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.



Wednesday, December 31, 2008


If Only Kipling Can Get a Good Trip…


The 2008 NYRA racing season comes to a close with the 13-furlong Gallant Fox Handicap and today’s renewal is fairly inscrutable. The horses with the best performance figures are questionable at the distance; the marathon specialists are a tad slow. So, who gets the trip.

Likely post time favorite Delosvientos seems to need the lead, is certainly fast enough, but may not have a sufficient pace ability to gain a clear lead. Not only does he should 124 pounds but recent was a program scratch in the Coyote Lakes prep for this. And there’s the layup, sometimes good and sometimes not so much.

A horse with excellent company lines and purposeful works for this is the classy ship-in Jade’s Revenge for Graham Motion and Jeremy Rose. He has tactical speed, an enviable record at the route and is very likely to be stalking comfortably as he’s suited nice by the potential race shape.

Newest super trainer Michael Maker, 30 percent efficient and a flat-bet profit for the season, is certainly fast enough and Maker reaches out for big-race Alan Garcia to ride Turfway shipper Canela. He has no form at the distance but the horses of super trainers never seem to tire, so who knows? And there’s the sharp Coyote Lakes winner Lorrcan who’s never been better than right now and can work out a similar good trip which helped him win that marathon prep.

Gary Contessa has a pair in here, the quick Malibu Moonshine who’s freshness might find him contesting the pace while mate Lord Kipling is working out a good trip beneath Ramon Dominguez. He has tactical speed, is another that suit’s the pace scenario here, and should benefit from his recent start off a layup following Contessa’s claim. A true marathoner, he showed a liking for the track when second to Lorrcan and worked sharp subsequently. He appears to have the most upside in this head-scratcher.

Taking Lord Kipling to win at 4-1 or greater and keying first and second in exactas with Jade’s Revenge and Canela.

Running Totals: (334) 100-69-45. Total Dollar Return: $699.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, December 28, 2008


Run With the Mate


What today’s Alex M Robb for state-breds lacks in box office it more than makes up for in competitiveness. This is one excellent betting race and we pray we can take advantage. Horses of interest are Run With The Lark (10-1), Get Serious (5-1), Icabad Crane (9-2) and That’srightofficer (3-1).

That’srightofficer keeps running his race but keeps finishing second--in his last four attempts--the last two, however, coming in the Empire Classic and Grade 3 open Discovery. Read tougher than he meets here. Edgar Prado’s coming in for the assignment and both will need to overcome the outside post going two turns.

Icabad Crane, of course, was stakes placed in the Preakness and won his only start on the Aqueduct winter track last season. He comes off a sharp prep for this at one mile on the main track and figures to benefit from the added distance and second turn. Jeremy Rose, successful on the Graham Motion three-year-old before, also ships in for the ride.

Get Serious appears to be the only horse in the care of John Forbes right now and he’s certainly doing well with this runner. The four-year-old gelding has really come to hand and his last in the restricted, open Alysheba at the Meadowlands was a lifetime best effort, faster than anything in here has run. Six weeks should provide amply recovery time and a wet track would help.

Run With The Lark is the uncoupled mate of the early line favorite, always an intriguing proposition, especially at early line odds. His last over the track was excellent, he has put good efforts back to back in the past, has an excellent back figure that’s comparable to Get Serious’ last race and Rajiv Maragh takes the re-ride after winning his only start aboard the five year old last out. He’s a four-time winner on this surface.

Taking Run With The Lark to win at 8-1 or greater and keying him in trifecta money positions with his three rivals here.

Running Totals: (333) 100-69-45. Total Dollar Return: $699.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Feeling Lucky?


Following a lengthy holiday break, the first Saturday feature is a graded stakes, the always competitive Gravesend, a Grade 3, for sprinters 3 & up going six furlongs on the inner, winter track. The three of interest here are expected post time favorite Fabulous Strike (9-5), the freshened Lucky Island (5-2), and the ship-in price play Night Stand (20-1), all duking it out on the inside track.

Fabulous Strike is the proven class, a G1 winner of 11 of 18 lifetime starts and weight carrier. By definition the fastest horse on performance figures, his 126-pound highweight assignment actually represents a drop of 10 pounds, carrying 136 successfully in the Fall Highweight last out, Ramon Dominguez riding him like he owns him. Strike has a remarkable turn of foot, runs from anywhere on the racetrack and is a true road warrior. Good thing, as this will be his winter track debut.

Lucky Island is greatly suited by today’s race shape as he’s a tactical stalker with kick in a race loaded with speed. As a South American four-year-old, he still benefits from developmental upside, runs well when fresh and attracts regular partner Alan Garcia, completing a career season. Kiaran McLaughlin is profitable with horses returning from extended layoffs and classes up nicely with multiple graded scores.

Compelled to take the fresh, likely good-tripper Lucky Island at 3-1 or greater, boxing him in the exacta with Fabulous Strike, and adding the Philly Park speedster returning to his best distance for a 24 percent profitably efficient ship-in outfit.

Running Totals: (332) 100-69-44. Total Dollar Return: $699.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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