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.



Thursday, May 24, 2007


Pletcher Returnee Looms Large


Today’s classy feature at Belmont Park, a “..non-winners of 4 other/than, optional $100,000 claimer..” for older horses has drawn a field of six going 1-1/16th miles. One of the entants looks obvious and is the one to beat. The other might be an interesting price play.

The logical favorite is the five-year-old Harlington, a horse with obvious issues. Otherwise, how can you explain a career that spans seven career starts and four layoffs? But Harlington has made the most of those opportunities, winning five of the seven, often in top company.

Before considering taking a shot against the Pletcher trainee, know this: Harlington has never been beaten returning from a layup, including a win in his career debut. Can you say goes well when fresh? Fast and classy, he will be a very tough out.

Thanks Dubya is a recent claim by trainer Pat Reynolds. That alone makes him formidable. Reynolds is 23% efficient in his first start following a claim and has excellent results returning from this type of short layup. He’s profitable in both categories.

Not that far behind the favorite on performance figures, Thanks Dubya has worked well recently for Reynolds, can be the controlling speed in a short field and attracts the aggressive Eibar Coa. With expected improvement, he looms an upset possibility.

But we must take Harlington to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Thanks Dubya.

Running Totals: (27) 11-7-7 (excluding Wednesday's results). ROI: $66.40 (win selections only).

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Shug And Edgar Keep Rolling At Belmont Park


There are some promising older fillies in today’s Belmont feature, the Yank’s Music at 1-1/16th miles, that have not won a stakes race in the last two years. It has drawn a field of six, including an uncoupled entry, but only two should dominate the proceedings: Veneti and Altesse.

Veneti makes her second start off a layup and that’s a good thing, considering trainer Tom Albertrani is twice as effective when his horses have had a race off a layoff. As for Veneti, she prefers today’s added distance, reunites with Eibar Coa, undefeated aboard her in two starts, and she picked up where she left off last year on performance figures. That makes her explosive here.

Altesse, meanwhile, is the only female to have won at Belmont Park, and she’s done it twice. She hails from a team on a roll, McGaughey and Prado, who took Sunday’s Peter Pan Stakes, and is as explosive as her rival, matching her three-year-old top in a recent season’s debut. Like her main rival, Altesse has tactical speed and the kick to carry her lick all the way. This tough, competitive field will be as much a rider’s race as a horse race. And it won’t make you rich, either.

Taking Altesse to win; making an exacta box with Veneti.

Running Totals: (27) 11-7-7 ROI: $66.40 (win selections only)

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, May 20, 2007


Shug’s Colt Will Like What He Sees


Today’s feature race at Belmont Park is a good and important one, the Grade 2 Peter Pan for 3-year-olds in which several colts hope to get their ticket punched to the Belmont Stakes three weeks hence. Three deserve serious consideration for major honors: Vitruvius (2-1), Sightseeing (7-2) and Fearless Vision (9-2).

The early line favorite is worthy in that he is undefeated in two starts, comes up to today’s nine furlongs off graduating distances, is learning to distribute his energy more effectively and goes first-time Lasix for Jimmy Jerkens off a six-week break. With a strong performance, Centennial Farms could have two Belmont colts; this one and Barbaro Stakes winner Chelokee.

Fearless Vision was beaten a neck by Vitruvius but is much improved since the blinkers were removed. He has continued to train purposefully for trainer Pat Reynolds and the switch to Garrett Gomez should suit his stalking style. Second in his only nine furlong appearance, he was an open lengths winner of his Gulfstream finale at a flat mile. The Peter Pan is also a one-turn route.

But the horse on the come is Sightseeing, who finished well for second behind Nobiz Like Shobiz is the Grade 1 Wood Memorial last time out. Both lifetime starts at nine furlongs have been first-rate and the conservative Shug McGaughey gave him time to develop. Besides, the Phipps family cherish the Belmont Stakes and Travers above all for their best sophomores.

According to McGaughey, the colt has gotten bigger, stronger and has the work-line to prove it off the six-week break. His last performance figure was a breakthrough effort and he should be set to run back to it. He owns a strong late kick, gets a favorable pace scenario and reunites with Edgar Prado. He certainly is the value play at early line odds.

Wagering on Sightseeing to win at 5-2 or greater, boxing him first and second in exactas with Fearless Vision and Vitruvius, and will use underrated longshot Sir Whimsey (15-1) third only in trifectas.

Running Totals (26) 10-7-7. ROI: $63.20 (based on win choice only)

Written by John Pricci

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