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, February 05, 2009

Oh, Nellie

Interesting feature, a preliminary allowances optional claimer drawing a good sized competitive group of sprinting fillies and mares. Three caught our attention here.

Starship Cruiser (3-1) is the logical favorite. Rick Dutrow trainee suffered through a wide trip in her promising surface debut. Owning tactical speed and an inside draw, Jeffrey Sanchez should secure better position on the re-ride this afternoon. She has cycled back to top form and figures to her ‘A’ race here.

Victorious Dream (7-2) is a rapidly improving four-year-old who improved to a career equally performance off the David Jacobson claim, who enters her back at a higher grade here, certainly a sign of confidence. She has had sufficient recovery time and is poised for another possible forward move. Any improvement allows her to repeat here and a speed-favoring oval could seal that deal.

Tis Cactus Nellie (4-1) makes her first second start off Michael Maker’s claim, following an effort in which she stumbled badly at the start, effectively losing all chance. But she earned extra points in that performance, finishing willingly in a change-of-pace try in the third start of her career, indicating she might be multi-dimensional.

Four-year-old filly gets a switch to Ramon Dominguez, who’s 3-for-6 riding for this outfit, and did we mention that Maker is a profitable 37 percent efficient second time off the claim? Well, he is.

Taking Tis Cactus Nellie to win at 5-2 or greater, keying her first and second in exactas with her main rivals here, extra ticket with Victorious Dream.

Running Totals: (356) 109-72-47 Total Dollar Return: $768.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I’m Totally Awesome…

Today’s feature, the Get Lucky Stakes for fillies and mares, four year olds an up at a mile and 70 yards is just full of traps.

If there weren’t such a thing as a regression, it would be easy. The “fastest” horse on figures, Awesome Ashley (2-1), would win in a walk. She’s never raced in better form, showed she likes the surface by running a career best figure on it, has speed to set the table up front, breaks from the pole and reunites with Ramon Dominguez.

But every time she’s earned a new lifetime top, she’s regressed, and she returns on relatively short rest. But then three other fillies appear to have regression written all over them.

Furthermore, the fastest fillies in here are long on speed and figure to cancel each other out. Of those, Sherine (8-1), because of the price and coming off a New Pace Top, seems to be worth the risk.

The filly who figures to suit the race’s dynamics, likes the track, and hits hard, is Are We Dreamin but she’s not had a break recently and her form seems to have tailed off a bit. But that’s strictly a guess. And guessing is a full sister to losing.

We’re going to settle on one of the slower members of the group, Awesome I Am (5-2). Her figures are headed in the right direction, her spacing is better than the others, and she owns upside potential as a four year old. She’s done her best racing on this surface, having won 2 of 3 starts. Perhaps these factors will be enough. But I’ll need slightly better odds to wager.

Taking Awesome I Am to win at 3-1 or greater, keying her first and second in exactas with Sherine and Awesome Ashley.

Running Totals: (355) 108-72-47 Total Dollar Return: $760.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Albertrani’s Filly’s a Heckuva Price

Today’s NYRA feature, the Wistful Stakes for three-year-old fillies going a mile and 70 yards, is interesting in that you have some quick, rapidly developing young ladies one of which, early line favorite Chocolate Pop (7-5) is debuting for new connections looking to gain quick dividends.

As the fastest on performance figures, she is a worthy favorite in her first start for trainer Chad Brown as she was stakes placed twice recently--including her last under today’s exact conditions--despite having tough trips in each. Rajiv Maragh will ride her back.

What A Pear (5-2) is undefeated in two starts, both coming over this surface, and comes up to the route nicely off graduating distances. Well drawn, she is, however, a slow starter and actually missed the break last time out. What’s problematical is that she moved forward dramatically in her second start and comes back on relatively short rest. Therefore, a regression is likely.

Heckuva Hunter (10-1) is an interesting recent maiden winner. She’s improved markedly since adding blinkers two starts back, is and experienced road warrior and hails from the barn of Tom Albertrani, a profitable 23 percent efficient with horses coming back off recent maiden scores, especially over a distance of ground. Significantly, her recent performance figure matched her previous lifetime best and seems poised for a forward move here. At the price, it’s worth testing that theory.

Taking Heckuva Hunter to win at 8-1 or greater and keying her first and second in exacta and trifectas with her rivals here.

Running Totals: (354) 108-72-47 Total Dollar Return: $760.20 [win selections only]

I have no real feel for America's Game tonight at 6:28 p.m. You all know the handicapping storylines by now. To maintain some interest, and to keep a promise to a loyal HRI reader and--for informational purposes only--I took a small parlay; Cardinals and Under. So, enjoy.

Written by John Pricci


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