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.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Pot of Gold at the End of the Turnpike?

More state-breds on tap for today’s feature, a preliminary allowances for fillies and mares around two turns on the Aqueduct winter track. Three fillies appear to hold a wide edge on their rivals: Beam of Love (2-1), Linda’s Kisses (3-1) and Misty Pearl (5-1).

The first two fillies are on good performance figure lines as each appears poised for a forward move. The early line favorite makes her second start off a very long layup and stretches out to a more suitable route. She has a modicum of back class and hails from the going concern of Gary Contessa and Pablo Morales.

Linda’s Kisses has come into her own as a newly turned 4-year-old. Her last effort was her best to date and significantly it came in her debut on this surface. Trainer John Kimmel has been on a profitable roll in recent months and boasts tactical speed and the aggressive Eddie Castro. The difficulty will be overcoming a poor outside draw given the short run to the first turn at this trip.

When you look at Misty Pearl’s past performances, it makes you wonder what took trainer Victory Collazo so long to ship into New York with his 5-year-old state-bred mare. She’s been campaigning very effectively in Philadelphia and now meets New York breds. The barn is profitable with their stretch-outs, is well drawn inside with tactical speed and reunites with Alex Cintron, a multiple winner aboard the filly. On performance figures, she’s consistently faster than this group.

Taking Misty Pearl to win at 4-1 or greater and keying her first and second in exactas with her main rivals here. Trifecta players add Dynamite Jewel (7-2) to their mix.

Running Totals: (339) 102-70-45. Total Dollar Return: $705.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

No Guts; No Glory

It didn’t take long to identify the post time favorite for tomorrow’s preliminary allowance sprint for state-breds at 6 furlongs. Legal Counsel (2-1) is turning back from a pari of rapidly run routes to the distance at which he won the Breeders’ Futurity in September at Finger Lakes. There’s plenty of speed in front of him, he worked a bullet, is drawn nicely outside and picks up Ramon Dominguez. I harbor no illusions; he’s a deserving favorite and will be a tough out.

But Head Heart Hoof (12-1) is just too tempting at double-digit early line odds. Coming off a new pace top with a strong quarter-mile pace figure despite a tardy start from the rail post, he appears to be the speed of the speed here, after having earned a strong internal figure in a mile route three starts back that’s competitive with the favorite. Everything must go right, of course, including the break, but Eddie Castro is a talented, aggressive and position conscious rider who will give his mount every chance given an outside draw which suits today’s scenario.

Taking Head Hoof Heart to win at 10-1 or greater, boxing him in the exacta with Legal Counsel, and keying him in all trifecta money positions, adding That’s Rich (5-1) and Smokin Hero to the mix.

Running Totals: (338) 102-70-45. Total Dollar Return: $705.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, January 04, 2009

McLaughlin’s Filly Aint Just Whistlin’ Dixie

Today’s Ruthless for three-year-old filly sprinters, like yesterday’s Count Fleet, attracted another prohibitive choice in Justwhistledixie. The competition is likely to come from J.J. Cuvee and Gnome’s Delight.

Gnome’s Delight, given her pace figures, is highly likely to gain the lead. Two-for-three lifetime, both sprints, she was seasoned going long in Delaware’s Blue Hen and it appeared to help in the maturing process. Josue Arce, regular rider for Scott Lake at Delaware Valley racetracks, ships in for the ride. The filly drops four pounds and has been working bullets or near bullets since her last.

J.J. Cuvee goes first time for trainer Seth Benzel and she, too, has been working very well for this; significantly those works came over today’s surface. She was able to pair up her Equiform performance figures in her second start and showed improved energy distribution. She seems poised for a forward move and will be a square price.

But Justwhistledixie seems to have too much ability for this group. She’s never taken a backward step in four lifetime starts and a repeat of either of her last two efforts would swamp this group. She, too, has worked rapidly for this and with Alan Garcia at Gulfstream for the winter, Rajiv Maragh picks up the mount for Kiaran McLaughlin.

Taking Justwhistledixie to win, no price restrictions, keying her first and second in exactas and trifectas, with an extra ticket on top in the exacta.

Running Totals: (337) 101-70-45. Total Dollar Return: $702.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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