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, September 07, 2008


Good Service Can Be Hard to Find


Today’s featured Schenectady Handicap for fillies and mares, 3 & up, looks like a two horse affair on paper with both favorites looming large. However, we believe the linemaker might give us some value on the second choice, not the first.

Light Tactic (8-5) is a deserving favorite. She is the most accomplished member of the group, has won half her lifetime starts at this distance, over the track, and survived a rough trip to finish second in her lone Saratoga start, the Union Avenue. It was her first start since January which likely was used as a springboard for this richer event. White hot Alan Garcia takes the re-ride for Rick Schosberg.

Under Serviced (2-1) would be undefeated in four starts had she been not forced wide entering the stretch in her only start when she was equipped with front bandages. Removed last out, she responded with a game score at seven furlongs and now turns back to what has proven her most effective distance. Mr. Baffert is 30 percent efficient with runners attempting repeat wins and she boasts two sharp works from the most recent score. If possible, note the front bandage situation prior to wagering.

Taking Under Serviced to win at 2-1 or greater and a cold exacta with Light Tactic.

Running Totals: (270) 83-53-32 Total Dollar Return: $498.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, September 06, 2008


Versatility the Buy Word in Garden City


The dilemma of trying to pick which feature to analyze on the first Saturday program of the Belmont fall meeting is the prediction the metropolitan area might get six inches of rain, putting the entire card in jeopardy.

But of the two, one that features a tough odds on favorite in Indian Blessing, we’ll opt for a look at the G1 Garden City for three-year-old turf fillies at nine furlongs.

We understand, of course, that this race is odds on to be rescheduled to the main track and if it does, or if predictions are wrong and it somehow remains on turf, Pure Clan would have a wide edge since she can handle any footing, turf or dirt, sloppy or soft.

In that regard, trainer Bobby Frankel is prepared for both as well, entering the talented Country Star as a main-track-only starter.

Pure Clan has been very hard hitting. While her record on turf is superior to her dirt slate, she runs her faster races consistently on a dirt track, be it wet or dry. She had a very tough wide trip when third in the G1 Kentucky Oaks, a very, yet showed enough class and versatility to win the grassy G1 Hollywood Oaks, a race that always attracts top European stock. She is two months fresh, carefully pointed to this by Robert Holthus, and attracts Julien Leparoux, aboard for five of her six career victories.

For her part, Country Star is well spotted if this race is rescheduled. She won her recent return off a long layup at Saratoga, overcoming a tough trip and beating a solid field while not wound up for her best go. A double G1 winner at two and a worthy effort while finishing just behind the choice in this year’s Oaks.

Taking Pure Clan to win on either surface at 2-1 or greater. Will make an exacta box with Country Star should this race be rescheduled to a wet main track.

Running Totals: (269) 83-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $498.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, September 05, 2008


A Diamond in the Feature Is Sumthingtotalkabt


It’s a classic question that faces handicappers as the Belmont Park fall meet open with the restricted Positive Gal Stakes at six furlongs on the Belmont turf course: Side with clearly the fastest horse on performance figures, or an improving horses better positioned that gets weight from his rivals. If you’re a regular reader of this space, you probably have an idea which way we’re leaning here.

Clearly, Stormy West (2-1) is the fastest filly here and she does so consistently. She has run well in turn-back spots, something she’s doing here, and her last was one her best efforts yet. She’s had sufficient recovery time and the Mott/Desormeaux team were doing quite well until they shipped north to Saratoga.

Diamondrella (5-2) has improved dramatically with the barn switch to Angel Penna Jr., however. She’s won two of her last three starts for this outfit, has a proven record sprinting, and loves this course, as two wins over the surface attests. While meeting her toughest test, she gets five pounds from her main rival and draw the pole, as opposed to the extreme outside.

Taking Diamondrella to win at 5-2 or greater and exacta boxes with Stormy West and Sumthingtotalkabt (15-1), used on the pace returning from a layup last out now goes dirt to turf for a profitable 21 percent trainer in that scenario and which won her only start at this distance on grass. She’s also worth a saver wager at 12-1 or more.

Running Totals: (268) 82-52-32. Total Dollar Return: $492.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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