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, September 05, 2008


A Diamond in the Feature Is Sumthingtotalkabt


It’s a classic question that faces handicappers as the Belmont Park fall meet open with the restricted Positive Gal Stakes at six furlongs on the Belmont turf course: Side with clearly the fastest horse on performance figures, or an improving horses better positioned that gets weight from his rivals. If you’re a regular reader of this space, you probably have an idea which way we’re leaning here.

Clearly, Stormy West (2-1) is the fastest filly here and she does so consistently. She has run well in turn-back spots, something she’s doing here, and her last was one her best efforts yet. She’s had sufficient recovery time and the Mott/Desormeaux team were doing quite well until they shipped north to Saratoga.

Diamondrella (5-2) has improved dramatically with the barn switch to Angel Penna Jr., however. She’s won two of her last three starts for this outfit, has a proven record sprinting, and loves this course, as two wins over the surface attests. While meeting her toughest test, she gets five pounds from her main rival and draw the pole, as opposed to the extreme outside.

Taking Diamondrella to win at 5-2 or greater and exacta boxes with Stormy West and Sumthingtotalkabt (15-1), used on the pace returning from a layup last out now goes dirt to turf for a profitable 21 percent trainer in that scenario and which won her only start at this distance on grass. She’s also worth a saver wager at 12-1 or more.

Running Totals: (268) 82-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $492.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Monday, September 01, 2008


Youthful Experience Shall Be Served


The highlight of today’s Saratoga 2008 is the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes. Without a clear leader but with some talent on display in this class, today’s seven furlongs will give strong hints as to what might happen later this fall. We’ll concentrate, in post order, on three colts: Break Water Edison (4-1), Munnings (5-2) and Cribnote (7-2).

Break Water Edison was an excellent change-of-pace second in the G2 Saratoga Special at 6-½ furlongs after breaking his maiden going 5-½ at Belmont Park. It takes some class to do that and his performance figures in both starts are very fast and consistent. It’s only a question if they were too fast and if coming back in a bit less than three weeks will have a negative impact. The colt loses Alan Garcia to Vineyard Haven but picks up Kent Desormeaux, who’s been riding in better form in the waning days of this meeting. Trainer John Kimmel is dealing a very hot hand at the moment.

Munnings lacks experience but he’s a grad looking individual who broke his maiden at Saratoga like breaking so many sticks here opening week despite being pressured throughout and overcoming an incident at the start. A $1.7 million purchase for top connections, he drew off in a manner suggesting he might be special, although it’s difficult to hang your hat on one start.

Cribnote also broke maiden here in his second lifetime start with exceptional style by 13-½ lengths, and you don’t see that every day. The bad news is that the win came in restricted state-bred company. The good news is that he showed a truly exceptional turn of foot to take the lead then drew off in handy style to that lengthy margin. He has an experience edge on the early line favorite, Rajiv Maragh has established a rapport and Rick Violette has been fairly effective with limited starters.

We’ re taking Break Water Edison to win at 7-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (267) 82-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $492.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, August 31, 2008


Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut


With two features on tap today, we’ll look at the Grade 3 Saranac for three-year-olds on the grass in the hopes of securing better value, as opposed to the Spinaway for juvenile fillies where the favorite looks extremely formidable.

Here, the early favorite is Ready’s Echo (5-2), the fastest horse by definition who has acquitted himself well in G1 stakes company. He was third in the Belmont Stakes following his show finish in the G2 Peter Pan behind Casino Drive. There’s no doubting his class, connections (Todd and Johnny) and his pedigree for turf (More Than Ready). But we’re not sure he’s the right favorite.

Nistle’s Crunch has shown an affinity for grass since he was a baby and has acquitted himself well this year, too, racing through his conditions before his rough trip third in the key race G3 American Turf, following that up with a place finish behind Sailors Cap, one of the division’s leaders, in the G3 Colonial Turf Cup.

Pitched too high last out in Big Brown’s G1 Haskell, where he was an one-paced fifth after racing between horses much of the way, he returns to his preferred surface for Ken McPeek, who’s virtually made a living with the dirt to turf angle, a lofty 27 percent and profitable for a career. Nicely drawn inside, who reunites with Robby Albarado, his partner for his last grass score.

We’re taking Nistle’s Crunch to win at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with Ready’s Echo, and first and second as a trifecta key with Vacation (8-1) , Mr. Maccool (8-1) and Schopenhauer (12-1).

Running Totals: (265) 81-52-31. Total Dollar Return: $489.40 [win selections only] [Saturday's results not included]

Written by John Pricci

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