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 25, 2007


Lemon Drop Looks Sweet In Belmont Feature


As always, turf sprints are difficult to predict but consequently provide ample opportunities for value. Such is the case in today’s Caress Stakes for fillies and mares on the Belmont inner turf course at six furlongs. Two we find most intriguing are Lemon Drop Gal (3-1) and Queen Amira (5-1).

Queen Amira is making her second start of the campaign for Bill Mott and attracts Garrett Gomez. The filly was compromised in her recent return by yielding ground and the resultant very slow pace. The opportunity for her to kick on in late stretch was not afforded her. She will be a much tougher filly this afternoon. She has a performance figure last fall that is the equal of anything in here.

Lemon Drop Gal has been proven to be fast and with greater consistency. She’s never finished worse than second in three starts on this course and, unlike many of her rivals today, she has proven more effective at the six-furlong distance than when sprinting five-eighths. She gives away recent conditioning to many of her rivals here but has trained purposefully, and quickly, for her five-year-old debut. She owns tactical speed and good late pace.

Taking Lemon Drop Gal to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with Queen Amira.

Running Totals: (29) 12-8-7 ROI: $70.00 (based on win selections only)

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


Pletcher Returnee Looms Large


Today’s classy feature at Belmont Park, a “..non-winners of 4 other/than, optional $100,000 claimer..” for older horses has drawn a field of six going 1-1/16th miles. One of the entants looks obvious and is the one to beat. The other might be an interesting price play.

The logical favorite is the five-year-old Harlington, a horse with obvious issues. Otherwise, how can you explain a career that spans seven career starts and four layoffs? But Harlington has made the most of those opportunities, winning five of the seven, often in top company.

Before considering taking a shot against the Pletcher trainee, know this: Harlington has never been beaten returning from a layup, including a win in his career debut. Can you say goes well when fresh? Fast and classy, he will be a very tough out.

Thanks Dubya is a recent claim by trainer Pat Reynolds. That alone makes him formidable. Reynolds is 23% efficient in his first start following a claim and has excellent results returning from this type of short layup. He’s profitable in both categories.

Not that far behind the favorite on performance figures, Thanks Dubya has worked well recently for Reynolds, can be the controlling speed in a short field and attracts the aggressive Eibar Coa. With expected improvement, he looms an upset possibility.

But we must take Harlington to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Thanks Dubya.

Running Totals: (27) 11-7-7 (excluding Wednesday's results). ROI: $66.40 (win selections only).

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Shug And Edgar Keep Rolling At Belmont Park


There are some promising older fillies in today’s Belmont feature, the Yank’s Music at 1-1/16th miles, that have not won a stakes race in the last two years. It has drawn a field of six, including an uncoupled entry, but only two should dominate the proceedings: Veneti and Altesse.

Veneti makes her second start off a layup and that’s a good thing, considering trainer Tom Albertrani is twice as effective when his horses have had a race off a layoff. As for Veneti, she prefers today’s added distance, reunites with Eibar Coa, undefeated aboard her in two starts, and she picked up where she left off last year on performance figures. That makes her explosive here.

Altesse, meanwhile, is the only female to have won at Belmont Park, and she’s done it twice. She hails from a team on a roll, McGaughey and Prado, who took Sunday’s Peter Pan Stakes, and is as explosive as her rival, matching her three-year-old top in a recent season’s debut. Like her main rival, Altesse has tactical speed and the kick to carry her lick all the way. This tough, competitive field will be as much a rider’s race as a horse race. And it won’t make you rich, either.

Taking Altesse to win; making an exacta box with Veneti.

Running Totals: (27) 11-7-7 ROI: $66.40 (win selections only)

Written by John Pricci

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