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.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Dream Rush Up To Big Speed Test

Although three-year-olds, fillies don’t get the glamour normally reserved for colts in the sport. And while there might be more important races at this illustrious meet, The Darley Test at seven furlongs is one of my favorite Saratoga races.

That’s because the race is about speed and stamina.

The favorite has speed and she will be tested. But Dream Rush (2-1), winner of the Grade 1 Prioress in her last start, is not only a worthy favorite but she’ll be a tough out. And that’s because of the distance. Dream Rush’s best performance figure was earned while winning the G2 Nassau County at today’s trip. Nicely drawn in the center of a large field, that should give Eibar Coa options. While she’s best in front, she isn’t a strict need-the-lead type.

The main competition figures to come from Cotton Blossom (9-2) and Boca Grande (15-1). Neither filly can match her in the performance figure department (check out 12-1 Pha. Park shipper Akronism for that) but both figure to love this trip and each will benefit from strong fractions.

Cotton Blossom was a classy winner of the G1 Acorn at a mile then raced one-paced in the two-turn Delaware Oaks. Delaware can be quirky, but now she’s back at Saratoga where she has a (2) 1-1-0 slate and all that conditioning from both her recent starts. JR rides her regularly for Todd Pletcher.

Boca Grande has a pair of G2 victories to her credit and also has conditioning after racing evenly in both the G1 Acorn and Mother Goose most recently. While she doesn’t match up on figures, her close-up style is perfect for today’s conditions and Shug McGaughey has an excellent record in this race. The switch to Julien Leparoux just might suit this longshot filly perfectly.

Taking Dream Rush to win at 9-5 or greater, keying her first and second in trifecta boxes with Cotton Blossom, Boca Grande and the sharp, fast invader, Akronism.

Running Totals: (73) 33-15-10 Dollar Return: $193.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Kelly To Uphold Winning Tradition For Von Hemel Family at Spa

Handicappers should always be concerned when the projected outcome of a race looks too easy. But that’s the feeling one gets when you check the PPs for the G2 Honorable Miss for fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, at 6 furlongs.

How can they beat Miss Macy Sue (5-2)? Don’t think they can. At least, on paper, I can’t.

Kelly Von Hemel’s Midwest flyer has everything: raging form off four straight wins, including eight wins at the distance, the stalking speed and kick needed to press fast fractions then go on, a fair impost (117 pounds), a bullet blowout over the main track, and Edgar Prado. Otherwise, she doesn’t have much going for her.

Indian Flare (9-5) is sure to attract attention off her tough-trip non-effort in the G1 Princess Rooney at Calder, a course that many horses simply can’t handle. But we think that an extra half-furlong is really her best game, and we’ll try to beat the early line choice.

The one we fear is Todd Pletcher trainee G City Gal (2-1), who moved forward in her second start of the year, the aforementioned Rooney. She appears to be cycling back into top form.

Taking Miss Macy Sue to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with G City Gal.

Running Totals: (72) 33-15-10 Dollar Return: $193.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

To Need One Or Not To Need One, That Is The Question

Since we’ve gotten here, this is the first Saratoga feature race without a name attached to it, but there are some names within the race that should be familiar to racetrack households. Like the returning Shakespeare (8-5), who’s been away from the races since October 2005.

Shakespeare is now under the care of Kairan McLaughlin and he’s been working bullets for his return. But, like the odds, the distance is a little short and the layup a little too long. We’re betting against.

Unfortunately, the only one we’re left with is the 6-5 early line choice, Art Master. He won the G3 Poker at the distance in very fast time last out, has run nearly that fast in the past, so that a bounce is a little less likely. Four of his five lifetime wins from 10 starts have come at this trip. Bobby Frankel’s 29 percent effective with horses trying to repeat recent scores.

Taking Art Master to win at 4-5 or greater, keying him in trifectas over Gun Salute, Gigawatt and Electric Light. Also, cold exacta Art Master with Electric Light.

Running Totals: (71) 33-14-10 Dollar Return: $193.20 [based on win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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