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, June 25, 2008

What’s Your Horse’s Sign?

The NYRA racing week begins with a turf feature--again with the grass feature--only this one is an allowance event--a secondary allowances/optional claiming $50,000--at a mile and a sixteenth on the Widener turf course, that would resemble a stakes anywhere else. We’ll confine our analysis to Leo (3-1), part of the Kiaran McLaughlin trained entry, and Winstrella (9-2), making his turf debut.

Leo is in for $50,000, having won in this condition two starts back, in which he earned a top performance figure. While performing well last out, he was seriously hindered by a very slow pace. With enough speed signed on here, hard-hitting five year old can revert to rating tactics, taking advantage of his inside post and switch to position-conscious Rajiv Maragh.

Winstrella is the unknown danger. On his best day, he has proven faster than these and is bred on both sides of his pedigree for the surface switch. He drops from the stakes ranks for his four year old debut for the Pletcher barn, 22 percent effective with layups of greater than 90 days and a profitable 24 percent efficient with horses making their turf debut. Nature and nurture is a powerful combination.

Taking Leo to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Winstrella. Trifecta players can include Prince Rahy and the Frankel entry in their mix.

Running Totals: (226) 71-48-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Groomedforvictory Well Named

A race on the main track, finally, to end the NYRA week, the 7-furlong Mike Lee for New York bred three-year-olds.

There’s some gas in here, as you might expect, headed by an undefeated Finger Lakes shipper, Tin Cup Chalice (4-1), who not only is fast but has shown versatility and the ability to overcome trouble. He’s worked bullets at his upstate base, hails from the top barn of Michael Lecesse and regular rider Pedro Rodriguez ships down with him.

The problem is that he is likely to meet early pressure from at least two sources, which should set the table nicely for favorite Groomedforvictory.

The outside post at this distance should give new rider Alan Garcia several options, ideally providing perfect stalking position from which Garcia can pounce. He should try to catch some cover before tipping out for the drive, trying not to get hung wide on Belmont’s expansive turn. Hopefully, Garcia will earn the big bucks in this spot.

Taking Groomedforvictory to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with the talented shipper.

Running Totals (224) 71-46-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mauralakana, I Double Dare You To Do It Again

Another NYRA feature on the turf but don’t mind seeing this one, the Grade 2 New York Handicap at 10 furlongs for fillies and mares, 3 & up. In the five horse field, it’s as easy as 1-2-3, or 3-2-1, or… Well, you get the idea, it’s tough.

Although you probably think it’s easy if you saw Mauralakana (1-1) finish for the win the G2 Sheepshead Bay at 11 furlongs. Go catch a replay somewhere and let me know if her feet actually touched the ground in the final furlongs. She came her last three furlongs in :35 3/5 and the course was not freakishly fast. It was amazing, so amazing, in fact, that it’s unlikely she can duplicate it. Still, she looms the most likely winner.

Hostess (3-1) is really taking the worst of the weights here. She finished willingly too late behind the choice last out, beaten almost four lengths. She picks up three pounds and the winners picks up four. Doesn’t add up. She certainly figures to improve in her second start following a brief layup, but it’s hard to envision her turning the tables completely, even if the favorite regresses.

The interesting filly is import Dynaforce (5-1), making her U.S. debut for layup ace Bill Mott with first-time Lasix, at least Johnny Velazquez thinks so. He gets off Hostess to ride the unknown filly, Group 2 placed in her four year old finale last year at Deauville. She gets seven pounds from the favorite and has tremendous upside. Worth a gamble at anything near dearly line odds.

Taking Dynaforce at 4-1 or greater, exacta boxes with her main contenders here.

Running Totals: (224) 71-46-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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