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.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

She’ll Win From Here to Schenectady

Not a lot to get exited about today. The Schenectady Handicap at six furlongs for New York-bred fillies, 3 & up, features Oprah Winney, who looms unbeatable and is 2-5 on the early line. Perhaps even shorter than that at post time.

On performance figures, she’s about 10 lengths better than the competition. Not only that but at 4 she’s finally learning to distribute her energy more efficiently. The outside post suits her ideally and should suit Garrett Gomez’s tactics perfectly.

Of her five rivals, Gold Like U (8-1) has the most upside despite the fact she’s a six-year-old mare. But since being claimed by Gary Contessa for $40,000 two starts back, she came back to win a state-bred stakes at Finger Lakes last out, earning a figure that gives her an edge over all except the favorite. In fact, her internal fraction two starts back on this track widens her advantage.

Oprah Winney is clearly the most probable winner and, since her odds will be prohibitive, we’ll simply make a cold exacta with Gold Like U to finish second.

Running Totals: (98) 38-24-11. Dollar Return: $225.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sunriver Looks Loose On Favorite Course

The marquee event on today’s multi Grade 1 card is the Man o’ War at 11 furlongs on the turf. And you can bet that Sunriver (5-2) will be happy to be back at Belmont Park.

When last seen he was setting pace in the 10-furlong Arlington Million in Chicago. The turf course there is much different than the one on which he delivered a lifetime best performance two starts back at today‘s distance.

He is the fastest horse on performance figures and figures to control the pace here and that appears the dominant variable in this matchup. Garrett Gomez takes the call from Todd Pletcher and Sunriver is most likely to rebound.

That same day in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga, Trippi’s Storm (12-1) was making a premature move to the lead then tired late behind Grand Couturier. In his prior, he was an excellent second to Sunriver in the Bowling Green. The attraction here clearly is his early line odds.

Of the two Europeans, three-year-old Yellowstone (4-1) looks the most interesting. From Rags To Riches’ connections, Aidan O’Brien sends this one over getting first-time Lasix, ships over with regular rider John Murtaugh and the promise of firmer ground than he gets in Europe is very likely to help here.

Taking Sunriver to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second with Trippi’s Storm and Yellowstone, extra ticket with the latter.

Running Totals: (97) 38-23-11. Dollar Return: $225.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Maimonides Not Ready For Prime TIme

Gone are the days, apparently, when everyone wants a chance to win a Grade 1 with a two-year-old before the Saratoga meeting ends. But today’s Hopeful Stakes at seven furlongs has drawn a field of four.

The two “big horses” in here are the accomplished Ready’s Image (4-5) and the talented, over-hyped Maimonides (7-5), from the hottest juvenile barn in Saratoga, Bob Baffert’s. Fans of Ready’s Image should be happy for the hype, which might make Ready’s Image playable. If you’re into short prices, that is. Because that’s where the conversation about the two big two-year-olds end. Frankly, there is no comparison, at least not yet.

Ready’s Image notwithstanding, the other three Hopeful entrants are eligible for preliminary allowances. If this were a conditioned race, the early line choice would be eligible for non-winners of three races other than maiden or claiming.

But that’s not the only instance where comparisons are specious. In terms of performances figures, Ready’s Image is the fastest horse, and it’s not even close. Two-for-two since adding blinkers, he’s a Grade 2 winner of the track and his outside draw will allow Johnny Velazquez to keep Maimonides in his sights all the way. He’ll probably be sitting right off his right hip.

Have to take Ready’s Image to win and will gladly take 1-2 or more. For those uninterested in that prop, a cold exacta with Maimonides would be in order.

Running Totals: (96) 38-22-11. Dollar Return: $225.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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