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.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Today’s Belmont Park feature is a state-bred stakes for older horses that has attracted some worthy speedsters and hard hitters going 8.5 furlongs. And just because Wishful Tomcat (7-5) looks almost impossible to beat on paper doesn’t mean money won’t be available in the multiple pools.

No question that the Rick Dutrow trained favorite will be a tough out. Racing in excellent form, the late developing 4-year-old ridgling broke through his career best effort last out by the kind of incremental that suggests another forward move is forthcoming.

Consistently among the fastest horses in the race, he is drawn outside for the run out of the chute in a short field and retains Ramon Dominguez who should have little problem riding this race as it comes up. While it’s true that the returning Stud Muffin is just as fast on performance figures, neither the horse nor the trainer seem to do their best when fresh, making the 5-2 second favorite a bet-against.

We’re taking Wishful Tomcat to win, no price restrictions and keying him in exactas and trifectas with South Fourth St. (10-1), 6-for-10 at the distance; Dr. V’s Magic (5-1), a course lover working well for his return and the favorite's most formidable rival, and Tommasi (6-1), who blew out smartly at Saratoga for his second start following a layup, a 23-percent efficient and profitable category for 007 Bond.

Running Totals: (428) 128-87-58 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Albertrani On a Roll

Despite other seasons in which he’s enjoyed success with some of the game’s most high-profiled runners, trainer Tom Albertrani is probably enjoying a career year. Batting 25 percent for the year and starting off the Belmont meet on a 3-for-11 clip, a flat bet on every starter would have produced a profit for 2009.

You’ll probably cash again if you bet Unbridled’s Heart (3-5) to win today’s Belmont Park feature but it won’t help your personal P & L very much. The problem is you can’t make a case for any of the others to win while keeping a straight face.

He’s the fastest runner on performance figures by a considerable margin, is a still maturing four-year-old, he has excellent early speed, good spacing, and the outside post from out of a chute in a short field. He’s fastest and loose on the lead. Next case.

Going on record with Unbridled’s Heart to win, no price restrictions, and will try to earn value with Warm Shower (12-1), a 3-year-old filly, making her dirt debut after three turf tries and one on Polytrack. Her numbers are marching forward, she gets weight from all, figures to improve and will be a price. We’re taking her to complete a cold exacta.

Trifecta players may add Stevil (4-1) and American Dance (5-1).

Running Totals: (427) 128-87-57 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beware the Traps in Short-Field Feature

Given the size of the field, we thought today’s Belmont Park feature is more reminiscent of the Left Coast than the other one. It’s a five horse secondary allowances that’s by definition very trappy.

The fastest filly on performance figures in favorite Flying Dixie (2-1) but the tactical advantage seems to go to Halo Hollie (7-2).

There’s just not a lot of speed in this lineup and every one of the five riders know it, making it a rider’s race. That doesn’t give handicappers a lot of options.

A tactical advantage is significant here, so is Halo Hollie’s outside draw in a small field and the presence of pace conscious Richard Migliore in the boot. Add the fact that trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is a profitable 23 percent in both the stretchout and second-off-the-layup categories.

This would be an easy play if not for the fact that Johnny Velazquez, one of the game’s absolute best race riders, is on the fastest horse.

However, we must take Halo Hollie at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with Flying Dixie.

Running Totals: (426) 128-87-57 Total Dollar Return: $872.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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