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, September 11, 2008

Casey at the Post

It’s only a six furlong sprint, a secondary allowances optional claimer for state-breds, the field is relatively small and three tower over the rest. But what an interesting puzzle, nevertheless.

Clearly, it all depends on how you view the chances of Mighty Eros (7-2), away from the races for 508 days. Wow! The others are Oniyome (5-2) and Casey’s Tribe (3-1). All of them are fast fillies.

Oniyome makes her Belmont return for the hot Hushion/Hill team. The last time she raced here, she earned a lifetime best figure, albeit on a muddy track. But she confirmed that good form by finishing first in both subsequent starts now turns back with added conditioning.

Casey’s Tribe is the fresher of the two and that might prove the difference. She also turns back to her best distance following a rough trip in her lone Spa start, a key race that produced two next out winners from four starters. She has won half her four starts at this trip and two of three over the track. Rajiv Maragh, off fast at the meet, takes the mount for Bruce Levine.

Mighty Eros was one fast three-year-old last season, winning both career starts by a combined margin of 17-34 lengths, including a state bred stakes event. Obviously talented, it’s a question of fitness and intent. Her work tab has been spotty and this looks like a possible prep for New York Showcase Day, which will be held toward the end of the Belmont Park fall stand.

We’ll take whatever value is offered on Casey’s Tribe to win at 5-2 or greater and exacta keys first and second with her rivals here.

Running Totals: (272) 84-54-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Taking the Fastest Horse Our Rallying Cry

Today’s feature--the best race on the card--is the seventh, a non-winner of 3 other-than/optional claiming at 7 furlongs on the Widener turf. It has drawn a full field and appears to be a five-horse--check that--three interest battle among the Clement and Frankel entries, and Saeed bin Suroor’s early line favorite, Rallying Cry (3-1).

The favorite is logical and will be a tough out. He is consistently fastest on the Equiform scale and has been competing in either roughly run or extremely hot paced turf sprints. The barn is batting a lofty 30 percent-plus in sprints and in allowance spots, Kent Desormeaux finally might be heating up after a dismal few months and this War Chant colt seems to have the perfect blend of speed and kick. He’s also nicely positioned toward the inside in a bulky field where the competition might be hung out to dry. He’s also back in under allowance conditions here.

The Clement entry (4-1) of Perfect Casting and Quietly Mine look, well, double tough. Perfect Casting likes this course, the spacing is perfect and he’s suited nicely by the race shape. Mate Quietly Mine is getting class relief in here and drops out of the Can-Grade 3 Highlander that’s produced three next-out winners. Alan Garcia rides the latter, a class dropper and true Belmont turf specialist, owning a (5) 2-2-1 slate on this ground. Perfect Casting has also shown an affinity for this course.

The Frankel entry (7-2) of Trimaran and Joe Bravo is well spotted. Trimaran owns a win at the distance and over the course, has been wisely freshened over the Saratoga break while getting ready at Belmont for his return. Edgar Prado, aboard for his latest win, takes the re-ride. Meanwhile, the four-legged Joe Bravo could be anything. He’s a Group 1 winner in Brazil, has carried weight successfully, which he’s not asked to do here, also has worked bullets at Belmont over the Spa hiatus, gets Lasix for the first time and attracts Johnny Velazquez.

In a tight fit, taking Rallying Cry to win at 5-2 or greater, keying him first and second in exacta and trifecta boxes with his coupled rivals here, even if one member of the entry scratches in favor of the other. Interesting race.

Running Totals: (271) 84-53-32. Total Dollar Return: $504.20 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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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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