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.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Morse Code Special In Today’s Lake George

Another fascinating handicapping exercise at Saratoga, the Grade 3 Lake George Stakes for three-year-old fillies on the grass at 1-1/16th miles. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that seven of the 11 fillies entered are not without a chance. We’ll concentrate on five, from the rail, out: Good Mood (9-2), Dashes N Dots (15-1), Miss Tizzynow (20-1), Classic Neel (6-1) and Rutherienne (3-1).

Rutherienne is the most accomplished and deserves favoritism. She has a huge late kick that served her well winning the G3 Sands Point then just missing in the G3 Boiling Springs. But a deep closer, even on this course, from the extreme outside as the early line favorite is an underlay. She’s not even as fast on performance figures as some of these, and picks up four pounds to 122.

Good Mood’s win in the G3 Regret was excellent, indeed earning the best Equiform figure in the field. She’s worked well since but must turn back with quicker here while also toting four more pounds. Leading jockey Edgar Prado rides back.

Classic Neel was third in the longer Sands Point after making a slightly premature and wide move into the stretch. The mini-turn-back could suit her perfectly, and she reunites with Elvis Trujillo, undefeated aboard her in two starts.

Miss Tizzynow is one of two interesting longshots here. Coming off a Turf Decline Line (finished well late despite hindered by very slow pace), she should improve in this start and ships in with a bullet work at her Fair Hill base for a trainer 22 percent profitable with his shippers. Jockey Jeremy Rose ships up, too.

But we’re going to land on Dots N Dashes for another talented ship-in trainer, Gregory Fox, whose runners are profitable when competing in graded stakes. Third to Good Mood in the Regret, she should control the pace here reuniting with Robbie Albarado; 1-for-1 aboard the filly at today’s distance. She never has taken a backward step on turf and owns the second best performance figure in the group. Despite the closer’s profile at play, controlling speed at a big price is too tempting to resist.

Taking Dashes N Dots to win at 10-1 or greater, and keying her in-the-money in all trifecta positions with the other four fillies.

Running Totals: (66) 30-13-10 Dollar Return: $171.10

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sock It To Sok Sok In Sanford

Today’s featured Grade 2 Sanford Stakes has been highly anticipated as a return spot for The Roundhouse, one of the more visually impressive maiden winners in recent years. After trailing rivals badly in the early going in his June 15 debut at Monmouth Park, he was taken very wide entering the stretch and roared home to win going away.

Juveniles break their maidens in many ways, but you don’t see what this colt did every day.

So, is he good enough to make it two straight? Not if Equiform performance figures are the measure. The line-maker gives him no respect either, 12-1, preferring uncoupled stablemate Ready’s Image (9-5).

Three others deserve serious consideration in this wide open renewal. From the rail out, Tale of Ekati (5-1), Sok Sok (8-1) and Fed Watcher (3-1).

Tale Of Ekati was most impressive drawing away from five rivals in his July 7 debut. But then so was Fed Watcher, beating seven rivals on June 30. Fed Watcher earned the clearly better figure but Tale Of Ekati did it at 5-˝ furlongs, not five. That’s significant when juveniles are asked to go six furlongs for the first time.

Ready’s Image is a deserving favorite. He has the most experience with three starts and is the most accomplished, having won the Tremont at Belmont last out. The Tremont has produced six winners of this race. He is the co-fastest horse and enjoys a slight pace edge, which he’ll need breaking from the outside in a field of nine.

We think Sok Sok’s the most interesting. He rallied from sixth off fast fractions following a poor start in an 11-horse field, and showed enough pop to win by three. He distributes his energy well and has worked five times since the maiden win. Steve Asmussen is a profitable 29 percent with his two-year-olds. Value should be fair.

Taking Sok Sok to win at 5-1 or greater. Also making trifecta keys with Sok Sok and Ready’s Image first, with Tale Of Ekati and Fed Watcher beneath.

Running Totals: (66) 30-13-10 Dollar Return: $171.10

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Schuylerville Figures To Go According To Plan

The Schuylerville, a Grade 3 stakes for juvenile fillies at six furlongs, traditionally has raised the curtain on America’s best race meet. And that’s the way it is again as Saratoga begins its 139th season.

Fillies are usually faster to develop than colts and a look at today’s field gives you some indication why. They’re all fast and precocious. Did I mention fast?

Thus far in their brief careers, According To Plan (5-2) has been the second fastest of these fast fillies. She won her career debut by 4-Ľ lengths in :56 1/5 for five furlongs at Belmont Park. But it was more about how she ran fast.

She took early pressure through blistering fractions yet drew off while only being shown the whip of Cornelio Velasquez. Trainer Barclay Tagg has been profitably rolling along in the past 90 days, and with second-time runners in his career. And obviously the filly has more to give if two recent workouts are an indication. Fast and visually impressive, According To Plan enjoys a slight edge on pace figures.

A majority share in Subtle Aly (4-1) was purchased by crafty New York-based connections and turned over to trainer Rick Dutrow after he debut. She’s the fastest filly in the field, earning a top performance figure by racing 4-˝ furlongs at Churchill Downs in a blurry :50 2/5. She has longer recovery time between starts than her main rivals and Dutrow’s a profitable 30 percent effective with new acquisitions.

The filly who might fall through the wagering cracks is Blitzing (8-1). She has enough gas to attend a rapid pace from her outside slip and enough stamina to out-kick her rivals later, like she did in her Churchill Downs debut. Her outside post can help keep the odds slightly inflated and Shawn Bridgmohan is a very worthy 32 percent riding for Steve Asmussen.

We’ll start Saratoga by taking According To Plan to win at 9-5 or more, keying her first and second in exacta boxes with Subtle Aly and Blitzing.

Running Totals: (65) 30-13-10 Dollar Return: $171.10

Written by John Pricci

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