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, November 28, 2007


Know Thy Condition Book


Today’s feature, a preliminary allowances/optional $75,000 claimer for fillies and mares going six furlongs, marks the opening of the winter surface for the next five months--if there’s racing in New York for the next five months.

It has drawn a relatively full field including two entries and we’ll late at three: Rizzi’s Twist (2-1), La Presse (5-2) and Sunset Cocktail (4-1).

Rizzi’s Twist is part of the Bruce Levine entry, this one owned by the shrewd claiming outfit, Gumpster Stable. Under the unique conditions here, this one drops from secondary allowances because, as a three-year-old, she can enter with a claiming tag despite having won under this allowance condition two starts back. Can you say free ride? If not, can you say fastest filly in the race? Further, she’s good off a brief layup as is her trainer, who’s profitable entering back in this timeframe.

La Presse will try the main track for Kairan McLaughlin and Alan Garcia and should could prove the classiest filly here if she can transfer her solid turf form over to this surface. She came from a million lengths off the pace in her promising Saratoga debut--and might have been best--then she chased a strong pace in a rapid Belmont turf sprint that went in 1:07 4/5. She could easily prove the key here.

Sunset Cocktail is a horse for course, owning a (5) 2-2-0 winter track slate. She earned a competitive figure several starts back and ships in for an outfit adept with their shippers. Further, trainer Derek Ryan is a worthy 2-for-4 when using the live apprentice Carol Cedeno. Because of the low key connections, she could prove excellent value, so check the tote.

Still, we must take the fast, proven commodity, Rizzi’s Twist, at 8-5 or greater and key her first and second in exactas with the other two fillies.

Running Totals: (137) 48-30-15. Total Dollar Return: $281.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


Here Kitty, Kitty


The getaway main track feature is for state-bred fillies and mares at nine furlongs, the Montauk. It’s trappy in that this full field appears as if possibly only three fillies can win; the strong favorite Ice Kool Kitty (5-2), Lauren’s Tizzy (5-1) and Borrowing Base (6-1).

The favorite is clearly the fastest filly in the group, and by a wide margin. She’s 2-for-2 on this surface and 1-for-2 at nine furlongs. What makes her dangerous is her high speed going a distance and it’s ratable speed. The hot riding Edgar Prado gets along with her very well and he’s aboard for one of his main patrons, Rick Dutrow.

Lauren’s Tizzy has tactical speed, she can kick, and owns the rail with its short run to the first turn. Eibar Coa rides for Mark Hennig, a very productive team, and Hennig is having a quietly good meet. Like the choice, she’s undefeated in two local starts and her best figures are alternately at Aqueduct and/or at nine furlongs. She will be the favorite’s main danger entering the lane.

Should these two fillies do themselves harm in the early going, late kicker Borrowing Base will be coming strong beneath underrated finisher Channing Hill. She owns a win and a second at nine furlongs and an excellent slate over the surface at (4) 1-2-1. She’ll be playable odds and has a puncher’s chance to break through. But it won’t be easy.

Ice Kool Kitty is the most probable winner and is playable at 7-5 or greater. We’ll also make an exacta box with Lauren’s Tizzy and a trifecta part wheel using those two fillies first, second and third with Borrowing Base second and third.

Running Totals: (136) 47-30-15. Total Dollar Return: $278.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, November 24, 2007


A Special Race, A Special Horse


Horseplayers will look at today’s Cigar Mile as the final leg of an all stakes Pick 4. Fans see it as the final Grade 1 of the New York season.

Either way, it’s a two horse race on paper, probably a one-horse race to be totally objective. But this is horse racing where anything can happen and often does.

If this were the third race on a Wednesday, Midnight Lute (3-5) has the kind of form you might want to take a chance against. His last two performance figures were simply off the normal scale, he returns on relatively short rest, gives weight to his major contender, has never won at a mile and drew the rail post out of the one-mile chute. Five reasons to bet against. But one not to do that: This is an exceptional animal.

Not even good racehorses can do what he did in the Sprint, coming from far, far back with a rally reminiscent of the great Turkoman of two decades ago. To think he would get up, then win going away, was unthinkable as you watched the race live. Now, when you look at his figures, you know there’s a bounce forthcoming. One can’t sustain that level indefinitely. Then he works six furlongs in 1:10 2/5, like breaking so many sticks, and with the performance gap between he and his rivals, you can absolutely regress and still win.

However, the three-year-old Daaher (3-1) could be anything. He’s fast, fit, fresh and very dangerous. He’s proven at the distance, is in receipt of seven pounds (including the weight allowance), is nicely drawn, and his speed gives him a tactical advantage. He’s been very impressive, too, from a visual frame. He’s been working very well for his first start since winning the key race Jerome early last month.

However, we must take Midnight Lute to win with no price restrictions although, in the real world, we would forgo a win wager, box the exacta. and root for the upset.

Running Totals: (135) 47-29-15. Total Dollar Return: $278.50 [win selections only] {Friday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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