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.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Hall of Famers Top Hall of Fame Stakes

Well, if today is Racing Hall of Fame and Museum induction day, that means Bill Mott will win the stakes of the same name later in the afternoon. Today he will saddle early line favorite Adriano (5-2), after having taken over the three-year-old’s training prior to his last start.

And that start, the Grade 3 Colonial Turf Cup was contested over soft ground on a deep and cutting course, conditions which were new to the colt. He didn’t handle it very well, racing evenly throughout while chasing the pace from the outside.

Prior to that it was the G1 Kentucky Derby because he had run so well at 9 furlongs on the Polytrack at Turfway. He didn’t make that transition either but is now back where he belongs under suitable conditions over rivals he matches up with well. Edgar Prado, who will be inducted into the pantheon earlier, takes the re-ride.

After that the competition opens up, what with undefeated Deal Making (7-2), Willsboro Point (4-1), 2-for-2 at today’s nine-furlong distance, and the rapidly improving Field Sport (8-1) all in with an upset chance. Each has performance figures that are forward looking, all coming off healthy patterns.

But Adriano figures to get back on track here and return to his excellent spring form. Taking him to win at 8-5 or greater, keying him first and second in trifectas with his three main rivals here.

Running Totals: (245) 77-51-27. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 [win selections only] {Sunday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Suddenly Hot Mott?

The Graded Stakes Committee really should take a better look at the Fourstardave. Year after year, it’s always a better horse race than the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and if its grade improved so then might the level of its entrants. But this 1 1-1/16th miles on the turf never fails to attract Grade 1 types, budding Grade 1 types, anyway. It should be at least Grade 2. It has better history that G3.

Anyway, now that Bill Mott got off the duck, we’ll look for him to begin surging, and War Monger (9-2) really fits the bill here. He ran as fast as most of these have as a three-year-old, earned his seasonal best figure over this course, has tactical speed, kick, and we like the idea that Mott makes a move to Robby Albarado, as patient on the turf as he is sometimes impulsive on dirt.

The interesting horses here are Danak (6-1) and Cosmonaut (5-1). Danak makes his return to the U.S. for new trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Principally a miler in Europe, he shipped here for the G1 Arlington Million in 2007, was bet to 4-1 and was beaten a length and a half despite having bled. First time Lasix will help a lot here. He’s been working bullets for months and Rajiv Maragh should provide good handling and perhaps insure a bettable price. Win or lose, great spot for his return.

Cosmonaut has lost a step to age but his figures remain consistently competitive at a high level. The switch to Julien Leparoux, who won the G2 Arlington Handicap and finished in the money in his other recent rides on the veteran. Julien is having a great meet, unless you think winning two G1s in week one is routine. He’s got enough speed to overcome the outside draw and Leparoux might just finesse him the rest of the way where he can be right there at the finish.

But we’re taking War Monger, at 4-1 or greater, and exacta key boxes first and second with his two rivals here.

Running Totals: (245) 77-51-27. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Indian Blessing Scary in Grade 1 Test

Time was when the Test Stakes for three-year-old fillies was split virtually every year. If it wasn’t, it would be a great betting race. Half the fun was trying to figure whether fillies were going all out in the Test or using it as a bridge to the 10 furlong Alabama. But the problem with it being a G1 is that it’s a prize worthy of champions, their presence shooing away the competition. Such is the case this year.

Juvenile filly champion Indian Blessing (3-5), fresh from a rapid victory in the G1 Prioress at Belmont, will attempt stretch her speed another furlong. Considering she’s already won at seven-eighths and broke her maiden by a short pole first time out at Saratoga last year, not much mystery remains here. I can’t beat her and won’t try, which leaves the exacta pool.

We’ll look at two possibilities here, hoping to optimize the odds. Sweet Hope is coming off a huge top and is 5-2 in the early line; worth beating. Tequilas Dayjur (15-1) is a late developer who was a game second in a 7-furlong Grade 3 over Arlington’s Polytrack last out. Suited by a likely hot pace, a ground saving trip beneath new rider Edgar Prado makes her interesting. Also worth using is Palanka City (8-1), training up a storm for Barclay Tagg, who’s a worthy 35 percent given that scenario. Eibar Coa rides.

Taking Indian Blessing, no price restrictions, in exactas over Tequilas Dayjur and Palanka City.

Running Totals: (244) 76-51-27. Total Dollar Return: $464.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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