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.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Taking Promise Over Proven Form

A turf sprint feature. Well, isn’t that special? But it is intriguing, a few horses from top outfits that might have a future vs. a fairly hard hitting specialist. We’ll look at Perfect Casting (4-1), Hatta Fort (2-1) and Redefine (5-2) in the field of eight.

Perfect Casting has been competitive at middle-sprint distances and has been training very well at his Saratoga base for layoff ace Christophe Clement, virtually as a first-time 4-year-old. Turning back to three-quarters should help his late kick and Garrett Gomez has a knack of timing late moves just right. But he will need pace help.

Hatta Fort makes his second turf start for Saeed bin Suroor, a profitable scenario, and earned the race’s best figure sprinting on the Keeneland Polytrack, which should augur well. It will, however, be his first start at today’s distance but won a listed stakes at 5 furlongs in Europe. As a maturing three-year-old, he gets the best of the weights here.

Redefine has been a remarkably consistent turf sprint, first for John Parisella and now for Tony Dutrow. He just missed in his season’s debut after making a sustained run, losing when out-bobbed at the finish line. A horse for course, he’s 6 for 14 on Belmont grass and 0 for 18 doing anything everywhere else. He earns good figures with consistency but has tended to regress off strong efforts.

Taking Hatta Fort to win at 8-5 or greater, keying him in exactas and, to a lesser extent, trifectas, first and second with his two main rivals here.

Running Totals: (226) 71-48-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What’s Your Horse’s Sign?

The NYRA racing week begins with a turf feature--again with the grass feature--only this one is an allowance event--a secondary allowances/optional claiming $50,000--at a mile and a sixteenth on the Widener turf course, that would resemble a stakes anywhere else. We’ll confine our analysis to Leo (3-1), part of the Kiaran McLaughlin trained entry, and Winstrella (9-2), making his turf debut.

Leo is in for $50,000, having won in this condition two starts back, in which he earned a top performance figure. While performing well last out, he was seriously hindered by a very slow pace. With enough speed signed on here, hard-hitting five year old can revert to rating tactics, taking advantage of his inside post and switch to position-conscious Rajiv Maragh.

Winstrella is the unknown danger. On his best day, he has proven faster than these and is bred on both sides of his pedigree for the surface switch. He drops from the stakes ranks for his four year old debut for the Pletcher barn, 22 percent effective with layups of greater than 90 days and a profitable 24 percent efficient with horses making their turf debut. Nature and nurture is a powerful combination.

Taking Leo to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Winstrella. Trifecta players can include Prince Rahy and the Frankel entry in their mix.

Running Totals: (226) 71-48-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Groomedforvictory Well Named

A race on the main track, finally, to end the NYRA week, the 7-furlong Mike Lee for New York bred three-year-olds.

There’s some gas in here, as you might expect, headed by an undefeated Finger Lakes shipper, Tin Cup Chalice (4-1), who not only is fast but has shown versatility and the ability to overcome trouble. He’s worked bullets at his upstate base, hails from the top barn of Michael Lecesse and regular rider Pedro Rodriguez ships down with him.

The problem is that he is likely to meet early pressure from at least two sources, which should set the table nicely for favorite Groomedforvictory.

The outside post at this distance should give new rider Alan Garcia several options, ideally providing perfect stalking position from which Garcia can pounce. He should try to catch some cover before tipping out for the drive, trying not to get hung wide on Belmont’s expansive turn. Hopefully, Garcia will earn the big bucks in this spot.

Taking Groomedforvictory to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with the talented shipper.

Running Totals (224) 71-46-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci


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