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.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This Time, Asmussen’s the Hunter

Today’s feature at the Fair Grounds, featuring an All-Stakes 50-Cent Pick Five, is the Woodchopper for three-year-olds going a mile on turf. It marks te return of Preakness runnerup and Jim Dandy winner Macho Again (3-1). However, it will be his first start on turf. If he likes it, he’ll outclass this group easily. And Dallas Stewart is profitable off a layup and first-time turf. But the price will reflect all this.

The fastest horse on performance figures is Myboycharlie (5-2), a winner of half his eight starts, all on turf, and his last was on this course, at this distance. Jamie Theriot will ride him back for Cody Autrey, who’s currently at 35 percent for the meet. While he won his last on the pace, he won from off the pace in his native Ireland. The only knock, aside from the expected short price, is that he’s coming back on 14 days rest, a little quick.

Jimmy Simms (7-2) is slower but is developing beautifully for Steve Asmussen. Coming off an Equiform turf decline line (TDL), he poised to moved forward, is nicely drawn inside and gave way grudgingly after a stretch lone battle in the Grade 3 Commonwealth. He’s worked thrice since and stable rider Shaun Bridgmohan rides him back. Given the stiffness of the competition, you’d like to receive early line odds, which seems unlikely.

Taking Jimmy Simms to win at 7-2 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his two rivals here.

Running Totals: (330) 99-69-44. Total Dollar Return: $691.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, December 19, 2008

Better a Short Price….

Today’s feature from Tampa Bay Downs, the eighth race, is a money allowances sprint that has attracted some of the fastest sprinters on the East coast not stabled at major tracks.

They can run but there are questions to answer. Will Bernie Blue (2-1), the horse with the consistently fastest figures--and by a significant margin, translate those figures from Mountaineer to Tampa?

Will Man In Gray (3-1) benefit from a recent return from a freshening? Is Tampa loving On the Vineyard (4-1) ready off only one race following a year’s layup? Can Riversrunrylee (6-1) with competitive internal figures turn back effectively?

If On the Vineyard remembers who he is, he can be more than competitive in this spot. He was, after all, competitive enough to win a stakes at Suffolk last year at 3. Man In Gray has competitive figures from the Delaware circuit and Tim Ritchie is profitable for a career with his shippers. He worked a bullet half mile over the track for his Tampa debut.

But there’s too much guesswork involved, and that’s never a good idea. Taking Bernie Blue to win, no price restrictions, and keying him first and second in trifectas with his three rivals here.

Running Totals: (329) 99-68-44. Total Dollar Return: $691.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Favorite You Can’t Refuse

Hard to delineate which was a true feature at Tampa today, so we opted for the ninth race, a turf event, which generally is always a crowd pleaser. The bad news, however, is that the early line favorite is going to be a real tough out.

Celine (5-2) heads this limit field for 3 & up going a mile which, even at this two-turn distance, features a fairly lengthy run to the first turn. Two others of interest are Chic Cat (8-1) and Superfine Time (15-1).

Celine simply is the fastest horse on the Equiform scale, and earns those superior figures with laudable consistency. She loves the game, having won half of her eight starts, is 3-for-3 going a mile, has proper spacing, and comes from a barn with a worthy ship in percentage. Trainer Leigh Offutt is profitable in those last two categories. The rail, pace scenario and Daniel Centeno only add to this fillies favorable scenario.

Chic Cat is working brilliantly for her return to this circuit for the Allen boys who’ve been doing excellent work together, batting 23 percent these last two months. Dropping a notch and returning in this two-month time-frame is a profitable scenario for the barn. But aside from the inviting price, Chic Cat earned her best figure going a mile on this course, today’s precise conditions.

Superfine Time is coming into this off a turf-low pattern and returns to her optimal distance, given her best figure was earned going eight furlongs on grass. In addition to the best late kick in this group, ’Superfine’ gets a switch to turf ace Carlos Montalvo. As is the case with Chic Cat, she’d be worth a token wager at anything approaching early line odds.

Taking Celine to win at 7-5 or greater, boxing her in exactas with both fillies mentioned here, an extra ticket with the favorite in the top slot.

Running Totals: (328) 98-68-44. Total Dollar Return: $686.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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