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, April 17, 2008

It’s Irish Majesty, Mate

Today’s feature, a starter handicap for horses that have run for $25,000 in the last year, could pass for an out-of-town stakes somewhere. A short field chock full with hard-hitting veterans from live outfits. Irish Majesty (3-1), Angelic Aura (7-2) and Hurrah (4-1) loom the major contenders.

Irish Majesty is the stronger half the Gary Contessa-trained entry. Not only has the five-year-old gelding come into his own but he’s a specialist of sorts; a three-time winner at nine furlongs and undefeated in his lone start on the Aqueduct main track. Earning a cyclical pace top in his latest, he figures to be in this hunt throughout and has the kick to sprint home.

Angelic Aura makes his second start for the David Jacobson barn, a favorable 19 percent scenario. He looms the speed of the speed here, has shown a preference for this circuit, and switches to the patient Javier Castellano, who’s more than capable of nursing this veteran’s early lick. He will take catching.

Hurrah earns consistently high performance figures and has been popular at the claim box, twice claimed for double the price that qualifies him to enter this handicap. He was eased over a sloppy track sprinting last out, conditions to which he was unsuited by either surface or distance. Qualified from the starting gate in order to start here, we have every confidence that the gelding will rebound with a good performance. His best race can win this.

But we’re taking Irish Majesty to win, at 5-2 or greater, and keying him first and second in exactas with his two main rivals.

Running Totals: (193) 64-41-22. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

{Ed. Note: Please notice that no change was made to the totals posted beneath Wednesday's analysis. While it was our intent to select Cosmic to win, as the commentary indicates, we named the wrong horse in error. For accounting purposes, we are not taking the credit nor the blame, treating the selection as no contest. We apologize for the error and regret the confusion it caused.}

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

British Columbia Looks Good, Eh?

Today’s feature is a rare nine furlong two-turner for colts, a preliminary allowances/optional claimer. Horses are beginning to filter up from warmer climes, such as favorite Cosmic (2-1). The competition seems to be Pluracity (7-2) and British Columbia (5-2).

The race shape seems to favor the Shug McGaughey-trained favorite. Pluracity is a much improved speedster since Allen Iwinski took over his training, a horsemen profitable with his allowance horses and repeater types. He should control the pace.

But Pluracity will be closely shadowed by British Columbia who has shown improved early speed since the addition of blinkers two starts back. The fact that he is drawn inside his main-speed rival and also hails from a live barn, Kiaran McLaughlin’s augurs well for his chances. But it appears that these rivals might soften themselves for the stretch challenge to come.

That challenge will come from Cosmic, a well bred three-year-old from the Grade 1 winning champion, Heavenly Prize. He showed improved speed himself in his Florida finale, racing close to a moderate pace, before unleashing a strong finish that earned the field’s best performance figure.

If he can afford the reaction likely to come from that lifetime best effort, he should handle this group on pedigree and match-ups alone.

Taking British Columbia to win, no price restrictions, and exacta key boxes with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (193) 64-41-22. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, April 13, 2008

King David Rules in Times Square

Today’s feature is for state-bred three-year-old colts, the New York Stallion series, Times Square division, going seven furlongs. The horses of interest are Almighty Silver (6-1) King David (9-5) and Piquante Cat (8-1).

Almighty Silver is the picture of development. In four lifetime starts he’s never taken a backward step. Of greater import is that the improvement has been incremental, making a reaction less likely. Further, since the last three races were at longer distances, he has the needed conditioning for this demanding sprint distance.

King David will be extremely hard to beat. He’s earned the fastest performance figures and by a significant margin. He, too, never has taken a backward step and is turning back from a mile to seven-eighths. His internal figure last out was strong as well, meaning, seven furlongs should hit him right between the eyes.

Piquante Cat is an uncoupled stablemate of the favorite. He’s the second fastest horse in the group and his pace figures indicate he should be the speed of this speed-laden group. He is nicely drawn outside his most speedy rival, which augurs well.

Taking King David to win at 6-5 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (192) 64-41-22. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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