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, September 21, 2008

Ouchy Night To Put Hurtin’ on Gimma Fillies

The final feature of the NYRA week is the Joseph A Gimma for state-bred juvenile fillies going seven furlongs. The three top fillies in it, from the inside out, are Mother Russia (4-1), Akilina (3-1) and Ouchy Night (5-1).

Mother Russia is 2-for-2, including a recent Finger Lakes Stakes in which she chased strong fractions throughout and showed grit enough to get it done. Mike Luzzi takes the re-ride but the filly comes back on relatively short rest and spot her main rivals five pounds.

Akilina showed improvement when getting Lasix two back to break her maiden then came back with a strong finish placing after altering course at a critical juncture. Rajiv Maragh has ridden her in all three starts, giving her experience in today‘s matchup.

Ouchy Night is very interesting. The figure she earned breaking her maiden is the best of the group, and it came over the Belmont oval. She then had a very rough trip in the G3 Schuylerville before coming back to finish second to Akilina in the Vichy after having trouble at the start. She reunites with Prado who was aboard for the fast maiden win.

We’ll taking Ouchy Night to win at 3-1 or greater and key her first and second in exactas and trifectas with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (279) 86-56-32. Total Dollar Return: $515.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Can Elope Run Off With the Gallant Bloom?

You might believe that somehow I’m into the wacky tobacco as I’m writing this but today’s G2 Gallant Bloom for filly and mare sprinters at 6-½ furlongs is not completely open and shut because a 3-5 favorite looms over her four rivals.

Obviously, Indian Blessing is the one to beat, especially now that she’s been rating kindly while going short, Bob Baffert declining the recent Ruffian in order to keep her sprinting. Clearly, she will be a most difficult out.

But there’s a filly coming out of a “non-winners of 2 lifetime” allowances that could give her fits if her most recent effort is any indication of what she has become at four. But Elope (8-1) last effort was truly awesome, and if there’s a replay center of some kind near you we suggest to take a look and see for yourself.

Elope (8-1) won laughing on Aug. 3, an absolute romp, by nearly a dozen lengths, and her jockey never moved a muscle in the late stages. Her performance figure was off the charts but she’s had seven weeks recovery time. And given that she sheds seven pounds--getting six from today’s favorite--is drawn outside for her return at last month’s winning distance, and draws Ramon Dominguez, who rides 41 percent winners for this barn over his career, for that trainer Bruce Levine who’s 33 percent lifetime with repeaters, fashioning an upset is a real possibility.

Indian Blessing is the most probable winner but anything more than 5-1 would represent value on Elope. Given the short field, we’ll make an exacta part wheel using Indian Blessing and Elope first and second, with Zada Belle (6-1) in the second slot only, taking an extra ticket with the favorite first. The exacta value in here is predicated on the elimination of Sugar Swirl (3-1) from the first two positions.

Running Totals: (278) 85-56-32. Total Dollar Return: $513.10 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


Friday, September 19, 2008

House Guest Staying to Cash a Bet

Lots going on in today’s Belmont feature for fillies and mares, three and up, preliminary allowance types sprinting 6 furlongs on the inner turf course.

There’s Viva La View (5-1), talented, albeit lightly raced, coming off a layup for a top return outfit with early speed, the pole and Johnny Velazquez.

Then there’s According To Plan (3-1), going dirt to turf for Barclay Tagg, a good percentage move, while making her second start off a layup--another good angle--with stable rider Eibar Coa aboard.
And there’s Goo Goo Eyes (6-1), making her second start for the Kiaran McLaughlin barn, and Higher Incentive, beaten in a photo on Belmont turf in a race that went in 1:07 4/5 for today’s distance. And HIgher Incentive (9-2), going postward for leading trainer Gary Contessa.

But the most interesting miss to us in this wide open fray that has drawn a good sized field is House Quest (7-2), back in the Greg DiPrima barn after making a foray out of town. While not as fast as some of her competitors, her figures are competitive enough but, unlike most of her competitors, she’s acquitted herself well in tougher situations.

Now she returns to her favorite surface, at her optimal distance, and reunites with hot riding Rajiv Maragh, who fits this filly extremely well. With all the speed signed on here, she should come running strong in the late stages.

Taking House Quest to win at 7-2 or greater, keying her first and second in the trifecta with the rivals mentioned above, and an exacta box with Viva La View.

Running Totals: (277) 84-56-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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