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, February 16, 2008

Take Anthony Over Rick in Hollie Hughes

Todays feature, named for the legendary local horseman who trained well into advanced age, Hollie Hughes, has attracted a well matched field of talented state-bred sprinters. Ultimately, however, it will come down to the brother Dutrow, Anthony and Rick.

Wind up Premium Wine (5-2) and he runs a good race. Nine starts, five wins with three placings attests to that. But Anthonys horse has several other advantages of his brother Ricks Stormin Normandy.

Premium Wine has been a paragon of consistency based on his performance figures, clearly faster than other rivals not named Stormin Normandy. With all the speed signed on here, his come-from-behind fits the shape perfectly, hes 48 days fresh, and attracts leading rider Ramon Dominguez. Hell be a tough out.

But if theres a rival that can race on the pace and keep going, its Stormin. One for one on this track, he takes a four-race win streak into this, including a victory in the state-bred Hudson at Belmont Park last fall. In fact, hes never lost since moving into Rick Dutrows shed. The capable stable rider Rudy Rodriguez, who rode him in his prep for this, takes the re-ride. Well stick to the script here.

Taking Premium Wine to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Stormin Normandy. Also keying Premium Wine first and second in trifectas with Stormin Normandy and the very sharp Whistlin' (4-1) second and third.

Running Totals: (175) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

An interesting feature even though on the surface its a starter allowances for claiming types: Which have started for a claiming price of $25,000 from 2005-2008. 2005? Yep.

We think it will come down to the two fastest horses on performance figures: Lemons Of Love (3-1) and Callmetony (5-2).

Lemons Of Love has not raced on the local circuit since this time last year. In fact, hes been on the board in all winter track starts, including a win, and apparently hes the one that requires handicappers to go well back to find the race that qualifies him for entry here. Making his second start off a freshening, he hasnt run this cheaply since Dec. 06, at least. Consistently faster than this group recently, hes be coming late under one of the hottest riders in New York, C.C. Lopez, who boasts a (15) 5-3-1 slate in the last week of racing here. The rail post is 22% effective at this meet.

Callmetony should get a good stalking trip if he can break sharply beneath Alan Garcia. He showed improved early speed last out and has the kind of back-figures that easily could contend here. The trick is that fast start, as hes poisoned in the gate between two sharp speedsters. A tardy break might eliminate the Bruce Levine trainee. His most recent win--actually a three-race win streak--was accomplished while racing at this level. Clearly, he drops into a likely spot.

Taking the little value offered on Lemons Of Love top win at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box first and second with Callmetony and Hesogoodwithmoney (6-1).

Running Totals: (174) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beware of Speed Traps in Today’s Feature

Talk about your basic traps. Todays Aqueduct feature, if indeed there is one because of a) another weather related cancellation or, b) bankrupt political practices, has drawn six starter allowance fillies going six furlongs that all race on or near the lead; half of them having proven best at 5- furlongs, not six. However, you play the hand youre dealt.

Well concentrate our analysis on three, from the rail, out: Staid, Goretty and Bette To Win.

Staid appears to be cycling back to her lifetime best effort. She simply exploded while dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time last out, winning by a lengthy margin and earning a figure just shy of her lifetime top four starts back. From the formidable and ubiquitous Asmussen barn, she gets Stewart Elliott on the re-ride, who will have her in winning position throughout from the pole, winning at a 19% rate this meet.

Goretty is by definition the fastest filly by virtue of her impressive score two back then was eliminated last out by a stumbling start and a rough beginning thereafter. She hails from a new barn, Bruce Browns thats winning at a prolific rate, albeit a relatively small sample. But Goretty clearly has improved for him and can rebound with a repeat of her two-back effort. Speed maven C.C. Lopez takes the re-ride.

Bette To Win is the key to this. The Michael Trombetta filly paired up two fast efforts at her Laurel base, an indication more may be forthcoming, and attracts Ramon Dominguez for this high percentage outfit. What makes her a difficult read is that both those efforts were at 5- furlongs, a dynamic that doesnt always play well on the stretch-out to six. Given her outside slip and with speed drawn inside her, she appears to be worth trying to beat.

Taking Goretty to rebound at 7-2 or more and keying her first and second in exacta boxes with her main rivals here.

Running Totals: (173) 62-37-19. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]

Ed. Note: If there is a NYRA secession of racing starting today, Gulfstream Park will become the free-analysis track until further notice.

Written by John Pricci

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