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.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Tread Lightly In New York-Bred Feature


Generally, the Albany Handicap for state-bred three-year-olds draws a good-sized field and is an interesting betting race. Not so this year. A short field, a short-priced favorite, and the horses with the best nine furlong form are not nearly as fast as those that might be distance challenged.

What to do?

Not sure about how we might take any money out of this event. Clearly, Chief’s Lake (8-5) is the fastest on performance figures, and by a lot. His class and wide speed advantage should get him home in front. But he’s the kind you’d love to try beating. The problem is we can’t find any on a particularly good line, and those that might be look too slow.

We’re not making a win wager here, although we’re calling Chief’s Lake the most likely winner and he will be tallied in our daily running totals. Not even making an exacta. There’s not a clear cut second finisher in the bunch. Instead, we will key Chief’s Lake first over three rivals in the trifecta.

Dr. V’s Magic is, by definition, the second fast horse and, while also distance challenged, is clearly best of the rest. Stunt Man goes turf to dirt for Gary Contessa and earns competitive figures consistently, a big plus here. Doctor Freud is too slow but has a race over the track and appears e would be most at home at today’s trip.

There’s still two weeks remaining at this meet. There’s no need to get seriously involved here.

Running Totals: (85) 37-18-10. Dollar Return: $222.30

Written by John Pricci

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Monday, August 20, 2007


Steal Magnolia In Union Avenue


Today’s feature is the restricted Union Avenue Stakes for New York-bred fillies, three-year-olds and up, sprinting six furlongs. The favorite will be a very tough out here. Magnolia Jackson (8-5) just has too much speed, too much class.

Two interesting fillies with a puncher’s chance are Stolen Star (4-1) and Precise Lady (6-1).

Stolen Star has some back figures at three that could compete with the favorite here. Given the improved early speed she showed last time (new pace top) in the Dancin Renee, she rates to move forward this afternoon. She likes the surface, finishing a competitive second in both lifetime Spa starts. The John Kimmel barn has come alive here recently.

Precise Lady, meanwhile, loves it here. Never off the board in three lifetime Spa starts including two victories, she also earned her best performance figure on this surface. The Dancin Renee winner continues to work purposefully and she’s 2-for-2 beneath Javier Castellano, who rides her back for Pat Kelly, having another good Spa meet.

But as stated, Magnolia Jackson is simply too fast on figures, and she runs them consistently. Grade 2 placed in open company, she returns fresh for Gary Contessa, who goes back to Ramon Dominguez this afternoon. She can lead throughout, or stalk and pounce, from her outside slip and does not concede all that much weight under the allowance restrictions.

Taking Magnolia Jackson to win at even money or greater and exacta boxes with the other two fillies, an extra ticket with her on top and another in a trifecta key as well.

Running Totals: (85) 37-18-10. Dollar Return: $222.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, August 19, 2007


Don’t Get Too Revved Up for John’s Call


Today’s feature is named for the redoubtable Spa fixture, John’s Call, appropriately enough a 13-furlong turf marathon for older horses. On paper, it’s a two horse race between the classy veteran, Revved Up (2-1), and another marathon specialist Rousing Victory (4-1).

Revved Up is by far the most accomplished member of this group and is coming off a useful prep in a Grade 3 at Arlington Park. He is more suited to today’s marathon route and attracts Kent Desormeaux, who’s riding the Spa course like he owns it. But the 9-year-old’s lost several steps and is the probably heavy favorite.

Rousing Victory likes this trip and had a useful recent prep over the course, a wide rally fourth at a mile while coming off a layup. Ramon Dominguez rode him that day and will ride him back as this veteran has been carefully pointed to this race, having won it two years ago. His performance figures put him right on the middle of this.

Taking the value offered on Rousing Victory as the likely second choice, 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with Revved Up and will include the stoutly bred General Jumbo (6-1) underneath.

Running Totals: (83) 36-18-10. Dollar Return: $211.30 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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