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, October 10, 2008

Viva La Re-Claim

The feature race turf theme continues at Belmont Park with a “non-winners of 3/$75,000 claiming allowances” at a mile and a sixteenth for fillies and mares, 3 & up.

The interesting filly in her is Jeux de Danse, entered for $75,000 after being re-claimed recently by Gary Contessa. In fact, the five-year-old has been very popular at the claim box, haltered in three of her last five starts.

The attraction here, other than her 9-2 early odds, is her liking for off ground, something virtually assured at this time of year in the Northeast. She’s won her of her four starts on Belmont turf and three of eight at the distance with three other ITM finishes.

Her figures are competitive with the high-connection, somewhat slower, younger rivals and he tactical speed might allow a comfortable trip despite her outside draw, albeit in a short field.

Taking Jeux De Danse to win at 3-1 or greater and keying her first and second in exotics with Sea Chanter (9-5), Polar Circle (2-1) and Leap of the Sun (8-1).

Running Totals: (290) 87-61-33. Total Dollar Return: $578.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Is There More Where That Came From?

Well, that was more like it!

Today’s feature is also on the turf, only at seven-eighths of a mile, a preliminary allowances at seven furlongs that has drawn a full well matched field. There are a number of very logical horses. One is ultra-consistent on the Equiform scale, Belle’s Home, early line 7-2 choice and very difficult to fault going postward to George Weaver and Javier Castellano.

Then there’s Choosing, hindered by a very soft pace in last and can handle off ground very well. She’s 5-1 for Bill Mott and turf ace Eddie Castro. Platinumplus (15-1) turns back in her second start for Billy Turner after being used needlessly on the pace last out, a good scenario for the barn switching to Channing Hill. And Chad Brown has a Euro import, Dressmaker (10-1), who’s back on turf and gets first Lasix and Jose Lezcano.

Like yesterday, however, we’re looking for a horse that likes off ground and we’ve found one at a big price that also happens to like the course, sporting a record of (9) 2-2-1 on Belmont ground. Higher Incentive (15-1) is a huge price for the Contessa entrant with Cornelio Velasquez. Each of her best races have come on off ground, over three different courses, including Belmont, where she earned a competitive figure sprinting on firm ground. Her best can upset this group.

Taking Higher Incentive at 10-1 or greater and keying her in all money positions with her main rivals above.

Running Totals: (289) 87-61-33. Total Dollar Return: $578.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

On Playing Faster, Looser

First, an apology. Picking Visionaire to win Sunday’s Jerome over Tale of Ekati, was an inexcusable rookie mistake, and I’m too old to make rookie mistakes. But with recent selections in a Wall Street free fall, handicapping confidence, like consumer confidence, is still a struggle. So, now, in the words of Fast Eddie Felson, no more playing it safe, especially since so many of our choices have failed to reach price criteria.

The key to today’s preliminary allowances/$50,000 starter group at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf will be the ground, which figures to be significantly less than firm. One of the entrants that will relish the footing, if his Equiform figures are a measure, is Forever My Friend (12-1), reuniting with apprentice Sebastian Morales, who’s ridden the three-year-old gelding effectively before.

Having drawn a favorable inside slip, he goes postward for Richard Stoklosa, whose turf runners for a career are a flat-bet profit despite 12 percent efficiency, meaning his runners routinely outrun odds. The fact this horse got a “vanned off” comment following his last will insure a big price. Forever My Friend came back to work a half-mile one week after his last race and surely will be closely inspected by the examining veterinarian.

Taking Forever My Friend to win at early line odds of 12-1 or greater and keying him in all money positions in the multiple pools with Titan of Industry (7-2), Dancing Tin Man (3-1) and Excellent Soldier (8-1).

Running Totals: (288) 86-61-33 Total Dollar Return: $515.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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