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, May 23, 2007

Shug And Edgar Keep Rolling At Belmont Park

There are some promising older fillies in todayís Belmont feature, the Yankís Music at 1-1/16th miles, that have not won a stakes race in the last two years. It has drawn a field of six, including an uncoupled entry, but only two should dominate the proceedings: Veneti and Altesse.

Veneti makes her second start off a layup and thatís a good thing, considering trainer Tom Albertrani is twice as effective when his horses have had a race off a layoff. As for Veneti, she prefers todayís added distance, reunites with Eibar Coa, undefeated aboard her in two starts, and she picked up where she left off last year on performance figures. That makes her explosive here.

Altesse, meanwhile, is the only female to have won at Belmont Park, and sheís done it twice. She hails from a team on a roll, McGaughey and Prado, who took Sundayís Peter Pan Stakes, and is as explosive as her rival, matching her three-year-old top in a recent seasonís debut. Like her main rival, Altesse has tactical speed and the kick to carry her lick all the way. This tough, competitive field will be as much a riderís race as a horse race. And it wonít make you rich, either.

Taking Altesse to win; making an exacta box with Veneti.

Running Totals: (27) 11-7-7 ROI: $66.40 (win selections only)

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shug’s Colt Will Like What He Sees

Todayís feature race at Belmont Park is a good and important one, the Grade 2 Peter Pan for 3-year-olds in which several colts hope to get their ticket punched to the Belmont Stakes three weeks hence. Three deserve serious consideration for major honors: Vitruvius (2-1), Sightseeing (7-2) and Fearless Vision (9-2).

The early line favorite is worthy in that he is undefeated in two starts, comes up to todayís nine furlongs off graduating distances, is learning to distribute his energy more effectively and goes first-time Lasix for Jimmy Jerkens off a six-week break. With a strong performance, Centennial Farms could have two Belmont colts; this one and Barbaro Stakes winner Chelokee.

Fearless Vision was beaten a neck by Vitruvius but is much improved since the blinkers were removed. He has continued to train purposefully for trainer Pat Reynolds and the switch to Garrett Gomez should suit his stalking style. Second in his only nine furlong appearance, he was an open lengths winner of his Gulfstream finale at a flat mile. The Peter Pan is also a one-turn route.

But the horse on the come is Sightseeing, who finished well for second behind Nobiz Like Shobiz is the Grade 1 Wood Memorial last time out. Both lifetime starts at nine furlongs have been first-rate and the conservative Shug McGaughey gave him time to develop. Besides, the Phipps family cherish the Belmont Stakes and Travers above all for their best sophomores.

According to McGaughey, the colt has gotten bigger, stronger and has the work-line to prove it off the six-week break. His last performance figure was a breakthrough effort and he should be set to run back to it. He owns a strong late kick, gets a favorable pace scenario and reunites with Edgar Prado. He certainly is the value play at early line odds.

Wagering on Sightseeing to win at 5-2 or greater, boxing him first and second in exactas with Fearless Vision and Vitruvius, and will use underrated longshot Sir Whimsey (15-1) third only in trifectas.

Running Totals (26) 10-7-7. ROI: $63.20 (based on win choice only)

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Early Favorite Gets You Live In Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness Double

Everywhere, the feature race of the day is the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico Race Course, a race that is to the Preakness what the Kentucky Oaks is to the Derby. And since itís the first leg of the Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness Double wager, letís take a look:

It will be very difficult to beat early line choice, Baroness Thatcher. A graded stakes winner, she owns a class edge over the group by virtue of her strong second place finish to divisional leading Rags To Riches in the Grade 1 Las Virgennes earlier this year at Santa Anita. The fastest filly on performance figures, she can set or stalk the early pace and will reunite with Garrett Gomez, 2-for-2 aboard the Patrick Biancone trainee.

Todd Pletcherís Panty Raid looks like her sternest competition. After just missing in the G3 Bourbonette two starts back, she rebounded with a game, strong-finish win over salty allowance rivals at Keeneland. She comes up to the added distance perfectly off graduating distances and retains Edgar Prado. For longshot players, the streaking Moon Catcher has a puncherís chance. Seeking her third straight for Tim Ritchey, sheís been working bullets at her Delaware Park base and appears set for her G1 debut.

Clearly, however, Baroness Thatcher is the most probable to get you live in the Black-Eyed Susan Preakness double.

Written by John Pricci

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