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.



Thursday, February 14, 2008


Beware of Speed Traps in Today’s Feature


Talk about your basic traps. Today’s Aqueduct feature, if indeed there is one because of a) another weather related cancellation or, b) bankrupt political practices, has drawn six starter allowance fillies going six furlongs that all race on or near the lead; half of them having proven best at 5-½ furlongs, not six. However, you play the hand you’re dealt.

We’ll concentrate our analysis on three, from the rail, out: Staid, Goretty and Bette To Win.

Staid appears to be cycling back to her lifetime best effort. She simply exploded while dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time last out, winning by a lengthy margin and earning a figure just shy of her lifetime top four starts back. From the formidable and ubiquitous Asmussen barn, she gets Stewart Elliott on the re-ride, who will have her in winning position throughout from the pole, winning at a 19% rate this meet.

Goretty is by definition the fastest filly by virtue of her impressive score two back then was eliminated last out by a stumbling start and a rough beginning thereafter. She hails from a new barn, Bruce Brown’s that’s winning at a prolific rate, albeit a relatively small sample. But Goretty clearly has improved for him and can rebound with a repeat of her two-back effort. Speed maven C.C. Lopez takes the re-ride.

Bette To Win is the key to this. The Michael Trombetta filly paired up two fast efforts at her Laurel base, an indication more may be forthcoming, and attracts Ramon Dominguez for this high percentage outfit. What makes her a difficult read is that both those efforts were at 5-½ furlongs, a dynamic that doesn’t always play well on the “stretch-out” to six. Given her outside slip and with speed drawn inside her, she appears to be worth trying to beat.

Taking Goretty to rebound at 7-2 or more and keying her first and second in exacta boxes with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (173) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Ed. Note: If there is a NYRA secession of racing starting today, Gulfstream Park will become the free-analysis track until further notice.

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008


A Hint of Mint


Enjoy today’s featured presentation from New York: It might be the last one we see for a while.

It’s a nice little heat, a preliminary allowances/optional $75,000 claiming for three-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards. We’ll concentrate our analysis on, from the rail, out: Mint Lane (5-2), Holidaze (4-1) and Globalization (9-5).

Mint Lane was monstrous with the addition of Lasix last time out for Jimmy Jerkens. His energy distribution improved markedly, picking up the tempo while front running throughout. That’s pretty strong stuff, especially considering it was his third lifetime start, second rounding two turns, and he had trouble soon after the break. He’s had five weeks since that good-figure effort to recover, has worked purposefully, and his pedigree indicates that distance racing is his game. Norberto Arroyo Jr. takes the re-ride.

Holidaze looks extremely well meant. Reuniting with Ramon Dominguez, aboard for a strong but stretch-troubled third two starts back, he’s trying a route for the first time. As a son of Harlan’s Holiday, that shouldn’t be a problem, especially at this trip. His figures have improved over this surface since returning from a layup and the barn is especially good in this scenario. Note that the Pletcher outfit is 30% effective when stretching out off consecutive sprints and 32% with third-time starts off a layoff. Strong stats, those.

Globalization impressed as a promising juvenile last fall. When last seen he was beaten off in the Juvenile but he had been competitive with Tale of Akati and War Pass in his first two lifetime starts. Those colts need no introduction, obviously, and this colt looked good breaking his maiden by open lengths when stretched to a mile. He comes off a bullet work at Palm Meadows and ships north in what might be a prep for the Gotham later on. But we think he’s worth trying to beat in his return at a short price.

Taking Mint Lane to win at 5-2 or greater and keying him in exactas first and second with his two main rivals here.

Running Totals: (173) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Ed. Note: In the event of a NYRA suspension of racing beginning Feb. 14, the feature race analysis will shift to Gulfstream Park in the interim.

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, February 09, 2008


Speed of the Speed Is Always Dangerous


Today’s featured Correction of filly sprinters has drawn a small field long on early speed. Not very interesting, it appears a two-horse affair between Mulligatawny and Beau Dare.

It appears Steve Asmussen doesn’t only win at the Fair Grounds. Mulligatawny is on a four race win streak, the two most recent victories over this track over which she seems to have a preference. The winter track is the scene of her two best performance figures and last out earned a new pace top, indicating there might be more in the tank. She looms the speed of the speed here.

Beau Dare’s last was a powerful effort over the surface for Bruce Levine, the meet’s second leading trainer and clicking on all cylinders most recently. She, too earned a new pace top in her last and with fast back-figures in tow she figures to keep going well. Following her last, she was wisely freshened six weeks by Levine. The incentive to find value here lies in the fact likely second choice Rite Moment is eligible to regress of a recent double-top effort and returning on short rest, a particularly tough scenario for fillies.

Taking Mulligatawny to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Beau Dare.

Running Totals: (172) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

DUE TO SCHEDULING CONFLICTS, THERE WILL BE NO SELECTIONS FOR SUNDAY. FEATURE RACE ANALYSIS WILL RESUME ON WEDNESDAY

Written by John Pricci

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