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.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ravel Hits a Winning Note

An interesting way to begin the winter track season, with the listed Coyote Lakes Stakes for older horses at 13 furlongs.

Of course, tactics and trips will dictate the outcome but suffice it to know that three horses have an excellent chance to win the first feature on the inner track: Lorrcan, Delosvientos and Ravel.

On performance figures, it would be Grade 2 winner Delosvientos (7-5) with no other competitor close. A proven classy marathoner, his early speed always makes him formidable in spots like these. Two-for-two beneath Eibar Coa, trainer Giuseppe Iadisernia is 34 percent with horses seeking repeat wins and he trained steadily for this since October. The one concern is that he appears better in his second start following a layup.

Ravel (3-1), meanwhile, is as classy. A G3 winner who has tasted G1 company, his career has disappointed his high profile connections but this looks like the proper spot and will vie for favoritism with Delosvientos. With a moderate pace that promises to be contested, however, Ravel fits the race shape well and few riders can match Johnny Velazquez’s positional skills. He’s never been the distance but has an extremely long pedigree.

What Lorrcan (8-1) apparently lacks in class he makes up for in sharpness, position, tactical speed and kick. He’s won at 12 furlongs, comes up to today’s route nicely and goes very well for Jeffrey Sanchez, a dual winner on the colt. Trainer Jimmy Ferraro is profitable with stakes runners at the non-graded level and the late developer really has come to hand in his 4-year-old season.

But we'll err on the side of a potential trip a nd take Ravel at 5-2 or greater and key him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (321) 97-66-44. Total Dollar Return: $680.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nothing Could Be Finah…

The final stakes of the Aqueduct main track season is the Montauk at nine furlongs for state-bred fillies and mares looks like it will be a pretty formful affair among My Dinah (5-2), Point Me To It (3-1) and Here Comes Rita (8-1).

My Dinah is marching forward incrementally and should continue to go well here. While she prefers a target, she might hold a pace edge in this two-turner and certainly has enough pedigree for the added ground, as most John Hettinger-bred horses do. Regular rider Jose Espinosa rides her back for Kathleen Feron.

Point Me To It has improved off the recent Gary Contessa claim and this might be the spot he had in mind when he haltered her on October 9. While the top half of the pedigree is challenged in the routing department, Contessa is profitable when he goes long off two prior sprints. The rail and tactical speed at this trip won’t hurt.

If only Here Comes Rita were a bit quicker on performance figures and was better positioned than the outside slip at this distance. The good news, however, is that she has come into her own as she’s won three of her last four, is bred both sides for the distance and is poised to make a forward move. That and her early line odds.

But we’re taking My Dinah to win, no price restrictions, and keying her first and second in exactas and trifectas with her rivals here.

Running Totals: (320) 97-66-43. Total Dollar Return: $680.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tale of Value

What the final Grade 1 of the NYRA season, the Cigar Mile, lacks in star quality it makes up for in competitiveness. What makes it more vexing is the fact that the fastest horse by definition is coming off a lengthy layoff for a barn not known to excel in those scenarios.

So many are capable of winning this: old warrior Wanderin Boy (4-1), the previously referenced Monterey Jazz (6-1), the fast, improved Kodiak Kowboy (7-2), streaking Big A lover Bribon (6-1), undefeated Storm Play (9-2), etc., etc. We must believe, however, events dictate that value is an imperative, and that Tale of Ekati (12-1) is the correct play.

Like Bribon, Tale OF Ekati loves Aqueduct. Prior to wining his most recent start, the G2 Jerome mile at Belmont, his best performance figure came in the G1 Wood Memorial this spring, in which he showed gameness with a rail run, emerging from close quarters with a game score.

His best effort came last out in the Jerome, a career best performance figure, but not so big as to project a certain regression. The Jerome is a one-turn mile, similar to today’s scenario, which suits this colt’s style best, that of a stretch running sprinter.

A three-year-old, he still has developmental potential and with 55 days rest and a series of strong, steady works. Despite meeting elders here, his 116 assignment seems fair. His tactical speed and ability to win from anywhere on the racetrack augurs well.

Taking the value offered on Tale of Ekati to win at 8-1 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with Wanderin Boy, adding Bribon, Kodiak Kowboy and Storm Play to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (319) 96-66-43. Total Dollar Return: $661.00 [win selections only] {Friday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


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