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, October 08, 2007


Euro Invader Well Placed in Pebbles


A rare Monday feature in celebration of Columbus Day, the un-graded Pebbles for three-year-old fillies at a mile n the Belmont grass.

This being fall, European invaders show up fairly regularly and the Pebbles has attracted strong contender Medley (5-2). The best American hopes appear to be Queen Joanne (7-2) and New Edition (5-1).

Medley ships in having won two of her last three starts. Her European figures have been more than competitive and foreign sprinters like Medley have proven to make excellent American milers. Christophe Clement wins at a 24% rate with his first-time in U.S. shippers and has been enjoying uncommon success with Garrett Gomez, who takes the mount here. Expect Garrett will keep her covered up inside until he’s ready to pull the string.

Lady Joanne has won two straight for Bill Mott including a score at this distance two back. The problem is that victory came at Saratoga, making it a two turn race. This, obviously, is around one. She’s developed nicely for Mott but was hard pressed to defeat preliminary allowance runners last out.

New Edition has been keep the best company. A pacesetter before tiring in the Grade 1 Garden City at nine furlongs, she placed gamely in the G2 Lake Placid two back for trainer Larry Jones. She has conditioning off a series of turf routes and in young Gabriel Saez has a rider with a bright future. Jones has been using the youngster with success this season. She will be charging down the Widener turf course in the late stages.

Taking the classy invader Medley to win at 8-5 or greater and keying first and second in exactas with her main rivals.

Running Totals: (117) 41-27-13. Dollar Return: $238.40 [win selections only] {Sunday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, October 07, 2007


Home Jerome?


Today’s Grade 2 Jerome at one mile for three-year-olds might produce a horse or two for the Breeders’ Cup. We’re thinking the Dirt Mile (mile and 70 yards at Monmouth).

And the three that are most likely in that scenario (Nick Zito’s pair notwithstanding) are, from the inside, out: Digger (7-2), Vitruvius (4-1) and Daaher (2-1).

Digger is the horse that owner Lawrence Roman considered starting in the Belmont Stakes until he suffered a fit of common sense. But he’s very good right now, winning his last at Laurel by nearly 12 lengths in very fast time vs. Maryland-breds. Trainer Dick Dutrow, 28 percent with repeaters, has been on a roll.

Vitruvius made some noise when he broke his maiden at Gulfstream last February. Following a fast allowance win he went to the sidelines with a minor injury but returned in Saratoga to finish a strong-rally despite bearing out the length of the stretch. Today he’s second-time Lasix and back on his favorite surface and optimal distance.

Daaher ran like a wild horse at Saratoga, going to the front and improving his position in a freak-like performance. His race is hard to read, being at nine furlongs and around two turns as opposed to eight and one turn. Visually, he had the look of a potential star.

But we’ll take Vitruvius to win at 3-1 or greater and exacta keys first and second with Digger and Daaher.

Running Totals: (116) 41-27-13. Dollar Return: $238.40 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, October 06, 2007


Ready’s Image To Even the Score with Majestic Warrior


Three stakes today on what is the last meaningful Breeders’ Cup prep weekend and the most compelling is, of course, is the Grade 1 Champagne for juvenile colts at one mile. While there are some interesting prospects in here, such as Sapling winner Lantana Mob, Nick Zito’s undefeated War Pass, and a one-mile maiden winner over the track, Anakim, it’s really a match within a race.

It started in the Hopeful. Now it’s the rematch: Ready’s Image vs. Majestic Warrior, the Hopeful hero.

Majestic Warrior was magnificent winning the first meaningful Grade 1 of the two-year-old season. Seemingly beaten with less than a half mile remaining in the seven furlong Spa fixture, he began to roll inside on the far turn, tipped wide with momentum into the lane and roared home for the score, making up nearly six lengths in the final half-furlong.

The victory of Majestic Warrior capped the meet for leading trainer Bill Mott, gave him a rare young talent for him to work with toward the 2008 classics, and was so impressive that Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith invested untold millions to partner with owner/breeder George Steinbrenner. The extremely well bred son of A. P. Indy and Dream Supreme should only improve given today’s added distance.

So then why would we take Ready’s Image? Because he is faster, has more seasoning, is drawn outside (Majestic Warrior has the rail) and won the Tremont over this track. But that’s not why. The why is he was used extremely hard racing an extremely fast Maimonides into defeat early, actually winning that duel in midst retch, but the effort had taken its toll. Today, there’s enough speed signed out where he can use his stalking speed and outside position to best advantage. He’ll never have a better chance to turn the tables on his Hopeful rival.

Taking Ready’s Image to win at 7-5 or greater and exacta keys first and second with Majestic warrior and Lantana Mob.

Running Totals: (115) 40-27-13. Dollar Return: $230.00 [win selections only] {Friday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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