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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What’s the Name of that Elton John Song?

An entertaining start to the New York racing week with a secondary allowance/optional claiming for fillies and mares 4 & Up going a two-turn mile on the winter track. This route is so competitive that even the post time favorite--unknown to me at this point--will be bettable odds.

The likely pacesetter is breaking from the extreme outside and it would appear that Sunday Geisha (3-1) is up against it under those conditions. It will be up to Rajiv Maragh to leave something in the tank for the finish.

There’s a little of every running style in here, however, and we’re hoping to work out a trip for Jessica Is Back (7-2). One of the fastest here on performance figures, she’s capable of stalking from close range and is drawn in post four of eight, allowing Rosie Napravnik to secure early position as she plays it off the break. She’s coming back on relatively short rest but earned one of her best figures in that scenario previously.

Early favorite Say Toba Sandy (5-2) is extremely sharp, seeking her third straight win after switching barns to the white hot David Duggan. However, picking up weight to shoulder highweight of 123 pounds is compromising. Whoever bettors fancy, they are advised not to take a short price on any entrant here.

Taking Jessica Is Back to win at 3-1 or greater, a trifecta box with Say Toba Sandy and Sunday Geisha, and keying the choice first and second in exactas with the other two.

Running Totals: (383) 118-78-52 Total Dollar Return: $822.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, March 15, 2009

No Chance to Beat Mor Chances

Today’s feature to close the week is the Kim’s Chance for older New York-bred sprinters. If I said I could beat the favorite, I’d be lying.

On anyone’s performance figures, Mor Chances (3-5) holds a commanding edge. Worse, if you want to beat him, is that he has the five post in a five-horse field, won his last on the lead throughout and his prior coming from well off the pace. Trained by Rick Dutrow and re-ridden by Richard Migliore, there is no discernable weakness here.

The only way to benefit is trying to nail the exacta, and value may be available here. Little Wise Guy (8-1) is coming off a New Pace Top and his prior final figure was competitive with the remainder.

Forced to take Mor Chances to win, no price restrictions, an exacta box with Little Wise Guy, extra tickets with the favorite on top.

Running Totals: (382) 117-78-52 Total Dollar Return: $822.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ya’ Gotta’ Have Heart

Today’s feature is the Grade 3 Cicada for three year old fillies sprinting six furlongs. As you might expect, we find a field with horses returning on a month’s rest, or making their season’s debuts at various stages of development.

With this being a sprint, it’s always wise to look for a pace edge and we found a filly who qualifies nicely. Not only is she coming out of the hottest-pace races recently but she doesn’t need the lead to be effective.

Using pace at any point of the race when sprinting is how races are won. Hopefully, that’s just what C.C. Lopez will do with Heart Ashley (5-2), shipping north from New Orleans for Steve Asmussen.

While her final figures are not as fast as many of her rivals, she’s poised for a forward move and likely is set to use her pace edge to best advantage. Leave it up to C.C. to play this one off the break. If she’s on the lead, fine. If not, that’s good, too.

The one to feat is Dream Play (7-5), recent blowout winner of the Dearly Precious in very fast time. But she figures to be under the gun meeting quicker and breaking from the rail, not to mention that she’s eligible for a regression.

On the plus side, however, she’s making her third start off the layup, a profitable 26 percent angle for the McLaughlin barn, and her recent half-mile work in :47 3/5, termed breezing, was second fastest of 113 three-year-old to work during a seven-day span. She’s be a tough out.

But we’ll take any value offered on Heart Ashley, looking for 5-2 or better, and making an exacta box with the favorite.

Running Totals: (381) 116-78-52 Total Dollar Return: $810.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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