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.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Silver Bells and… PUMPKIN SHELLS

Today’s featured Busher Stakes highlights some up and coming three year old fillies, not necessarily Grade 1 types, although you never know, of course. Most of the major contenders have forward looking lines and it will be a question of which filly fires straightest here.

Although you’ve got to time her move correctly, like most one-run horses, I’m partial to Pumpkin Shell (2-1). It’s not that she’s two for two on this surface, but it’s clear she’s developing rapidly and has gotten much better since the distance have lengthened. She’s worked four times since winning the Busanda last out and stretches back out to the distance of her maiden score--both wins beneath C. C. Lopez.

Subprime (7-2) rates an edge over the undefeated What A Pear, who defeated her in the Wistful when she had a conditioning edge. Now Subprime comes back second off the layup for Jimmy Jerkens, 26 percent with the angle and staying ahead of the takeout as well. She’s improved since adding Lasix and Richard Migliore takes the re-ride from a cozy inside post.

But we’ll take the much improved Pumpkin Shell, who we believe will fall between the wagering cracks, at 5-2 or greater, an exacta box with Subprime, adding What A Pear to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (368) 113-73-49 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Saturday, February 21, 2009

It’s Rap Tale’s Rare Treat, You Feel Me?

The Saturday feature is the Rare Treat Stakes which, like many other non graded stakes reduced in purse this weekend, is something less than compared to previous editions. The nine furlong route for older fillies and mares has a logical favorite in Weathered and an improving, albeit inconsistent, sort in Rap Tale.

Weathered is logical in that she earns good figures with consistency, relative to the group, and always seems to fire. But she doesn’t seem to fire her best shot with any consistency.

She owns the kind of speed that will allow Mike Luzzi to place here anywhere he likes, assuring a good trip. While she’s never gone this far, she is bred on both sides of her pedigree for the added distance. It’s today or never for the mare that failed to get it done without excuse in both recent starts at short odds.

Rap Tale, meanwhile, is not as proven but as a newly turned four year old has a license to develop further, which seems to be the case in recent starts. She set the pace in the 10 furlong Ladies Handicap vs. a tougher group but had nothing to offer through the stretch.

After the Ladies came a dull effort in the Affectionately before shipping to Philly where she exploded to a 6-length score. Now it’s back to New York to try stakes company again, reuniting with Ramon Dominguez, who rode her in the Ladies, who is sure to use her tactical speed and inside post to put her in the game throughout.

She’s unproven at the trip but has enough pedigree on the bottom side of her pedigree and in Chad Brown has a trainer that a profitable 25 percent efficient with all his route runners.

Taking Rap Tale to keep improving at 4-1 or greater, an exacta box with Weathered, and adding Successful Sarah and Bourbon Maid to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (367) 113-73-49 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Friday, February 20, 2009

Sometimes It’s Nobler to Play It Conservatively

Today’s feature, a secondary allowances/optional claimer is a head-scratcher because two of the faster horses in the group are returning from a long layup for the same barn. Having said that, the six furlong sprint looks well within the abilities of the Jimmy Jerkens returnee Tax Man and impressive recent maiden winner, Noble Lad.

Tax Man makes his return for Jerkens off a lengthy layup as a four year old gelding sporting a sharp blowout from gate that should serve him well in a spot loaded with early speed. His stablemate should help insure fractions that will serve his late kick, as will the services of Richard Migliore, a strong finisher a race rider who can read past performances.

Noble Lad, meanwhile, comes off a rapid victory at Laurel as a lightly raced four year old in which the well beaten place finisher came back to win a subsequent start. He’s worked well twice since that effort and has carried his weight successfully in the past. As the fastest horse by definition, he will take some catching. And some beating, possible regression or not.

Taking Noble Lad off his sharp recent form, no price restrictions, boxing him in the exacta with Noble Lad, and adding Laysh Laysh Laysh to the trifecta mix.

Running Totals: (366) 113-73-48 Total Dollar Return: $793.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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