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, September 13, 2008

Matron Filly’s Stretch Run Is Persistent

A veritable feast of feature races and, with that choice, we’re opting with the Matron and a filly that might provide extraordinary value if the oddsmaker’s assessment is correct. The Grade 2 for juvenile fillies showcases a handful of fillies who impressed favorably at Saratoga. Two in particular are Miss Ocean City (7-2) and Persistently (8-1).

Miss Ocean City, trained by Nick Zito but owned by former Maryland training standout, Leon Blusciewicz, was extremely impressive winning her only start in high front-running style. Taking the lead at once with a rapid burst from the gate, she settled while setting the pace, rating kindly until Johnny Velazquez gave her the cue. At once she opened ground and was nearly six in front at the finish.

In a contrast of styles, Persistently trailed badly approaching the far turn behind a loose leader when Alan Garcia set her down and she set sail. She made a strong turn move that carried her wide into the lane and instead of showing the effects of such a tack, she just kept coming and, after nailing the leader in the shadow of the post, she galloped out strongly, as if distance will be her game. That effort came at today’s distance, her style suits the race shape here and the McGaughey barn has been rolling since early at the Spa meet.

Taking Persistently to win at 6-1 or greater and exacta key boxes with Miss Ocean City and Doremifasollatido (4-1), a filly who returns to Belmont Park, not only her career best effort but also a figure fastest than any other Matron miss.

Running Totals: (274) 84-54-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, September 12, 2008

Diverse Owns WInning Versatility

Today’s feature is, of course, one sixth of the $609,000 carryover on the last six races. A preliminary allowances for 4-year-olds and up on the turf has drawn a talented, competitive group of fillies and mares. We’ll focus on Diverse (3-1), Bella Attrice (6-1) and Impressionism (5-2).

Diverse has been on a once-monthly schedule all season and last time at Saratoga finished very strongly after tipping out for the drive. He’s well drawn, is fastest on performance figures given his two-back race then nearly overcame a slow pace last time. Switching to Shaun Bridgmohan, he has the ability to handle any ground, firm or otherwise.

Probably no horse in here is sharper than Bella Attrice for trainer Chad Brown, a phenomenon himself at present, scoring with 52 percent of his would-be repeaters. Bella Attrice comes from two exceptionally good efforts at Saratoga coming from the clouds to win going away. Clearly, he has improved since entering this barn. The five year old mare picks up Edgar Prado.

Impressionism finished ahead of the choice last out, getting started late while she idled behind horses awaiting room. Today she is very likely to get a clear run; the bad news is that the extreme outside slip doesn’t figure to aid her chances unless she is either exceptionally ridden or lucky. She does prefer, however, to race outside other mares. Johnny Velazquez takes the re-ride on a filly who returns to her best distance.

Position will be our guide and we’ll take Diverse to win at 3-1 or greater and exacta key boxes with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (273) 84-54-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Casey at the Post

It’s only a six furlong sprint, a secondary allowances optional claimer for state-breds, the field is relatively small and three tower over the rest. But what an interesting puzzle, nevertheless.

Clearly, it all depends on how you view the chances of Mighty Eros (7-2), away from the races for 508 days. Wow! The others are Oniyome (5-2) and Casey’s Tribe (3-1). All of them are fast fillies.

Oniyome makes her Belmont return for the hot Hushion/Hill team. The last time she raced here, she earned a lifetime best figure, albeit on a muddy track. But she confirmed that good form by finishing first in both subsequent starts now turns back with added conditioning.

Casey’s Tribe is the fresher of the two and that might prove the difference. She also turns back to her best distance following a rough trip in her lone Spa start, a key race that produced two next out winners from four starters. She has won half her four starts at this trip and two of three over the track. Rajiv Maragh, off fast at the meet, takes the mount for Bruce Levine.

Mighty Eros was one fast three-year-old last season, winning both career starts by a combined margin of 17-34 lengths, including a state bred stakes event. Obviously talented, it’s a question of fitness and intent. Her work tab has been spotty and this looks like a possible prep for New York Showcase Day, which will be held toward the end of the Belmont Park fall stand.

We’ll take whatever value is offered on Casey’s Tribe to win at 5-2 or greater and exacta keys first and second with her rivals here.

Running Totals: (272) 84-54-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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