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, July 04, 2007

Dwyer Jumpstarts Sophomore’s ‘Second Season’

Two terrific features showcasing some classy animals today at Belmont Park. We’ll stick with racing’s glamour division; the three-year-olds. The Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes will be run around one turn at a mile and a sixteenth.

Obviously, the two colts coming from the Kentucky Derby--Nobiz Like Shobiz and Any Given Saturday--are the most probable winners. But know that Sightseeing and First Defence could develop into significant second-season sophomores and are not without a puncher‘s chance here. This is an interesting race, well worth watching.

The win end should be decided between Barclay Tagg’s 8-5 early line favorite and Todd Pletcher’s 5-2 second favorite.

Nobiz Like Shobiz is a deserving public choice. He is, after all, the most accomplished and won his only meeting with his main rival, beating him back in the Wood Memorial. ‘Nobiz’ should benefit from his freshening since the Derby and has blinkers removed today, a profitable 23 percent tack for Tagg. The trainer said the colt is focusing better given his recent maturity.

But Any Given Saturday rates the minor-upset call. He provides the better value relative to his chances for victory. In the Wood, Any Given Saturday was coming off an enervating effort vs. Street Sense in the Tampa Derby in a previous start. He loomed menacingly but weakened in deep stretch. likely reacting negatively to his Tampa exertions.

‘Nobiz’ is likely to shadow the speedy First Defence and Any Given Saturday should be set to pounce when ready, given a quicker turn of foot. Further, he raced better in the Derby than did ‘Nobiz’ and his performance figures have been consistently faster.

Taking Any Given Saturday to win at 2-1 or better, an exacta box with Nobiz Like Shobiz.

Running Totals: (52) 25-11-9 Dollar Return: $147.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

‘Mob’ Makes Big Hit in Tremont

With three added money events on the Belmont Park docket this afternoon, we’ll concentrate on the Tremont Stakes for two-year-old colts going five and a half furlongs. Three worthy of serious consideration are, from the inside out; Nordic Wind, Lantana Mob and Ready’s Image.

Nordic Wind turned a lot of heads when he outran six rivals to an impressive victory going four and a half furlongs at Delaware Park showing high early speed in the short run to the turn. With the speed positioned outside the Mary Pearson trainee, look for Delaware’s Kendrick Carmouche to send the colt to establish position early. He could lead this throughout.

Ready’s Image is one of three uncoupled colts from the Todd Pletcher shed and appears the most talented of that trio to date. Tested and highly competitive in the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs May 3rd, he is fresh with two-race experience and comes up to today’s trip nicely off graduating distances. Regular rider Johnny Velazquez must have recommended blinkers for this colt because they’re on today. He’s trained purposefully for this.

But likely favorite Lantana Mob appears the most probable winner. Another with the benefit of two starts, he graduated at today’s distance last time out at Churchill, a significant advantage this early in the juvenile year. He beat 10 rivals in extremely fast time and trainer Steve Asmussen is 26 percent effective with horses returning off a maiden win. Owner of tactical speed and kick, he attracts Garrett Gomez for his local debut.

Taking Lantana Mob to win, no price restrictions, and exacta boxes with Nordic Wind and Ready’s Image.

Running Totals: (50) 25-10-9 Dollar Return: $147.40 [win selections only, does not reflect Saturday’s results]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Swashbuckling Fairbanks In Suburban Upset

There are two Grade 1s on the docket at Belmont Park this afternoon but we’ll concentrate on the Suburban Handicap at 10 furlongs, second leg of the old NYRA handicap triple crown.

The winner of that first leg, the Metropolitan Handicap, was Corinthian, the 8-5 early line favorite to repeat his effort of five weeks ago. He is a worthy and deserving choice.

In winning the Met Mile, he showed much improved early speed, a new pace top, and held off all challengers in deep stretch. In addition to the pace top, his best performance figures have come at longer distances, nine and nine and-a-half furlongs, his best. He has 12-furlong pedigree in his first two generations.

However, we’re taking the Todd Pletcher trained Fairbanks, second choice at 5-2. By definition the fastest horse on performance figures, his best races have all come at nine furlongs, he gets a three-pound pull in the weights, and has a history of racing well when fresh. He, too, should handle 10 furlongs.

We’re sure that Richard Migliore, who rode him to victory at Santa Anita last time out, can remember his way around ‘big sandy.’

Taking Fairbanks to win at 2-1 or more and an exacta box with Corinthian.

Running Totals: (50) 25-10-9 Dollar Return: $147.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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