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.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Run This Twilight Feature In The Dark

Today’s Belmont Park feature, a “non-winners of two other-than/optional claiming $50,000,” does not exactly get the blood pumping. It’s a six-horse field that features a seemingly unbeatable favorite from high profile connections. The main contender looks to be a freshened three-year-old from the Pletcher/Velazquez team.

Ho hum.

Frankly, I don’t believe City Attraction (1-1) can be beaten and I’d be lying if I said there were other smart options. This Rick Dutrow trainee comes from two rapidly run placings, the spacing (38 days) is perfect, the distance is right, and Cornelio Velasquez fits tighter than OJ’s glove.

City Attraction is a “now” horse. He’s been consistently faster than the group except for the returning Shuffling Maddnes, who figures to need the effort.

The only interesting rival with a puncher’s chance is Our Sacred Honor (2-1), badly outrun when last seen in the Grade 3 Withers after a promising third place finish in the rapidly run Aventura at Gulfstream Park. Freshened by Mr. Pletcher is likely the perfect tonic for a colt that gets blinkers this afternoon. They may or may not help; a tough read with this barn.

Taking City Attraction to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Our Sacred Honor.

Running Totals: (54) 26-11-9 Dollar Return: $152.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Solid Development Trumps Superior Figures in Belmont Feature

Today’s feature is a little trappy; a six-horse field going a mile and a sixteenth for fillies & mares, three-year-olds and up, eligible for non-winners of a race other than…or optional claiming $75.000.

The early line favorite, Mama Theresa (2-1), looks beatable; she’s fast on figures and early speed but seldom makes it all the way to the wire. We think it will come down to Lost Etiquette (5-2) and Lauren’s Tizzy (7-2).

Lost Etiquette is the fastest on performance figures but never has run back to her excellent debut effort. In fact, she’s shown no development at three but does seem to be rounding into top form. Trainer Pat Reynolds is having a fine year (24 percent) and Edgar Prado sees fit to re-ride.

But we’ll give the edge to a four-year-old who, while not as fast on performance figures, is developing nicely this season and is likely to hold that fine form despite her 123-pound impost, most of that Garrett Gomez.

Additionally, she’s won a secondary allowances for state-breds but get in this open race on a favorable restricted clause. The Mark Hennig shed seems to be gearing up as this meet progresses. Lauren’s Tizzy is more likely to provide good value relative to her chances for victory.

Taking Lauren’s Tizzy to win at 5-2 or greater, and an exacta box with Lost Etiquette.

Running Totals: (53) 26-11-9 Dollar Return: $152.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Dwyer Jumpstarts Sophomore’s ‘Second Season’

Two terrific features showcasing some classy animals today at Belmont Park. We’ll stick with racing’s glamour division; the three-year-olds. The Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes will be run around one turn at a mile and a sixteenth.

Obviously, the two colts coming from the Kentucky Derby--Nobiz Like Shobiz and Any Given Saturday--are the most probable winners. But know that Sightseeing and First Defence could develop into significant second-season sophomores and are not without a puncher‘s chance here. This is an interesting race, well worth watching.

The win end should be decided between Barclay Tagg’s 8-5 early line favorite and Todd Pletcher’s 5-2 second favorite.

Nobiz Like Shobiz is a deserving public choice. He is, after all, the most accomplished and won his only meeting with his main rival, beating him back in the Wood Memorial. ‘Nobiz’ should benefit from his freshening since the Derby and has blinkers removed today, a profitable 23 percent tack for Tagg. The trainer said the colt is focusing better given his recent maturity.

But Any Given Saturday rates the minor-upset call. He provides the better value relative to his chances for victory. In the Wood, Any Given Saturday was coming off an enervating effort vs. Street Sense in the Tampa Derby in a previous start. He loomed menacingly but weakened in deep stretch. likely reacting negatively to his Tampa exertions.

‘Nobiz’ is likely to shadow the speedy First Defence and Any Given Saturday should be set to pounce when ready, given a quicker turn of foot. Further, he raced better in the Derby than did ‘Nobiz’ and his performance figures have been consistently faster.

Taking Any Given Saturday to win at 2-1 or better, an exacta box with Nobiz Like Shobiz.

Running Totals: (52) 25-11-9 Dollar Return: $147.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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