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.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Some Respect for the Ladies, Please

Today’s feature, the Ladies Handicap, once was a fairly important event for fillies and mares on the NYRA circuit. Guess that was back when the racing association wasn’t fighting for its very existence. Now, the Ladies is an ungraded $75,000 race, no more important than any overnight stakes you could catch on any given Wednesday.

This 10-furlong event has drawn seven entrants, including an uncoupled pair from Graham Motion. Either one has the profile of the best filly in here. The problem is deciding which one.

Bondage (3-1) is a late developing 4-year-old that’s won two of her last three starts, from late summer forward. Although something of an in and outer on winning form, her performance figures have shown the kind of incremental improvement that portends some more to give. She’s drawn inside and presumably Ramon Dominguez, who does a lot of riding for Motion, had his choice of mounts and landed here. Ramon will have her in this from jump street.

Cryptoquip (4-1) is the other 4-year-old from Motion and this one is decidedly in and out on performance figures. But this looks like a likely spot for a rebound by the fastest filly in the race on figures. By Crypotoclearance, this filly should get the distance and has a nice kick when it’s timed right. It will be Rajiv Maragh’s job to get that done. With her uncoupled mate applying some pressure up front, this filly will be coming late.

While Inda (6-1) doesn’t have the company lines of the Motion pair, she has the kind of late developing distance pedigree (A.P. Indy) that augurs well in this spot. Her figures have been marching forward incremental, an excellent development pattern, and couldn’t be in better filly hands that patient Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. She has the speed to dictate a soft tempo in here beneath the speed conscious Eibar Coa and with continued development could earn her first stakes score. She’ll never find a better spot to do so.

Taking Cryptoquip to win at 7-2 or more and keying her first and second in exactas with Inda and Bondage.

Running Totals: (148) 54-32-16. Total Dollar Return: $325.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Put A Ring Around Rosie

Today’s feature, the tongue-twisting Flat Fleet Feet, is for three-year-old fillies going a mile and 70 yards and has drawn an interesting lot. There are two from the Dutrow barn, two from Gary Contessa and two from Mark Hennig, all uncoupled, with a nice sprinkling of pace, stalk and rally types. Per usual, we’ll look at three main contenders.

Runway Rosie (5-2) makes her second start for Gary Contessa, never a bad thing, and she has class on her side, having been fairly competitive in Grade 1s last winter out West. In addition, she will transition from turf to dirt today, her best surface, has a modicum of early speed, an inside draw and a switch to Ramon Dominguez. Having worked four times since her latest, she looks extremely live and with the most upside for improvement.

Bold Assurance (10-1), one of the Hennig runners, also makes the turf to dirt maneuver but, of greater significance, makes her return to the winter track, over which she’s undefeated in two lifetime starts. She broke through with a lifetime best effort three starts back at Monmouth but, like so many, failed to duplicate that form with the switch to Meadowlands, before her turf try in last. A return to her best footing and favorite surface, and a switch back to Eibar Coa, who rode her successfully here last year for one of his main patrons, makes her a serious threat.

Adorable Jane (8-5), yet another uncoupled same-barn entrant, looks like the obligatory Dutrow. Since switching to his shed, she’s undefeated in four starts. While sporting primarily a sprinter’s profile, she has won going this far and returns freshened. She should stalk from close range beneath Edgar Prado while mate Margies Smile, a track-loving 3-for-4, helps to insure a fast pace. Figure that Mike Luzzi will get her involved early to avoid a first-turn float from her outside post.

Taking Runway Rosie at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box first and second with her two main rivals. Trifecta players can sprinkle in the quick turnaround ship-in, Bitter Lemon, in money positions.

Running Totals: (147) 54-31-16. Total Dollar Return: $325.00 [win selections only] {Thursday program canceled}

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wild Scramble Likely in Big A Feature

Today’s feature is a bit of a wild one, having drawn 11 overnight, including two entries, with young developing stock meeting faster elders--in same cases, much older stock. This secondary allowances, optional $50,000 claimer is an open contest. We’ll look at three entities:

Missile Motor (3-1) is part of the Gary Contessa entry, a 4-year-old that earned an extremely fast performance figure last out, fastest in this race, and by a lot. If he repeats that effort, the competition is running for second money. But a repeat, given the nature of that lifetime top and the relatively short recovery time. Still, he has tactical speed, kick, and an enviable inside draw in a bulky field. He’s a worthy favorite.

The Anthony Dutrow entry, headed by My Cousin Matt (9-2), is formidable. Each has tactical speed, position conscious riders and either figures to be in a position to win throughout the six furlong sprint. Mate Serious Fever is young, fresh with upside potential and could insure an honest pace for his pace stalking mate. He’s been in the money twice on this surface, including a victory, and no local barn is hotter than this one at the moment.

Spooky Mulder (4-1) is a game and prolific old pro that loves this surface, having won half of his 12 starts at this venue. Scott Lake has the 9-year-old back on track, he’s suitably fresh here and also owns a helpful inside post with tactical speed and kick that could get it done late beneath the position conscious Joe Bravo.

Given the bulky field and the live and talented connections, it will be racing luck that determines the outcome more than any other variable, Missile Motor’s repeat of his most recent effort notwithstanding.

Taking My Cousin Matt to win at 3-1 or more and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with Missile Motor and Spooky Mulder.

Running Totals: (147) 54-31-16. Total Dollar Return: $325.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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