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"
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
British Columbia Looks Good, Eh?
Today’s feature is a rare nine furlong two-turner for colts, a preliminary allowances/optional claimer. Horses are beginning to filter up from warmer climes, such as favorite Cosmic (2-1). The competition seems to be Pluracity (7-2) and British Columbia (5-2).
The race shape seems to favor the Shug McGaughey-trained favorite. Pluracity is a much improved speedster since Allen Iwinski took over his training, a horsemen profitable with his allowance horses and repeater types. He should control the pace.
But Pluracity will be closely shadowed by British Columbia who has shown improved early speed since the addition of blinkers two starts back. The fact that he is drawn inside his main-speed rival and also hails from a live barn, Kiaran McLaughlin’s augurs well for his chances. But it appears that these rivals might soften themselves for the stretch challenge to come.
That challenge will come from Cosmic, a well bred three-year-old from the Grade 1 winning champion, Heavenly Prize. He showed improved speed himself in his Florida finale, racing close to a moderate pace, before unleashing a strong finish that earned the field’s best performance figure.
If he can afford the reaction likely to come from that lifetime best effort, he should handle this group on pedigree and match-ups alone.
Taking British Columbia to win, no price restrictions, and exacta key boxes with his main rivals here.
Running Totals: (193) 64-41-22. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]
Written by John Pricci
Sunday, April 13, 2008
King David Rules in Times Square
Today’s feature is for state-bred three-year-old colts, the New York Stallion series, Times Square division, going seven furlongs. The horses of interest are Almighty Silver (6-1) King David (9-5) and Piquante Cat (8-1).
Almighty Silver is the picture of development. In four lifetime starts he’s never taken a backward step. Of greater import is that the improvement has been incremental, making a reaction less likely. Further, since the last three races were at longer distances, he has the needed conditioning for this demanding sprint distance.
King David will be extremely hard to beat. He’s earned the fastest performance figures and by a significant margin. He, too, never has taken a backward step and is turning back from a mile to seven-eighths. His internal figure last out was strong as well, meaning, seven furlongs should hit him right between the eyes.
Piquante Cat is an uncoupled stablemate of the favorite. He’s the second fastest horse in the group and his pace figures indicate he should be the speed of this speed-laden group. He is nicely drawn outside his most speedy rival, which augurs well.
Taking King David to win at 6-5 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his main rivals here.
Running Totals: (192) 64-41-22. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]
Written by John Pricci
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Short Price Preferable to Long Face
Today’s feature is the Grade 2 Comely for three-year-old fillies going a mile. There might not be any Kentucky Oaks fillies in the group but clearly the Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club Oaks might see a few of these ladies.
It’s a tough puzzle with so many of these up in class and distance while others are turning back from two turns to one. The fillies we’ll concentrate on are the favorites, Lady Chace (8-5) and Zaftig (2-1).
Ordinarily, we’d try to find alternatives to these short-price propositions who both are steeping up in class and distance. But they’ve proven to be a lot faster than their rivals and speed in most likely to kill here.
Lady Chace earned an excellent figure winning at Gulfstream Park preliminary allowances, by far the fastest figure in the field, and Todd Pletcher is a profitable 29 percent effective with first-time routers. But what might make her vulnerable is the presence of early-speed types who might compromise her running style and returning on relatively short rest.
While Zaftig is not as fast and is only a recent maiden winner, she’s shown rare maturity with good energy distribution in both starts, including a good figure score on the stretch-out while delivering her best punch late.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens is very effective with returnees coming back with more than sufficient rest and he taps Ramon Dominguez for the riding assignment. His extraordinary sense of pace is a valuable commodity given today’s tricky race shape.
Taking Zaftig and early line odds of 2-1 or greater and an exacta box with Lady Chace.
Running Totals: (191) 64-41-22. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]
Written by John Pricci