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 19, 2009

Good Card Trumps Hollie Hughes

A rare mid-week stakes, the state-bred Hollie Hughes, rescheduled when the race didn’t fill last weekend. With no confirmed speed signed on, we’ll go inside the figures and come up with two possibilities for the pace--and for the win.

Citifest has a pace edge and looms the likely pacesetter in this small field. But he’s been trounced recently by a couple of today’s rivals and it’s very difficult seeing him upset the group. That makes the race ripe for a middle mover and that means Good Card.

Finally, he’s getting some class relief as he’s been competitive in open company recently, now drops out of the G3 Gravesend after dominating an open preliminary allowances with a dream trip.

It might be unreasonable to expect that kind of setup but, given today’s pace scenario, we envision Jose Espinosa moving to the lead at headstretch and holding the late runners safe.

Taking Good Card to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with super sharp Mor Chances, seeking his third straight restricted company score.

Running Totals: (365) 113-73-48 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Monday, February 16, 2009

Edge to Contessa Re-Claim in Contentious Sprint

Today’s feature in New York doesn’t have a name on it but it would at probably any other track in the Northeast, such is the talented level of the non-winners of 3 other than/optional claimer. Further, it’s a skull buster as I can make a reasonable case for almost any entrant.

It unlikely that any entrant will dominate the betting in this relatively short but highly contentious field. We’re going to opt for the two recently fastest horses on performance figures who also happen to be the sharpest. Regression is a possibility, of course, but there are negatives with the competition as well.

Fujita, who runs coupled as the Jacobson entry, was claimed for $75,000 last time out from the Pletcher operation. It’s a big gamble but one that could pay big dividends if the newly turned four year olds continues to develop and/or improve in new hands.

Stakes placed at 3, he has tactical speed, kick, good outside position and a good insurance policy from stablemate Temecula Creek, who Jacobson acquired privately from Bobby Frankel last fall. They are deserving overnight choices at a combined 5-2.

West Coast Flier (7-2), meanwhile, might prove a bargain claim. In fact, he was a Gary Contessa re-claim last out, the third time this five year old gelding changed hands in his last three starts. He earned a lifetime best figure in his debut on this track for these connections two back, now comes off a “soft” win, taking his last without expending as much effort as he did in that Dec. 10 sprint.

Taking West Coast Flier to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with the Jacobson entry.

Running Totals: (364) 112-73-48 Total Dollar Return: $783.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shippers Dominate the “Cappy”

There might not be many Derby colts in today’s featured Fred “Cappy” Capossela at 6 furlongs but it will provide for some good action on the racetrack and betting action at the windows. The interesting colts here are The Prince (7-2) and Wildcat Brief (5-1).

The Prince, part of the Tony Dutrow trained entry, comes into this off a new pace top, indicating he can improve on his good figure debut at Delaware last fall. Any improvement at all from his last will make him a rough customer here. Channing Hill takes the re-ride off his good local debut in the Winkfield and is nicely positioned outside wit a suitable running style.

Wildcat Brief, meanwhile, is faster, raced well in both starts over the track and comes off a “soft” maiden win, indicating there’s more in reserve for this. We like the sign of confidence from the barn, entering him back in a stakes, and Stewart Elliott comes up for the ride as Ramon Dominguez opts for Mike Trombetta’s undefeated early line favorite, Not For Silver (2-1). It can only help out price.

Taking Wildcat Brief to win at 5-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas with his two rivals here.

Running Totals: (363) 112-72-48 Total Dollar Return: $783.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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