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, June 14, 2007

Terrific Betting Race Looms in Belmont Feature

A very interesting and wide open feature at Belmont Park as 11 fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, travel one mile in a preliminary allowances, $75,000 optional claimer. Four fillies hold a wide edge over the rest, from the inside, out; Unenchanted, Partida, Stolen Star and Lost Etiquette.

Unenchanted showed much improvement to break her maiden over this track, at this distance, last out. She is developing nicely and takes the next logical step for the Todd and Johnny team. Amazing that after over 1,700 rides, the Pletcher/Velazquez tandem is showing a flat-bet profit.

Partida is by definition the fastest filly in here off her recent 6-½ furlong victory. Interesting to note, too, that trainer Jimmy Jerkens is profitable in three relevant categories: first-time route, sprint-to-route and is an impressive 29 percent with horses coming off a maiden win in their most recent start. By Monarchos, the added distance suits well, too.

Four-year-old Stolen Star meets younger rivals and was a good second in a recent New York-bred stakes at today’s distance over the track. Her figures are solid and competitive but she’s been a long time trying to shake this condition.

Looks like “go day” for Lost Etiquette. Her speed sharpened with first-time blinkers last out, they are appropriately removed today and are accompanied by a switch to Edgar Prado, aboard for her only career win. Note that trainer Pat Reynolds is 4-for-10 when using Edgar. This filly earned fast figures at 2 and earlier this year at 3 and has been tested in two graded stakes. If not today, when?

Taking Lost Etiquette to win, with no price restrictions, and making an exacta box with Partida and keying her in all three positions in trifectas with all fillies named.

Running Totals: (39) 17-9-8 Dollar Return: $89.80 [win only selections, does not reflect Thursday’s results]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Zito Filly Gets Wake-Up Call at Belmont Park

An unappealing midweek feature at Belmont Park, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares eligible for “non-winners of 2 other/than, three lifetime, or optional claiming $50,000,” that has drawn a field of five.

The fastest horse and most probable winner is Just Starting (8-5), 3-for-5 since moving to the NYRA circuit and will be saddled by Anthony Dutrow’s assistant, Dove Houghton. The five-year-old mare is consistently the fastest on performance figures and owns the best pace figures as well, a formidable combination.

The good/bad news is that she gets in lighter today at 116 pounds, most of it apprentice Jose Bracetty. Thus far, no one has accused the seven-pound bug with Joe Talamo, and his low winning percentage testimony to that perception. Here, it will be a case of go to the front and improve your position.

The interesting filly, and our call, goes to the Nick Zito-trained Debbie Got Even (4-1). After going 2-for-2 early in her juvenile year, she has been most disappointing in 2007 with a far from stellar South Florida campaign. But she returns to the New York circuit today where she could find the deeper surface to her liking and tries this distance for the first time.

The hope is that early line favorite Dixie Dawn (7-5), another filly with early speed and good figures, will find enough zip from her inside post to pressure the faster favorite, setting the table for Debbie’s late run. Working strongly, the Zito trainee picks up Garrett Gomez for the first time. He should be focused, given the abuse he’s taken recently for his Belmont ride on Hard Spun.

Taking Debbie Got Even to win at 7-2 or more, and an exacta box with Just Starting and Dixie Dawn.

Running Totals: (38) 17-9-7. Dollar Return: $89.80 [does not reflect Wednesday’s results].

Written by John Pricci

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bet Linda Rice Will Have Silver Timber Set For Belmont Feature

Now that the 139th Belmont is in the books, the countdown to Saratoga will begin with today’s six furlong grass sprint for three-year-olds and up, a “non-winners of two other than maiden or claiming, or optional $50,000 claiming.”

Christophe Clement saddles the favored entry headed by Ever A Friend (2-1) that should be formidable. But we’ll call for a minor upset with the Linda Rice-trained Silver Timber (3-1).

Ever A Friend owns the fastest performance figures on turf by a significant margin, and just missed under these conditions at Belmont last out. Mate Quietly Mine is a budding Horse for Course, having won its only start given the same scenario. Since Garrett Gomez is named on both, however, only one will start. The latter would provide better value.

Silver Timber, meanwhile, earned competitive figures at three, is a turf sprint specialist, and has worked purposefully for his season’s debut. He returned last year with a victory following a similar layup and owns excellent late kick. Rice has developed a good working relationship with jockey Cornelio Velasquez. The eventual price should accurately reflect his winning chances.

Taking Silver Timber to win at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box with the starting member of the Clement entry.

Running Totals: (38) 17-9-7 Dollar Return: $89.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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