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, October 31, 2008


Dutrow Masterful with New Acquisitions


Today’s feature is an interesting betting race, a starter allowance at 7 furlongs for horses that have run for a tag of $50,000 or less or a preliminary allowances. Horses of interest are By Proxy (10-1), Coach Butts (4-1) and Masterwork (7-2).

By Proxy makes only his fifth life start and second in a new barn. After an opening compression line and a new pace top in his lifetime best figure--at today’s trip--he showed better energy distribution last time out now steps up in class off a loss for Giuseppe Iadisernia who is a profitable 18 percent effective in second start off the claim and 2-for-7 with second starters from his barn. Profitable second off the layup as well, Mike Luzzi re-rides for his second start at his optimal distance. His odds will be square.

Coach Butts earns the best figures with consistency and also does well at a similar specialized distance. He was narrowly beaten despite and wide trip vs. tougher in last and should benefit from the stretch-out and notch drop. Alan Garcia re-rides for Bob Barbara. He should be tactical enough to be in this from mid-race forward, nicely fitting the Aqueduct dynamic at this trip.

Masterwork showed marked improvement in his second start off the Rick Dutrow stable switch. He broke his maiden at this distance, qualifying for this spot after dropping into a claimer for the first time and Dutrow’s a profitably worthy 32 percent effective with last-out maiden breakers. The effort earned him a new pace top and career best figure. He should be set to repeat in his third start off the layup and with tactical speed and outside, should insinuate himself into this from the outset with Prado in the re-ride.

Taking Masterwork to win at 5-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (302) 92-62-37 Total Dollar Return: $608.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, October 30, 2008


You Won’t Get Very Far With this Filly


Today’s featured sprint for fillies and mares is a secondary allowances/optional claiming event at six furlongs. The good news is that one of the fillies appears unbeatable. She probably also will be unbettable.

It doesn’t seem possible that Elope (1-1) can get beat. If I were guaranteed even money, I might be tempted to bet enough to retire the national debt. But I don’t think I need to worry about it. She’ll be half the early line at post time, perhaps even less.

After impressing in her debut as a late season three year old, she didn’t begin 2008 until Saratoga. Obviously she has issues. Just as arguably, she can run!

She won her four year old debut by earning a performance figure that would win most stakes races, graded stakes at that. She absolutely had to regress in her second start, in which she moved up to the G2 level. But she finished a good second. To Indian Blessing no less!

The only way to possibly make money on this is to take some a one way exacta and a cold trifecta to block. Here’s how that works. Loving Vindication is 5-2 in the morning line and is a fast filly herself. But since her recent figures were earned at 5-½ furlongs and not six, she may be vulnerable. Besides, if you need to cash a $4 exacta, you probably need the money and should wager, anyway.

The filly we like to complete the exacta is Just Zip It (8-1). She earns good figures at this level and does so with laudable consistency. She also owns the right running style, having tactical speed and kick. Nicely freshened and well drawn, she will be running late for the team of Billy Turner and Channing Hill. She’s never finished off-the-board in seven starts at this trip, including her only three lifetime victories.

Elope is the obvious choice, with no price restrictions. We’ll take her in a cold exacta with Just Zip It, and a cold trifecta with Just Zip It third, using only Loving Vindication to split the one-way exacta.

Running Totals: (302) 92-62-37 Total Dollar Return: $608.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Can’t Wait to Get On Board Again


Of the seven entered in today’s opening day feature at Aqueduct, a secondary allowances at a flat (one-turn) mile, only two appear interesting: the favorite, On Board Again (8-5), Amped (8-1) and Helsinki.

On Board Again is a worthy favorite. Now making his fourth start after over a year on the sidelines, he appears ready for best now. After all, the blinkers really made a difference last out. He showed much improved early speed, mid-moved to the lead, and held grudgingly, as if he enjoyed being a race horse again. Two of his lifetime best efforts came either over today’s surface or at today’s distance. Nicely drawn outside, he’s well suited to the race shape.

Amped, meanwhile, has been recycled by the Zito . Apparently, he got blitzed having to compete in the Travers and awaited Aqueduct to take to the track again. He’s fresh, has run fast enough to compete with these on performance figures and goes for a barn and returns over a distance at which he broke his maiden earlier this year. Hot riding Rajiv Maragh gets the call.

Helsinki makes his first start since leaving the Zito barn, making his four-year-old debut here for John Terranova, who’s a very worthy and profitable 22% efficient with horses returning from a lengthy layup. Grade 1 and G2 placed in the Travers and Brooklyn Handicap, respectively, the latter vs. elders last year, he’s been working well and steadily for the last two months.

But I’m afraid this favorite has too many advantages and is the most probable winner; no price restrictions here. Taking On Board Again to win, and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with Amped and Helsinki.

Running Totals: (301) 91-62-37 Total Dollar Return: $605.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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