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"
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Doing Homework Can Pay Dividends
There’s been some buzz about Manteca (8-1), the four your old New York bred making his open stakes debut in today’s Stymie Handicap at nine furlongs on the Aqueduct winter track. And why not? He been real good this young season, but he’ll have to be better than that if his connections think he will handle this salty group of hard hitters.
The same could be said of early line favorite Barrier Reef (5-2). He was really good overcoming first turn trouble in the Evening Attire for a courageous and classy win and, further, the Albertrani barn is a whopping 33 percent with third-off-a-layoff starters and of course Ramon Dominguez doesn’t hurt. But he, too, will have to step up if he expects to handle Researcher (3-1).
This gelding has come into his own as a five year old, as so many of that ilk do. And trainer Jeff Runco has gotten him to perform at an extremely high level given his lofty Equiform performance figures. He’s adaptable to any pace scenario, is a natural at the distance, won his only start on this surface, is nicely drawn and Mike Luzzi, on the re-ride, has been riding with a hot hand recently. Anything approaching his last two starts gets it done in this spot.
Taking Researcher to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him first and second in trifectas and superfectas with Barrier Reef, Manteca, Brilliant Son (7-2) and True Resurgence (5-1).
Running Totals: (372) 113-75-49 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]
Written by John Pricci
Friday, February 27, 2009
Distorted Early Line
A rare weekday stakes at this time of year, the Feel The Beat, for fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs.
If today’s racetrack isn’t biased toward speed, the race dynamics point to two horses, early line favorite A Rose for You (2-1) and second choice Distorted Passion (5-2).
If it were not for a tough trip in the recent Correction Handicap, A Rose for You would not be the early line choice. But she was forced to steady on the turn while Distorted Passion had clear sailing on the outside.
Both she and Distorted Passion figure to benefit from a projected duel between recent Contessa claim Labadeel with the speedy C. C. Lopez and Intentional Fever breaking from the outside in the short field with an edge on pace figures.
But it’s very difficult to make a case against Distorted Passion. She’s two-for-two on this track, and beneath Rajiv Maragh, could not be sharper seeking her fourth straight win, has worked very well since the Correction, and she, too, had a tough trip, blowing the break in that sprint but still getting the job finished.
We’ll take Distorted Passion to win at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with A Rose for You, and we’ll include Labadeel and Awesome Ashley (uncoupled Pletcher) in our trifecta mix.
Running Totals: (371) 113-74-49 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]
Written by John Pricci
Thursday, February 26, 2009
No Fooling: Take the Bluff
Today’s feature in New York, a non-winners of 3 lifetime allowances/optional claimer at a mile, has drawn a contentious group. The talent base for this afternoon’s eighth race centers around Irish Majesty (5-2), Numaany (4-1) and Take the Bluff (4-1).
Despite the class rise, Irish Majesty is a deserving favorite. Many of his best efforts have historically come on this ground, he won his last at a mile and 70 yards, a similar dynamic to today’s. Further, trainer David Duggan has been on a recent tear and apprentice Sheldon Russell seems to be improving day to day.
Late striding Numaany is all susceptible to trouble given his running style and was totally eliminated last out when stopped in the midst of his far turn rally. As a newly turned 4-year-old there is still ample room for development, he continues to train purposefully and retains leading rider Ramon Dominguez.
Take the Bluff, like Numaany a subtle class dropper, is remarkably consistent figures-wise. No matter the conditions, he always manages to run his race, is a three-time winner on this surface, and owns laudable tactical speed and kick. Position conscious Mike Luzzi should have little problem getting good position despite the short run to the first turn. He’s one of those rare 7-year-old horses that hasn’t lost a step to age. At least not yet.
Taking Take the Bluff to win at 3-1 or greater, keying him in exactas with today’s main rivals.
Running Totals: (370) 113-73-49 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]
Written by John Pricci