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.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

With two features on tap today, we’ll look at the Grade 3 Saranac for three-year-olds on the grass in the hopes of securing better value, as opposed to the Spinaway for juvenile fillies where the favorite looks extremely formidable.

Here, the early favorite is Ready’s Echo (5-2), the fastest horse by definition who has acquitted himself well in G1 stakes company. He was third in the Belmont Stakes following his show finish in the G2 Peter Pan behind Casino Drive. There’s no doubting his class, connections (Todd and Johnny) and his pedigree for turf (More Than Ready). But we’re not sure he’s the right favorite.

Nistle’s Crunch has shown an affinity for grass since he was a baby and has acquitted himself well this year, too, racing through his conditions before his rough trip third in the key race G3 American Turf, following that up with a place finish behind Sailors Cap, one of the division’s leaders, in the G3 Colonial Turf Cup.

Pitched too high last out in Big Brown’s G1 Haskell, where he was an one-paced fifth after racing between horses much of the way, he returns to his preferred surface for Ken McPeek, who’s virtually made a living with the dirt to turf angle, a lofty 27 percent and profitable for a career. Nicely drawn inside, who reunites with Robby Albarado, his partner for his last grass score.

We’re taking Nistle’s Crunch to win at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with Ready’s Echo, and first and second as a trifecta key with Vacation (8-1) , Mr. Maccool (8-1) and Schopenhauer (12-1).

Running Totals: (265) 81-52-31. Total Dollar Return: $489.40 [win selections only] [Saturday's results not included]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Simply Divine

Taking Divine Park to win at 3-1 or greater and exacta keys fdirst and second with Curlin and Wanderin Boy, extra ticket with Curlin.

Written by John Pricci


Friday, August 29, 2008

A Date with Destiny

Two races with names on them, one that might provide the better payoff, the With Anticipation for juvenile grass horses at a mile and a sixteenth.

Bittel Road (2-1) is a worthy favorite even though he’s had only one start--and that at six furlongs. But it was very impressive visually; he seemed to want to go around again.

And even if the course were speed favoring, a two-year-old running six furlongs in 1:08 4/5 with a final quarter-mile in :23 flat is extraordinary. Moreover, he had speed in reserve as he crossed the wire. He’s been handled carefully and has found an excellent spot to have his mettle tested.

But it’s always about value and Skipadate (5-1) was impressive in another way. His debut was around two turns and over Saratoga ground. It was done with turf style--late speed, not early gas--and it was accomplished despite the loss of considerable ground. And it was done in refuse-to-lose style, Mark Casse’s colt struggling to finish on even terms for the win. And the trainer’s horses improve in their second starts going long, a profitable angle.

We’re taking Skipadate to win at 4-1 or greater and an exacta box with Bittel Road.

Running Totals: (264) 81-51-31. Total Dollar Return: $489.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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