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.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Throwing Deep in the Empire Classic

Today’s feature of features on New York Showcase day is the Empire Classic at nine furlongs for 3-year-olds & up and per usual has drawn a big field. And also per usual, it’s a wide open event.

It would be little surprise if the winner came from among, in post position order: R Clear Victory (4-1), Lorrcan (10-1), Tommasi (7-2), Dr. D.F.C. (8-1) and That’srightofficer (6-1). And I’ve probably left out a few others as well.

R Clear Victory has proven fastest on performance figures but will be under pressure from the rail and a mile and an eighth appears to be his absolute outer limits. But he still has an excellent chance, as does Lorrcan, a 4-year-old who keeps improving and likes the surface, the streaking Tommasi for the rejuvenated James Bond shed, and That’srightofficer, who placed very gamely in open company after suffering a wide-throughout trip in last.

But we’re going for the gusto with Dr. D.F.C., who caught our eye with an explosive mid-race move to win at Saratoga despite being virtually eliminated by a very poor start. He has continued to hold his form for these low profile yet able connections. He’s a late-rally type who prefers racing on the outside and would therefore be suited by his wide draw. There appears to be a contested pace in the offing and his figures indicate there could be a forward move forthcoming. Actually, he need only repeat either of his last two efforts to upset this hard-hitting group.

Taking Dr. D.F.C. to win at early line odds of 8-1 or greater, and keying him in all money positions with his rivals listed here in exactas and trifectas.

Running Totals: (296) 88-62-36 Total Dollar Return: $585.00 (win selections only)

Written by John Pricci


Friday, October 17, 2008

Writing Songs of Love…

For a supposedly weaker “non-winners of 2 life” designation, there’s lots of budding talent in today’s 6-½ furlong sprint for fillies and mares. And given the race’s dynamics, the winning result seems to be screaming for a mid-pack stalker or even rally type if the pace heats up to a high degree.

Two fillies seem to fit the dynamic pretty well. Two starts back, Itobe stalked a lively pace from close range and drew off with authority, showing his preference for Belmont Park with a strongly run effort, before suffering through a wide trip on a sloppy track. Two outside two of the main speeds beneath the position conscious Eddie Castro, he figures to get first run on the ralliers.

Song Of Love turns back to this hybrid distance after stalking the pace racing 4 wide at furlongs, a difficult trip especially over the wide expanse of Belmont Park. She goes well for Tagg stable rider Eibar Coa--her lone win--and she’s had three works since her tough-trip latest including an extremely sharp half-mile breeze. From her outside slip, she can sit off Itobe’s hip and begin kicking in earnest soon after straightening away. Her performance figures are consistently better than the group and the distance would seem to fit her style perfectly.

Taking Song Of Love to win at 3-1 or greater and an exacta box with Itobe.

Running Totals: (295) 88-62-36 Total Dollar Return: $585.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Straighten Up and Fly Right

What do you know, a dirt feature. True, it’s a small field but very competitive with no standout favorite and a chance to get fair value on a horse owning enough pace to race in the first flight and enough kick to get home. That would be Try To Fly who’s been going well since getting off the plastic stuff and on legit dirt for Tony Dutrow.

The spacing is right, six weeks, and so are the conditions. Position conscious Cornelio Velasquez is sure to get him in the game from the start and win this turning from home as the late runners begin to gain momentum. As a four-year-old, his figures are showing continued development and his debut on this surface was an extremely game effort while racing between horses in the late stages.

Taking Try to Fly to win at 8-5 or greater and an exacta box with surface lover Les Grand Trois.

Running Totals: (294) 88-61-36 Total Dollar Return: $585.00 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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