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, August 16, 2009

Sometimes Everyone Is Just: Hangingbyathread

Today’s West Point for older state-breds going nine furlongs on the turf is always entertaining; formful with too many short prices. This again looks like one of those.

The favorite is Banrock (2-1), and deservedly so as the most accomplished member of the field. Getting class relief dropping out of the G1 United Nations back into restricted company, he’s from a live barn, loves this course and the trip, but prefers some cut in the ground--although he was run fast on firm turf. Still, at a short price, not for us.

The preference is Hangingbyathread, who continues to show improvement as a 5-year-old gelding. The owners always point for this meeting, Carlos Martin is having a fine year, he’s won at Saratoga, and is 2-for-5 at this trip. He has a strong kick but enough tactical speed at this distance to insure a good journey. A winner last out, Jose Lezcano takes the re-ride.

Taking Hangingbyathread to win at 3-1 or greater, and key boxing first and second with Banrock and Kutaisi (6-1), a good second to the choice at Belmont Park last out and developing into a nice little win machine.

Running Totals: (482) 144-99-66 Total Dollar Return: $994.30 [win selections only] {Saturday's results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, August 15, 2009

One of These Veterans Will Make History

Today's Grade 1 Sword Dancer comes down to the horse that's been pointing for his third consecutive victory in the race, Grand Couturier (3-1), or 10-year-old Better Talk Now (5-1), who ran a remarkable race behid Gio Poni last out, the country's leading grass horse that came back to win the Arlington Million in his most recent start last weekend. Grand Couturier has not been sharp in recent preps for the Sword Dancer because he missed valuable training time. That's not the case here. He loves this course and could not be training better.

Taking Grand Couturier to win at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box with Better Talk Now.

Running Totals: (482) 144-99-66 Total Dollar Return: $994.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, August 14, 2009

A Race Worthy of its Honorees

No problem getting value in today’s G2 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes. The problem will be picking a winner in a deep and highly contentious field.

Of the 10 entered; Straight Story, Sal the Barber, Al Khali and El Crespo appear the most logical. And I’m sure I’m leaving some worthy contender out.

But for the top of the ticket, we’ve narrowed the choices to two. Straight Story (7-2) has been nothing if not unlucky--and you might have to worry about his psyche.

In his last two, he’s been beaten narrowly--and we do mean narrowly--by divisional leader Battle of Hastings. Graded stakes toughened, he turns back to a distance that should better suit his abilities, has drawn the rail with tactical speed but most significantly, picks up Johnny Velazquez.

Meanwhile, there’s no telling how good Sal the Barber (5-1) is. He won a recent overnight stakes at the distance, earning an excellent performance, has been given more than enough recovery time, and his trainer, Christophe Clement, is in the midst of a career year.

While he stole his last on a slow pace, he nonetheless exploded into a fast final figure and Ramon Dominguez can make good use of his proven versatility, also having won from far back to remain undefeated in two starts at the distance.

Taking Straight Story to win at 5-2 or greater, boxing him in the exacta with Sal the Barber, and keying him first and second in trifectas with his other rivals named here.

Running Totals: (481) 144-99-66 Total Dollar Return: $994.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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