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 30, 2009


Yakety Yak, Do Talk Back


The first thing that hits you about the G2 Sanford for juvenile colts is that, on figures at least, none of them appears a match for Hot Dixie Chick. Talk about the year of the filly.

The three “fastest” colts in the Sanford are Soundman (8-1), Backtalk (2-1) ad Bulls And Bears (7-2).

The problem with Soundman is that figure was earned three starts back and might be, at present, the high-water mark for the Lukas trained colt. And if two year old racing is about anything, it’s about young horses improving in leaps and bounds from start to start. In that context, there’s no upside to Sandman today.

Bulls And Bears was a fast and visually impressive winner of his 5-½ furlong debut at Belmont Park. He’s had four weeks recovery time, is drawn outside--a tactical advantage in today’s scenario--and has a slight class edge. He projects for a good trip in here.

Backtalk, 2-for-2 in his career but not as “fast” had anything but a good trip winning his Churchill finale, the G3 Bashford Manor, always a good harbinger of future class--as long as the game is sprinting, anyway.

If the race is still up on the Thoroughbred Times site, go check it out. He nearly fell at the break, recovered nicely, but was blocked badly in the lane, having no place to go until inside the final sixteenth.

It took class and courage for Backtalk to get up for the win and the most impressive aspect is that the effort came at today’s distance. Experience--including number of starts and familiarity at the distance--is, for me, a key to early two year old racing.

Taking Backtalk to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with Bulls And Bears.

Running Totals: (469) 139-98-64 Total Dollar Return: $969.70 [win selections only] {Wednesday results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This filly’s hot..hot..hot


One of the great things about Saratoga is that because of the overall quality of the competition, it’s possible to land on a favorite and still get fair odds. I’m not sure that will be the case today, but if 13 two year old fillies can’t yield a price then I’m not sure what might.

The chances that today’s Grade 3 Schuylerville will yield a playable favorite is the fact that the early line favorite, Hot Dixie Chick, is 4-1 on the early line, unusual to say the least.

In a conversation with HRI resident handicapper Cary Fotias yesterday, he said that the 77-¼ she earned in her maiden win at Churchill Downs is “Chilukki” territory. You might remember the Bob Baffert filly of a few years ago that wasn’t beaten until they started running her long at 3. I know one thing, ‘Dixie’s’ performance figure was the fastest I can remember for a juvenile maiden breaker filly.

If she can be beaten today, I’ll need to see it first.

Taking Hot Dixie Chick to win, no price restrictions, and keying her first and second in all exotic pools with Cowgirl Molly (10-1), a professional maiden winner of her only start attracting Dominguez; Decelerator (5-1), 2-for-2 and defeater of Hot Dixie Chick; Franny Freud (8-1), who gained experience when second in a large stakes field on the Woodbine Polytrack and So N So (12-1), a very fast, visually impressive winner of her only start.

Running Totals: (469) 139-98-64 Total Dollar Return: $969.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, July 26, 2009


Long Jump a Short Cut to Successful Belmont Getaway


The ultimate equipment change angle might be first time gelding but bar shoes off isn’t bad either. Couple that with excellent performance figures on a horse’s best effort and you get a fairly strong rebound play. That’s what we’re looking for with Long Jump (3-1) today.

A repeat of his too late rally effort over the track two starts back, or his maiden win going long last year at Churchill Downs, will get this job done. Record winning Belmont spring leading rider Ramon Dominguez figures to add to his totals in the spot. Trainer Christophe Clement is having a career meet and is coming fresh off yesterday's Oaks score.

The horses to beat are Banking Holiday (2-1), coming off a monster score in a $14,000 claimer off the Michael Maker claim.

Taum Sauk (6-1), who suffered through a tough trip off he layup in his Belmont debut and now returns fro Dan Peitz, who’s a profitable 22 percent in second-off-the-layup scenarios. ‘Saul’s’ pedigree indicates today’s stretchout might be what’s needed for a peak effort.

Taking Long Jump to win at 5-2 or greater and keying him in exactas with Banking Holiday and Taum Sauk.

Running Totals: (468) 139-97-64 Total Dollar Return: $969.70 [win selections only] {Saturday‘s Results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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