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, May 11, 2008

Will Rail Open for Red Zipper?

Today’s Belmont feature is the Kingston for older New York bred turf specialists going a mile and a sixteenth. Yesterday, the ground was soft but played fairly honestly, favoring no particular style. What makes today’s test so difficult is that there are so many returning from layups. Those that are not are making significant distance switches.

Contenders of interest are Red Zipper (7-2), Dave (4-1) and Retribution (10-1). The play for us is to ignore early line Spurred (3-1). While the Donk barn has been going very well of late, today’s dynamic does seem to suit his 4-year-old Northern Spur colt.

Red Zipper is making his five year old debut attracting Johnny Velazquez and breaking from the rail. Good fresh, he’s been legged up on Polytrack at the owner’s farm upstate, has tactical speed and his inside draw is suited well to his versatile style. Very game, he figures to make best use of his talent in an expected ground-saving effort.

Dave is arguably the class and has beaten better state-breds and his acquitted himself well in open company. Barclay Tagg has been very live with his Florida shippers at this young meet. Seven-year-old gelding has been keeping open graded stakes company of late and has had four local works since shipping here with the rest of the barn in early April. The switch to Eibar Coa augurs well.

Retribution has an extremely high turn of early speed and makes his first start for the Contessa barn, a profitable 25 percent angle. Six-year-old gelding has worked six times since early April for this and attracts Rajiv Maragh, who’s done a lot of winning for this barn since the winter Aqueduct meet, gets the call. The outfit is also profitable returning from lengthy layups and he will take catching at fair odds.

Taking Red Zipper to win at early line odds of 7-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exacta boxes with his two rivals here. Trifecta players add price shot Banrock (15-1) to the mix.

Running Totals: (206) 66-44-24. Totals Dollar Return: $409.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Spike in the Market

It’s not often this daily feature gets to analyze a prep for the third leg of racing’s Triple Crown.

The Grade 2 nine furlong Peter Pan has drawn an eclectic group. Casino Drive, from the dam that produced the last two Belmont winners, is the 2-1 favorite off an 11 length score in his native Japan. At the price, no think you, he must prove he fits with a group like this.

Only two of these runners are likely to land on the top of my exotic tickets; Tomcito (6-1) and Golden Spikes (3-1).

Tomcito will probably half his early line odds by post time. A strong finish, albeit distance, third in Big Brown’s Florida Derby, his Lexington is better than it looked because he was compelled to race closer to the early pace, not his preferred style. His two U.S. starts have been good, the added distance suits, and he gets a switch to the very effective Cornelio Velasquez. He worked a bullet in preparation for this.

Golden Spikes simply keeps improving. He broke through to run an excellent figure in December sprinting at Calder and broke through again, distributing his energy much more efficiently when second to Recapturetheglory in the rapidly run Illinois Derby. With five weeks rest, a stalk and pounce style that suits today’s race shape, and a switch to Edgar Prado, he is the most probably winner at fair odds.

Taking Golden Spikes to win at 5-2 and an exacta box with Tomcito. Trifecta players can use Ready’s Echo (6-1) and Cosmic (8-1) second and third.

Running Totals: (205) 66-44-24. Total Dollar Return: $409.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, May 09, 2008

Looky Here, Tight Storm’s the Value

Today’s feature at Belmont Park is a non-winners of “three other than” or optional claiming $75,000 for older fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs. A short field of five and hoping that, unlike yesterday, a late scratch would change the dynamic and render a potential wager meaningless.

This one appears to be a battle between Looky Yonder (2-1) and Tight Storm (5-2). Looky Yonder is the logical favorite coming out of a rough trip second in the Grade 2 Madison at Keeneland. In fact, she’s had a lot of stakes experience of late and undressed an allowance field when racing in a secondary allowance condition. This is the next logical step, getting class relief while picking up Garrett Gomez.

As one might expect, Tight Storm showed improvement in her first start for Gary Contessa last out. The four-year-old filly returns off a brief freshening sporting a series of steady breezes. Channing Hill rides the filly back after being aboard for her latest much improved effort. With upside potential as a four-year-old, she might offer value in a short field, barring scratches, of course.

Taking Tight Storm at early line odds of 5-2 and an exacta box with Looky Yonder.

Running Totals: (204) 66-44-23. Total Dollar Return: $409.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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