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, October 04, 2007


Taking Upside in Yet Another Featured Turf Sprint


Before we get into today’s feature, this note. I like turf sprints as much as anyone, especially the six furlong variety, which generally are more formful. But to card this type as the feature almost every non stakes day is getting a little old.

Today’s feature has a rare condition for this circuit: for horses that broke their maiden for $50,000 or less and which have not won a race other than maiden or claiming. It’s very difficult, consequently, to get a line on who fits these conditions best when matching up rivals.

We’ll concentrate on two: returnee Lady Limit (4-1) and Moneypenny (3-1). First, the favorite.

Looks like the line-maker found this race challenging, too. He chose a filly that won her last race--not inconsequential in this group--earned a good performance figure but we believe, most significantly, that the filly is coming off a recent Gary Contessa claim, a profitable 20 percent angle for this outfit. Her late kick fits the race shape well but whether she can replicate her good route figure turning back is problematical.

Lady Limit, a fast filly coming off a layup from a good return outfit, that of trainer Billy Badgett, is intriguing because she has the most upside. Hard to get a line on her turf debut, her first start at 3 and at five furlongs where here early fractions were very quick. She figured to tire and did.

Today she comes off a 12-week layup with a series of bullet and near-bullet workouts in tow. She certainly owns enough turf pedigree to be effective, has improved with maturity, is well drawn and attracts the streaking Eibar Coa. Most encouraging was he ability to change to a stalking style that resulted in a lifetime best effort. Given recuperative time by her new trainer, she looks set for best here.

Taking Lady Limit to win at 7-2 or greater and an exacta box with Moneypenny.

Running Totals: (114) 40-27-13. Dollar Return: $130.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Chances Are Tagg’s Filly Will Fire


Not an easy spot to begin the week (seems like all spots difficult for us lately), an “optional non-winners of two other/than, $50,000 claiming,” at six furlongs on the Belmont turf. The favorite, a fast filly from California named Thru N' Thru (8-5), will be trying this distance and course for the first time. Like we said, however, she’s fast.

Two logical contenders are Queen Amira (5-1) and Willshefire (7-2). Let’s examine both.

While Bill Mott Queen Amira seems to lack a winning profile, her lifetime best effort came on this course under these conditions, that is if Wednesday’s course is firm. Since then, she’s competed at varying distances or over unsuitable ground. She needs a good trip to suit her late kick and might get that given the early speed signed on. The inside helps, as would a focused Kent Desormeaux (not always a given).

Willshefire comes from the white hot Barclay Tagg/Eibar Coa connections. She loves the distance and the course, with two wins at each, and has a versatile style that allows her to either front-run or stalk to victory. That seems the case here as she’s drawn outside the speedy Bob Baffert filly from Del Mar.

Given that their performance figures are all within a couple of lengths on the best game, the trip will be the thing.

Taking Willshefire to win at 3-1 or greater, keying her first and second in exactas with the other two fillies.

Running Totals: (113) 40-27-12. Dollar Return: $130.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, September 30, 2007


Order In the Court


The centerpiece of today’s four Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup prep program is the storied Jockey Club Gold Cup, headed by racing’s newest star, Lawyer Ron (3-5).

While the tendency will be to think regression off two very fast, powerhouse efforts, it’s hard to envision what that regression will mean in terms of his bet-against-ability; especially if the crowd goes overboard for Preakness hero Curlin (5-2).

Triple Crown horses always attract a big following, sometimes creating good betting opportunities.

Thing is that Lawyer Ron is a Triple Crown colt, too, class of 2006. But he’s a better four-year-old for his new barn, a different training style and maturity obviously making the difference.

Lawyer Ron has reached full potential and he’s been nothing less than awesome, in the old school sense of the word. If he turns out to be a fad, an equine flavor of the month, it would be a surprise. But even if that’s what occurs, he has a least one more big one inside him. Taking Todd Pletcher at his word, the horse thrives on work.

On performance figures, Curlin’s Haskell was not as bad as it looks. And, of course, he’s fresher, sharper now, that enervating mile and a half now more than three months away. And he will get those four pounds of scale-weight in deference to his age.

Parenthetically, we believe the scale favors the three-year-olds at this time of year.

This being a very big race, we’re compelled to give The Chief, a.k.a. Allen Jerkens, a second look. His Political Force (8-1) loves Belmont, given his record on it and performance figures that are faster than over any over surface. And he’s 1-for-1 at 10 furlongs.

But it’s Lawyer Ron’s Jockey Club Gold Cup to lose. Taking him to win, boxing him in the exacta with Political Force and first in exactas with both listed contenders.

Running Totals: (112) 40-26-11. Dollar Return: $230.00 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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