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.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Don’t Get Too Revved Up for John’s Call

Today’s feature is named for the redoubtable Spa fixture, John’s Call, appropriately enough a 13-furlong turf marathon for older horses. On paper, it’s a two horse race between the classy veteran, Revved Up (2-1), and another marathon specialist Rousing Victory (4-1).

Revved Up is by far the most accomplished member of this group and is coming off a useful prep in a Grade 3 at Arlington Park. He is more suited to today’s marathon route and attracts Kent Desormeaux, who’s riding the Spa course like he owns it. But the 9-year-old’s lost several steps and is the probably heavy favorite.

Rousing Victory likes this trip and had a useful recent prep over the course, a wide rally fourth at a mile while coming off a layup. Ramon Dominguez rode him that day and will ride him back as this veteran has been carefully pointed to this race, having won it two years ago. His performance figures put him right on the middle of this.

Taking the value offered on Rousing Victory as the likely second choice, 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with Revved Up and will include the stoutly bred General Jumbo (6-1) underneath.

Running Totals: (83) 36-18-10. Dollar Return: $211.30 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Stars Rise On Alabama Tonight

In our mind’s eye, admittedly bleary at this stage, the Alabama is usually dominated by an alpha mare, one that stands out and leads the herd on a merry 10 furlong chase. But the 128th renewal is quite interesting, with solid but not invulnerable favorites. In short, the Grade 1 for three-year-old fillies is a good betting race.

The three most likely win candidates are, from the inside, out, Panty Raid (4-1), Octave (5-2) and Lady Joanne (3-1).

Panty Raid, like Octave, is a Todd Pletcher trainee. After taking the storied Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico, she was given six weeks to prepare for the G1 American Oaks at 10 furlongs on the Hollywood turf course. She won it in a game performance, turning back late challengers with a final quarter-mile of :23 4/5. She’s 4-for-6 lifetime, including a G1 grass debut that speaks to her class. Edgar Prado, aboard for three of them, rides her back here. Again, she is six weeks fresh.

Octave is a deserving favorite. She never has finished worse than second in six Grade 1 events, winning two, her last two starts, the Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks, the latter at 10 furlongs. She is the only10-furlong dirt winner in the group, and it’s useful to note she won the Adirondack at 2 over this track. Last time she was used early, not wanting to allow the leader to steal away. This time she won’t have to be, as there appears to be enough pace signed on here.

Lady Joanne (pronounced Joan-ie) has the benefit of a recent winning race over the track, the Banshee Breeze overnight stakes at 9 furlongs in what was a dominating performance. She steps way up here but handled her rivals with energy in reserve and came back to train brilliantly. Worth noting, however, she was only a half-length behind the favorite in the Mother Goose. While her pedigree is light on the top side, she has a strong broodmare influence for the added distance. Carl Nafzger and Calvin Borel. Can they do wrong?

Taking Lady Joanne to win at 5-2 or greater, key her in exacta and trifecta boxes with the other two fillies.

Running Totals: (83) 36-18-10. Dollar Return: $211.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Didn’t You Get The Memo?

Can’t get over how good and competitive the stakes have been at Saratoga this year, especially on turf. Today’s feature, the Grade 2 Lake Placid for three-year-old fillies, underscores that assessment. It’s a beauty, with the opportunity for a score if you can nail the puzzle down.

We left five fillies open for consideration but will concentrate on three here; from the inside, out: Communiqué (8-1), New Edition (10-1) and Sharp Susan (7-2).

Communiqué, nicely drawn inside with a switch to turf ace Julien Leparoux, has been battle tested and has survived nicely in top company. Hindered by a slow pace in the salty, Grade 1 American Oaks, her prior was a career best try despite a tough trip in the Regret at today’s nine furlong trip. She is ready to step up a notch here For a barn whose horses re outrunning their odds at this meet.

New Edition was a game second behind juvenile champion Dreaming of Anna in the nine furlong Virginia Oaks last out, stalking the pace throughout after leaving from the 11 slip in the field of 12. It was her best performance figure to date and remarkably has never taken a backward step in five starts on turf. Her figures put her right in this at inflated odds.

Sharp Susan’s last was remarkable. Not so much that it was her career best but because it coincided with her first try on the Spa lawn and with the removal of blinkers. It also was her first go with Kent Desormeaux in the boot and she owns a win at today’s trip for Saratoga’s leading trainer, Bill Mott. She’ll make amends with a repeat of her most recent effort but doesn’t figure to offer value.

Taking Communiqué to win at 6-1 or greater and keying her first and second in exacta boxes with New Edition and Sharp Susan.

Running Totals: (82) 36-18-10 Dollar Return: $211.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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