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 13, 2008

Nothing Whimsical About this Play

It’s not often when a five-horse field offers a good betting opportunity. But that might be the case in today’s Grade 3 Queens County Handicap that has drawn a field of five.

What bettors need to ask themselves is if they will get the same effort from recent Stuyvesant winner Dry Martini (8-5). The answer is unlikely.

Will Billy Turner’s five-year-old get the same tiring wet conditions over which he won that recent Grade 3 on the main oval. Is he capable of running back to that performance figure? Also unlikely, and at a short price.

And what about Researcher (5-2)? Is he as good as his recent Equiform figures indicate? Empirically, no. Figures earned at Mountaineer and Charles Town don’t usually translate with shifts to a major circuit. It might be the winter track but it’s still New York.

What we like about Sir Whimsey (7-2) is the fact that he handles any kind of footing, has won on this surface, makes his second start in the Asmussen barn--always a good percentage, profitable play--earned his best figure at today’s 9-½ furlong distance, and gets a rider switch to Ramon Dominguez. Despite the short field, two of his rivals should ensure an honest pace for the distance.

Taking Sir Whimsey at 5-2 or greater and keying him first and second in trifectas (if available) with his two rivals here.

Running Totals: (326) 98-67-44. Total Dollar Return: $686.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, December 12, 2008

Surprised if Grusmark Filly Doesn’t Weather the Storm

Another good overnight stakes for today’s feature, the You’d Be Surprised Stakes for fillies and mares 3 & up going a mile and 70 yards on the winter oval. Three we find most interesting are Weathered, Jasmine Gardens and Blues For Sale.

Weathered is consistently fastest on performance figures, loves the game having compiled a 7-for-11 lifetime record, has won on this surface and handles any type of footing. Compelling enough. But when you consider she has an edge in fitness, too, returning on 12 days rest, has tactical speed and an inside draw, you’d be surprised in Mike Luzzi didn’t write his own trip note here.

Jasmine Gardens is one of those late developers that has improved with maturity and trainer Tom Albertrani is pressing the proper buttons now with respect to her training and spacing between starts. Her tactical speed gives her options to come out of the first turn in good position despite her wide draw on short run to the bend. Alan Garcia will be able to figure it all out. The daughter of Mineshaft is on the come and her figures keep forging forward.

Blues For Sale is the mystery horse that could prove the key here. A multiple Group 3 and Group 2 winner in her native Argentina, she’s won nine of 12 lifetime starts and was purchased privately by the IEAH folks. She’s making her first start in over a year but does so for Rick Dutrow and she makes her American debut after being entered and scratched from a main track race last month. Who knows how good?

Taking Weathered to repeat at 2-1 or greater and keying her first and second in exactas with her rivals here.

Running Totals: (326) 98-66-44. Total Dollar Return: $686.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Today’s feature is a good one, the Parlay Me overnight stakes at six furlongs that has attracted a field of talented sprinters. What’s problematic is knowing what the likely track condition will be, as yesterday ended with a sealed wet track. Unfortunately, the forecast at this writing is for more precipitation.

There are several among the field of eight who like or can handle wet footing. Accredit (3-1) excels on wet track. Not only is he 3-for-3 on wet tracks but his best figures have come over these surfaces. Kiaran McLaughlin is profitable with third off the layup types and is 29 percent efficient when he taps Alan Garcia.

The fastest horses are performance figures, however, are M J’s Enchanteur (9-2) and Lantana Mob (5-2).

The early line favorite is clearly the fastest horse and has been highly competitive in graded stakes. Further, his best game is as a stretch-running sprinter and there’s plenty of gas in this heat. Ramon Dominguez helps, of course, and so does an outside post in wet footing. But clearly he’s been better on dry tracks.

M J’s Enchanteur makes his second start off a layup, handles wet footing, is also drawn outside and holds a formidable pace edge here. The Scott Lake horses have come out firing of late and the sharpster’s pace edge will allow him to dictate to this field. Josue Arce has a lower profile than his rivals here, but is a profitably remarkable 24 percent efficient in sprints after 257 rides.

Taking the likely value offered with M J’s Enchanteur to win at 4-1 or greater and keying him first and second in exactas with his rivals here.

Running Totals: (325) 98-66-44. Total Dollar Return: $686.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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