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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Formidable Is Just That

The Jerkens family could use something nice to happen at Belmont Park, given the disappointing Derby news from the Jimmy Jerkens shed Monday morning. Perhaps like seeing dad win the opening G3 Westchester Mile with Formidable (3-1).

Don’t let the early line fool you. This is a wide open race and getting early line odds at post time is a real possibility. And that would be a fair price.

Formidable has really developed since turning four and comes off a terrific season in South Florida and faces his first acid test here. But this is Allen Giant Killer Jerkens we’re talking about here.

Yes, this young horse is eligible for secondary allowances and meets proven graded winners here. But he’s improving, learning and going forward. The proven horses have been in and out, mostly out lately.

Formidable earned an excellent figure in his seven furlong allowance win two back, then set a pressured pace in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Sprint Handicap and held very well. Actually, he was holding well while the pace was heating up, unusual for a relatively inexperienced stakes performer.

The key here is running style, an outside post position and the addition of first-time Lasix, especially significant when racing at middle and longer distances, the case here. Jose Lezcano, who’s 2-for-2 on the horse, reunites with the Sky Mesa colt.

Taking Formidable to win at 3-1 or greater, keying him first and second in exactas with Bribon (7-2), a proven graded winner at the distance and a better horse on the deeper New York tracks, and the sharp state-bred Mor Chances (12-1), stretching out off two sprints for the white hot Rick Dutrow.

Running Totals: (414) 126-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $862.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Looking for Some Shipping Money

For a six horse race, today’s Kings Point for older state-breds going nine furlongs in New York is about as challenging as it gets. With some luck--and that never hurts--might even make a few dollars.

Four of the six can win this but we think the winner will comer out of the Smart Coupons, run under these conditions earlier this month, And we think Alexandros (6-1) and See More Spirit (4-1) will be fair odds.

Figures, and results, point to See More Spirit. But two strong efforts and now a third straight. He’s good now, so obviously he can. But the percentage, and the price, might find Alexandros more appealing.

That one set the pace when See More Spirit beat him, finishing a good second, and now should be stronger for the rematch, while perhaps his challenger could go the other way.

We need a price in this spot. The other two are a first-time Pletcher and first-time Dutrow, respectively. That’s why we believe we will get paid if we choose the best recent race to come out of.

Taking Alexandros to win at 4-1 or greater, boxing the exacta with See More Spirit, and adding Manteca and Wishful Tomcat to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (413) 126-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $862.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Please Mr. Fantasy…

We’ve been looking at all these Derby preps for months, so why not something different: A Preakness prep.

No kidding, that’s how today’s Grade 3 Withers mile is being billed, the final Saturday stakes at Aqueduct before racing shifts to Belmont Park Wednesday.

There’s no doubt that This One’s For Phil (8-5) is the fastest horse in the race, and by a considerable margin. But speedy surface or not, he hooked Big Drama, who would be the favorite in this field, and failed the eyeball test. The added furlong and the pole at this distance doesn’t help.

Then there’s Supreme Summit (5-2), a California burner who’s 2-for-2 in life, in fast time, shipping in for Doug O’Neill. These are the kinds of spots in which SoCal horses do well. Still, light on seasoning and a move up in class and distance are major obstacles.

Mr. Fantasy (4-1), however, gets away from I Want Revenge, reverts to one turn, cuts back in distance and has been very well managed to date. Kiaran McLaughlin gave him seven weeks off and the colt has responded with sharp works for this. One mile should hit him between the eyes, is well drawn, and this New York-bred is such an efficient runner.

Taking Mr. Fantasy to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in trifectas with his two rivals here, and adding Gone Astray (6-1), a promising juvenile working brilliantly for the hot McGaughey barn, and Just A Coincidence (8-1), who showed grit in I Want Revenge’s Wood Memorial and will appreciate some class relief and the turn-back to one mile.

Running Totals: (411) 125-87-55 Total Dollar Return: $854.40 [win selections only] (Friday's results not included)

Written by John Pricci


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