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, February 20, 2009

Sometimes It’s Nobler to Play It Conservatively

Today’s feature, a secondary allowances/optional claimer is a head-scratcher because two of the faster horses in the group are returning from a long layup for the same barn. Having said that, the six furlong sprint looks well within the abilities of the Jimmy Jerkens returnee Tax Man and impressive recent maiden winner, Noble Lad.

Tax Man makes his return for Jerkens off a lengthy layup as a four year old gelding sporting a sharp blowout from gate that should serve him well in a spot loaded with early speed. His stablemate should help insure fractions that will serve his late kick, as will the services of Richard Migliore, a strong finisher a race rider who can read past performances.

Noble Lad, meanwhile, comes off a rapid victory at Laurel as a lightly raced four year old in which the well beaten place finisher came back to win a subsequent start. He’s worked well twice since that effort and has carried his weight successfully in the past. As the fastest horse by definition, he will take some catching. And some beating, possible regression or not.

Taking Noble Lad off his sharp recent form, no price restrictions, boxing him in the exacta with Noble Lad, and adding Laysh Laysh Laysh to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (366) 113-73-48 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Card Trumps Hollie Hughes

A rare mid-week stakes, the state-bred Hollie Hughes, rescheduled when the race didn’t fill last weekend. With no confirmed speed signed on, we’ll go inside the figures and come up with two possibilities for the pace--and for the win.

Citifest has a pace edge and looms the likely pacesetter in this small field. But he’s been trounced recently by a couple of today’s rivals and it’s very difficult seeing him upset the group. That makes the race ripe for a middle mover and that means Good Card.

Finally, he’s getting some class relief as he’s been competitive in open company recently, now drops out of the G3 Gravesend after dominating an open preliminary allowances with a dream trip.

It might be unreasonable to expect that kind of setup but, given today’s pace scenario, we envision Jose Espinosa moving to the lead at headstretch and holding the late runners safe.

Taking Good Card to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with super sharp Mor Chances, seeking his third straight restricted company score.

Running Totals: (365) 113-73-48 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Monday, February 16, 2009

Edge to Contessa Re-Claim in Contentious Sprint

Today’s feature in New York doesn’t have a name on it but it would at probably any other track in the Northeast, such is the talented level of the non-winners of 3 other than/optional claimer. Further, it’s a skull buster as I can make a reasonable case for almost any entrant.

It unlikely that any entrant will dominate the betting in this relatively short but highly contentious field. We’re going to opt for the two recently fastest horses on performance figures who also happen to be the sharpest. Regression is a possibility, of course, but there are negatives with the competition as well.

Fujita, who runs coupled as the Jacobson entry, was claimed for $75,000 last time out from the Pletcher operation. It’s a big gamble but one that could pay big dividends if the newly turned four year olds continues to develop and/or improve in new hands.

Stakes placed at 3, he has tactical speed, kick, good outside position and a good insurance policy from stablemate Temecula Creek, who Jacobson acquired privately from Bobby Frankel last fall. They are deserving overnight choices at a combined 5-2.

West Coast Flier (7-2), meanwhile, might prove a bargain claim. In fact, he was a Gary Contessa re-claim last out, the third time this five year old gelding changed hands in his last three starts. He earned a lifetime best figure in his debut on this track for these connections two back, now comes off a “soft” win, taking his last without expending as much effort as he did in that Dec. 10 sprint.

Taking West Coast Flier to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with the Jacobson entry.

Running Totals: (364) 112-73-48 Total Dollar Return: $783.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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