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.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

An Upset Here Would Be Awesome

Today’s Garland of Roses for sprinting fillies and mares at six furlongs looks like an ideal spot to throw deep.

Saarland (5-2), the early line favorite, is returning from a lengthy layup, has run well on this surface, is training up a storm and is, by definition, the fastest filly.

But Awesome Ashley (10-1) is really intriguing. While she doesn’t have the performance figures of the favorite, she has speed figure moments, especially on this track.

After getting legged up when ambitiously placed in the G2 Raven Run on Polytrack, she returned to New York with a game, tough trip placing.

Subsequently, she has a bullet work in her holster, is nicely drawn outside with Anna Napravnik on the re-ride, and it might be useful to remember that Todd Pletcher is a profitable 28 percent with third-off-the-layup starters. Just can’t resist.

Taking Awesome Ashley to win at 8-1 or greater and an exacta box with Saarland.

Running Totals: (556) 173-111-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,194.60 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, December 04, 2009

A Cuff Me-Touching Beauty Exacta? Really?

The interesting element of today’s featured Silent Turn Stakes for juvenile fillies sprinting six furlongs is that, one way or another, we get to see how good Cuff Me really is. Thus far, there’s been much to like.

She’s won two starts by a total of 19-½ lengths in fast time, is in top hands with Tony Dutrow and Ramon Dominguez, should dictate the pace fairly comfortably and she’s had plenty of time between victories.

The question is how her sloppy-track figures on both those occasions will stack up on different footing.

The intriguing possibility among her four rivals is Touching Beauty, who following her winning debut at Saratoga placed gamely in Belmont’s Grade 2 Matron. Subsequently, she was used up in a hot-paced battle in the G1 Frizette, a throwout. Today, she’s notch-dropping while turning back into a sprint.

Today’s race should tell us more about both these fillies.

Taking Cuff Me to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Touching Beauty. If trifecta wagering is available in this short field because of a stakes race provision, use Simply Spiteful (3-1) for second and third

Running Totals: (555) 172-111-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,194.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Back to Basics in Today’s Feature

Time to go back to basics for analyzing today’s feature, the Chan Balan Stakes for three-year-olds going six furlongs. Clearly, everything favors early line 9-5 favorite African King; speed, pace, apparent class--everything but race shape, that is.

I don’t know how you can keep the fast working speedster Big Push from forcing the favorite to race on the engine throughout, setting the table for an off-the-pace type. And no horse appears to suit that bill better than Lobo Del Norte (4-1).

A late developer, his performance figures pattern looks healthy, he’s been improving incrementally, his style suits today’s pace scenario, and he ships in for a powerful ship-in barn, that of Ramon Preciado’s, a profitable 22% in this scenario and owning a recent slate of (2) 1-0-1. He and rider Abel Mariano are on a 36% winning tear over the last two months.

Taking Lobo Del Norte to win at 7-2 or greater and boxing him in the exacta with African King.

Running Totals: (554) 172-111-78 Total Dollar Return: $1,194.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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