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, July 03, 2008

Dressed To Kill Fashonable Pick

Today’s Belmont feature, a $50,000 starter/preliminary allowances for fillies and mares, 3 & Up, at 7 furlongs on the Widener turf course, historically is anathema to speed types. And there seems sufficient speed signed on to set the table for today’s ralliers.

Half of the eight horse field can win, from the inside, out; High Draw (6-1), Dressed To Win (3-1), Positive Prospect (5-2) and Flying Sappho (8-1).

High Draw exploded when she switched to turf last time out, trailing badly throughout, 12th of 12, circled up very wide into the stretch and nailed the leaders on the wire, earning an excellent performance figure, competitive with the best of this group. She’s meeting tougher but Allen Jerkens is 16 percent efficient with horses coming off a maiden win. Javier Castellano rides her back.

Dressed To Win should benefit from her 4-year-old debut, earning a competitive figure, and hails from a barn, Linda Rice’s, that excels with turf sprinters. She finished very willingly, suiting today’s race shape nicely, and Ms. Rice wins at a 20 percent clip with her second-off-a-layup starters. Eibar Coa takes the re-ride on a filly whose best figures have come on the Belmont grass.

Positive Prospect is sharp coming off a recent score and was haltered by the DiPrima barn, 22 percent and profitable with their first starters coming off the claim. She showed a strong late run from far back to win her turf debut, with a good performance figure, but has shown she has the ability to lay closer to the pace if asked. Regular rider Rajiv Maragh retains the mount.

Flying Sappho has competitive back figures, has run well in her third start following a layoff previously, and will benefit from today’s added furlong and promised lively pace. While she lacks a winner’s profile (1-for-18), that win came on this turf course, at this distance. Interesting that Johnny Velazquez sees fit to ride her back.

Taking Dressed To Win at 5-2 or greater and keying her first and second in exactas and trifectas with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (230) 73-48-26. Total Dollar Return: 451.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Take the Inside Passage to Victory

The NYRA racing week begins with an overnight stakes for fillies and mares 3 & Up at nine furlongs, the Proud Delta. Of the seven entered, three have a serious chance at the top slot, from the inside-out, All Night Labor, Inside Passage and Runway Rosie.

All Night Labor ships in for the clever husband and wife team of Randy and Tracy Nunley. Having a four-race win streak snapped in an overnighter at Delaware Park, she won both priors under similar conditions, albeit weaker stock, but she clearly has developed strongly in her four year old year. Stewart Elliott is 3 for 3 on the filly but she lacks form at today’s trip.

Inside Passage is another miss who has improved with 4 year old maturity, that and the switch to the Barclay Tagg shed, under which she’s 2 for 2. Her performance figures have improved this year, underscoring her further development, she has won over the surface and was third in her only start at the distance after racing wide on both turns at Saratoga last season. Eibar Coa will try to improve to 3 for 3 on the Tiznow filly.

Runway Rosie is the most accomplished of the three, having placed in a Grade 3 and boasting a 1-2-0 slate in three starts at today’s distance. Like her competition here, she, too, has improved at 4, coupled with her move into the Gray Contessa barn. Contessa owns 14 wins at the current meet but his strike rate has dropped to single digits at 8 percent. In addition, she totes co-highweight at 123 pounds.

Taking Inside Passage to win at 2-1 or greater, exacta and trifecta key boxes first and second with her key rivals.

Running Totals: (229) 73-48-25. Total Dollar Return: $451.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pride Goeth Before Bold Union

Two days in a row without a turf feature, I’m going through withdrawals. (Sorry, bad joke these days).

The feature is the Astoria Stakes at 5-½ furlongs for juvenile fillies. Very difficult, in fact, impossible for us to go beyond the favorites here.

Pride (7-5) broke her maiden from the 12 post at Keeneland going 4-½ furlongs. I don’t care how much talent you have, that’s very difficult to do. She took the measure of Cameron Crazies, who outsprinted the competition in the G3 Debutante at Churchill yesterday before falling apart late. But that was a tougher group on paper, and she’s had lots of recovery time for Team Pletcher/Velazquez. She’ll be a tough out here.

But Bold Union (9-5) can take her. Her winning debut was extraordinary as well. Further, her win came at 5 furlongs, a small advantage when young horses are asked to stretch out, even at sprint distances. Trainer Kelly Breen has made a handsome living with fast juveniles that ship around, win early season stakes, then get sold privately at a premium thereafter. Her outside position may give her a tactical advantage since there appears to be a lot of early speed signed on here.

Taking Bold Union to win at 8-5 or greater, exacta box with Pride.

Running Totals: (228) 72-48-25. Total Dollar Return: $445.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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