite here. She appears to be at her best sprinting and classes up nicely.

Astronomia raced wide in a Grade 3 at a mile here less than a week ago and now is entered back quickly at a preferred sprint distance for her. She finished like a wild horse to win her 5-½ furlong prior, completely outclassing secondary allowance rivals. She meets tougher here but not as good as she faced most recently. She switches to suddenly hot riding Javier Castellano.

Stormy Kiss is a deserving favorite. She is consistently faster than this group and she finished like a wild horse in her sprint finale at Saratoga. While she may be winless on turf, her performance figures are excellent and there’s no trainer hotter this last week in New York than Barclay Tagg. The filly’s regular rider Eibar Coa takes the call. She has tactical speed and excellent kick.

When last seen July 12, Trouble Maker was outclassing secondary allowance rivals on the Belmont turf, at today’s distance. Freshened at Saratoga since, she returns here under optimal conditions and has trained steadily and well. The spacing for her return is good and trainer Albertrani is profitable with horses attempting to repeat.
Taking projected value on Brazilian, at 5-1 or greater, and keying her first and second in trifectas with her three main rivals.

Running Totals: (105) 39-26-11. Dollar Return: $227.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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