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.



Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Shot From Guns


Don’t know how to try to beat today’s favorite in the NY Stallion Stakes on turf at a mile and a sixteenth. Cannonball (8-5) enjoys such a huge class edge. The state-bred has beaten open company rivals, is graded stakes placed and, of course, has impressed against his own kind.

After winning the Pebo Guy at Belmont Park, Cannonball shipped out and ran in a division of the Oceanside, the opening day stakes at Del Mar. In the one mile event, he drew the extreme outside in a field of 10. Game over. Saving ground at some point on that tight course is mandatory. But now he’s back home, is nicely drawn inside, and reunites with leading rider Johnny Velazquez, aboard for the Pebo Guy victory.

Horses of interest are second choice Doc N Roll (5-2) and price shots Key Victory (10-1 and Express To Thewest (20-1). While his trip might not have been as impossible as the favorite’s at Del Mar, Doc N Roll was checked and steadied all over the lot, finished fourth, beaten only a length, then subsequently was placed third. With tactical speed and a good draw, he can get the jump on the favorite. Eibar Coa gets the re-ride.

Key Victory is not as quick as his rivals here but his performance-figure line is forward looking, he has a versatile running style, the pole, and gets a favorable switch to Cornelio Velasquez. If the rider elects, Key Victory can prove the speed of the speed. Express To Thewest comes off a delayed pace low and appears poised for a peak effort. Good odds seems assured.

Taking Cannonball to win, no odds restrictions, and trifecta key boxes using him first and second with his rivals here, extra ticket with the choice first.

Running Totals: (246) 77-51-27. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Monday, August 04, 2008


Hall of Famers Top Hall of Fame Stakes


Well, if today is Racing Hall of Fame and Museum induction day, that means Bill Mott will win the stakes of the same name later in the afternoon. Today he will saddle early line favorite Adriano (5-2), after having taken over the three-year-old’s training prior to his last start.

And that start, the Grade 3 Colonial Turf Cup was contested over soft ground on a deep and cutting course, conditions which were new to the colt. He didn’t handle it very well, racing evenly throughout while chasing the pace from the outside.

Prior to that it was the G1 Kentucky Derby because he had run so well at 9 furlongs on the Polytrack at Turfway. He didn’t make that transition either but is now back where he belongs under suitable conditions over rivals he matches up with well. Edgar Prado, who will be inducted into the pantheon earlier, takes the re-ride.

After that the competition opens up, what with undefeated Deal Making (7-2), Willsboro Point (4-1), 2-for-2 at today’s nine-furlong distance, and the rapidly improving Field Sport (8-1) all in with an upset chance. Each has performance figures that are forward looking, all coming off healthy patterns.

But Adriano figures to get back on track here and return to his excellent spring form. Taking him to win at 8-5 or greater, keying him first and second in trifectas with his three main rivals here.

Running Totals: (245) 77-51-27. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 [win selections only] {Sunday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, August 03, 2008


Suddenly Hot Mott?


The Graded Stakes Committee really should take a better look at the Fourstardave. Year after year, it’s always a better horse race than the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and if its grade improved so then might the level of its entrants. But this 1 1-1/16th miles on the turf never fails to attract Grade 1 types, budding Grade 1 types, anyway. It should be at least Grade 2. It has better history that G3.

Anyway, now that Bill Mott got off the duck, we’ll look for him to begin surging, and War Monger (9-2) really fits the bill here. He ran as fast as most of these have as a three-year-old, earned his seasonal best figure over this course, has tactical speed, kick, and we like the idea that Mott makes a move to Robby Albarado, as patient on the turf as he is sometimes impulsive on dirt.

The interesting horses here are Danak (6-1) and Cosmonaut (5-1). Danak makes his return to the U.S. for new trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Principally a miler in Europe, he shipped here for the G1 Arlington Million in 2007, was bet to 4-1 and was beaten a length and a half despite having bled. First time Lasix will help a lot here. He’s been working bullets for months and Rajiv Maragh should provide good handling and perhaps insure a bettable price. Win or lose, great spot for his return.

Cosmonaut has lost a step to age but his figures remain consistently competitive at a high level. The switch to Julien Leparoux, who won the G2 Arlington Handicap and finished in the money in his other recent rides on the veteran. Julien is having a great meet, unless you think winning two G1s in week one is routine. He’s got enough speed to overcome the outside draw and Leparoux might just finesse him the rest of the way where he can be right there at the finish.

But we’re taking War Monger, at 4-1 or greater, and exacta key boxes first and second with his two rivals here.

Running Totals: (245) 77-51-27. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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