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, November 23, 2007

Everybody In The Pool

Today’s feature this holiday weekend is the Grade 2 Top Flight for fillies and mares going a flat mile on what projects a drying-out Big A surface. Our charter, of course, is to seek out vulnerable favorites. Sorry, not today.

Pool Land (5-2) figures to be a very tough out. Making her second start off a lengthy layup, she owns considerable advantages on pace and final performance figures, has proven class and is nicely positioned outside starting from the chute. Tom Albertrani has taken over her training on won off the freshening from for a barn profitable for a career and is particularly adept saddling potential repeaters. One-for-one on this track, she’s 58 days fresh and has found a very likely spot here.

Altesse (5-1) is a distance specialist for Shug McGaughey, winning three of five at eight furlongs. Of greater consequence is the fact her best performance figure came at 1-1/16 miles at Belmont, a similar dynamic to today’s conditions. Her trainer has been on a roll of late and he’s been 3-for-8 when using Joe Bravo.

Golden Velvet (3-1) is interesting. Seasoned in stakes company in Europe and Dubai, she debutted for Kairan McLaughlin with a comprehensive, open lengths victory in quick time. Dropping a significant six pounds off that effort, she will attempt her second straight for a top repeater outfit that’s a profitable 27 percent efficient with second-Lasix starters. Her most recent work was the fourth fastest of 74 older fillies to work that week in New York. The only knock is the short early line odds, in light of the class hike.

Taking Pool Land to win at 7-5 or greater, and an exacta key first and second with her major rivals.

Running Totals: (134) 46-29-15. Total Dollar Return: $272.10 [win selections only] {Thursday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Champion Weight Carrier?

It might be a modern anachronism but the Fall Highweight Handicap has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition. Moreover, it’s fun.

Grand Champion (5-2) is the now horse for Jimmy Jerkens, a late developing four-year-old gelding who might be capable of a true breakthrough performance. Jerkens is having an excellent year, batting a profitable 26 percent for 2007, and is adept at getting recent winners to repeat with 24 percent efficiency.

Owning tactical speed that should put him in this from the start given an alert break, he also owns the kick to clear the pacesetters in deep stretch. The caveat is that he seems to need his move timed perfectly. He worked a strong five-eighths in preparation for his first start in nearly six weeks--good spacing--and reunites with Eibar Coa. He carries 130 pounds and is in receipt of three and four pounds, respectively, from highly competitive rivals.

Park Avenue Ball (7-2) never fired in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile but might do so here on the drop-down and turn-back. He attracts Alan Garcia who’s winning with everything, including a riding triple yesterday. He would benefit from fast fractions and any remaining moisture in the surface.

Running Totals: (134) 46-29-15. Total Dollar Return: $272.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shedding the Bridesmaid Label

Today’s feature boasts many bridesmaid types that figure to have their moments in the sun. The race is for preliminary allowance types, $75,000 optional claiming, in a one-turn Big A mile.

Inda (5-2) hails from a barn that’s currently on a roll. Not unusual since the McGaughey shed traditionally does well at this time of year prior to shipping south for the winter. She finally broke her maiden two starts back. And while she has a late developing pedigree, that seems a bit much for this well bred four-year-old. Still, her recent figures are highly competitive, she likes the distance and attracts Johnny Velazquez.

Moneypenny (7-2) is interesting in that she’s on a delayed pace top, coming out of a series of turf events. She showed improvement first time off Gary Contessa’s claim, she worked purposefully since over today‘s surface and projects to receive a comfortable stalking trip given today’s conditions. The position conscious Eddie Castro is adept at adapting to this kind of race shape.

Stolen Time (3-1) gets class relief here as she finally gets away from state-bred stakes company. One-for-one on this surface, she owns two wins at today’s distance from six tries, making her 1-for-13 doing anything else. Add in tactical speed, a favorable outside position, a trainer who’s 30 percent efficient stretching out off two consecutive sprints and a switch to the white hot Javier Castellano all point to the end of her bridesmaid tendencies here.

Taking the John Kimmel-trained Stolen Time to win at 2-1 or greater, and exacta box with Moneypenny, and keying her first and second in trifectas with the above named pair and Estimable (8-1), stretching out for Kairan McLaughlin beneath the equally hot Alan Garcia.

Running Totals: (133) 46-29-14. Total Dollar Return: $272.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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