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, July 05, 2007

Solid Development Trumps Superior Figures in Belmont Feature

Today’s feature is a little trappy; a six-horse field going a mile and a sixteenth for fillies & mares, three-year-olds and up, eligible for non-winners of a race other than…or optional claiming $75.000.

The early line favorite, Mama Theresa (2-1), looks beatable; she’s fast on figures and early speed but seldom makes it all the way to the wire. We think it will come down to Lost Etiquette (5-2) and Lauren’s Tizzy (7-2).

Lost Etiquette is the fastest on performance figures but never has run back to her excellent debut effort. In fact, she’s shown no development at three but does seem to be rounding into top form. Trainer Pat Reynolds is having a fine year (24 percent) and Edgar Prado sees fit to re-ride.

But we’ll give the edge to a four-year-old who, while not as fast on performance figures, is developing nicely this season and is likely to hold that fine form despite her 123-pound impost, most of that Garrett Gomez.

Additionally, she’s won a secondary allowances for state-breds but get in this open race on a favorable restricted clause. The Mark Hennig shed seems to be gearing up as this meet progresses. Lauren’s Tizzy is more likely to provide good value relative to her chances for victory.

Taking Lauren’s Tizzy to win at 5-2 or greater, and an exacta box with Lost Etiquette.

Running Totals: (53) 26-11-9 Dollar Return: $152.70 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Dwyer Jumpstarts Sophomore’s ‘Second Season’

Two terrific features showcasing some classy animals today at Belmont Park. We’ll stick with racing’s glamour division; the three-year-olds. The Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes will be run around one turn at a mile and a sixteenth.

Obviously, the two colts coming from the Kentucky Derby--Nobiz Like Shobiz and Any Given Saturday--are the most probable winners. But know that Sightseeing and First Defence could develop into significant second-season sophomores and are not without a puncher‘s chance here. This is an interesting race, well worth watching.

The win end should be decided between Barclay Tagg’s 8-5 early line favorite and Todd Pletcher’s 5-2 second favorite.

Nobiz Like Shobiz is a deserving public choice. He is, after all, the most accomplished and won his only meeting with his main rival, beating him back in the Wood Memorial. ‘Nobiz’ should benefit from his freshening since the Derby and has blinkers removed today, a profitable 23 percent tack for Tagg. The trainer said the colt is focusing better given his recent maturity.

But Any Given Saturday rates the minor-upset call. He provides the better value relative to his chances for victory. In the Wood, Any Given Saturday was coming off an enervating effort vs. Street Sense in the Tampa Derby in a previous start. He loomed menacingly but weakened in deep stretch. likely reacting negatively to his Tampa exertions.

‘Nobiz’ is likely to shadow the speedy First Defence and Any Given Saturday should be set to pounce when ready, given a quicker turn of foot. Further, he raced better in the Derby than did ‘Nobiz’ and his performance figures have been consistently faster.

Taking Any Given Saturday to win at 2-1 or better, an exacta box with Nobiz Like Shobiz.

Running Totals: (52) 25-11-9 Dollar Return: $147.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

‘Mob’ Makes Big Hit in Tremont

With three added money events on the Belmont Park docket this afternoon, we’ll concentrate on the Tremont Stakes for two-year-old colts going five and a half furlongs. Three worthy of serious consideration are, from the inside out; Nordic Wind, Lantana Mob and Ready’s Image.

Nordic Wind turned a lot of heads when he outran six rivals to an impressive victory going four and a half furlongs at Delaware Park showing high early speed in the short run to the turn. With the speed positioned outside the Mary Pearson trainee, look for Delaware’s Kendrick Carmouche to send the colt to establish position early. He could lead this throughout.

Ready’s Image is one of three uncoupled colts from the Todd Pletcher shed and appears the most talented of that trio to date. Tested and highly competitive in the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs May 3rd, he is fresh with two-race experience and comes up to today’s trip nicely off graduating distances. Regular rider Johnny Velazquez must have recommended blinkers for this colt because they’re on today. He’s trained purposefully for this.

But likely favorite Lantana Mob appears the most probable winner. Another with the benefit of two starts, he graduated at today’s distance last time out at Churchill, a significant advantage this early in the juvenile year. He beat 10 rivals in extremely fast time and trainer Steve Asmussen is 26 percent effective with horses returning off a maiden win. Owner of tactical speed and kick, he attracts Garrett Gomez for his local debut.

Taking Lantana Mob to win, no price restrictions, and exacta boxes with Nordic Wind and Ready’s Image.

Running Totals: (50) 25-10-9 Dollar Return: $147.40 [win selections only, does not reflect Saturday’s results]

Written by John Pricci

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