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.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Soft Ground Makes Upset Possible

Today’s nominal feature, the overnight Waya Stakes, has attracted a field of a half dozen turf mares going the 12-furlong marathon distance. The key to this might be which of these mares has circled this race on their calendars and which are using it as a bridge to something more significant.

The 6-5 early favorite Tejida, graded stakes placed, clearly has the look of a filly prepping for a return to that level. While her performance figures are very good, compared to the group, she doesn’t look like this race will be the prime goal. But the filly is in need of a confidence boost and could get it here..

The interesting mare here is Archstone (4-1), who has spend most of the spring chasing big-engined Mauralakana--no such rival here. Roger Horgan-trained filly has some races on her card that put her in the battle with the favorite, espeically given the likelihood of yielding to soft footing.

We'll take any value offered on Archstone at 4-1 or greater and an exacta box with the more accomplished Tejida.

Running Totals: (248) 77-51-29. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, August 07, 2008

When All Else Fails, Jump

Today’s feature goes as the first race, and if you want to pass, feel free. But I like steeplechasing because it’s different, it’s fun and it’s formful. I once conducted a five-year study of results and found, to my amazement, that favorites won at a 50 percent rate. Extraordinary when you consider that horses leave the ground.

As with any race being conducted on a turf surface, those that have distinguished themselves along class lines often have their pictures taken. And so it is with jumpers. The bad news is that this group in particular is very hard to classify, coming from all over the map to compete. The two “best horses” in today’s Grade 2 A.P. Smithwick, the traditional prep for the G1 New York Turf Writers’ at meet’s end are last year’s winner, Mixed Up (3-1) and talented flat runner Salford City (7-2).

We’re betting on the latter. On the flat in his history are turf efforts in which he earned excellent performance figures. Now running isn’t jumping but Salford City has won while chasing in Ireland. He gets an American makeover today, adding Lasix and blinkers. He gets the respect of the handicapper Bill Gallo at 154 pounds, four pounds less than highweight Mixed Up.

Taking Salford City to win at 3-1 or greater, exacta box with Jonathan Sheppard’s Mixed Up.

Running Totals: (247) 77-51-28. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Shot From Guns

Don’t know how to try to beat today’s favorite in the NY Stallion Stakes on turf at a mile and a sixteenth. Cannonball (8-5) enjoys such a huge class edge. The state-bred has beaten open company rivals, is graded stakes placed and, of course, has impressed against his own kind.

After winning the Pebo Guy at Belmont Park, Cannonball shipped out and ran in a division of the Oceanside, the opening day stakes at Del Mar. In the one mile event, he drew the extreme outside in a field of 10. Game over. Saving ground at some point on that tight course is mandatory. But now he’s back home, is nicely drawn inside, and reunites with leading rider Johnny Velazquez, aboard for the Pebo Guy victory.

Horses of interest are second choice Doc N Roll (5-2) and price shots Key Victory (10-1 and Express To Thewest (20-1). While his trip might not have been as impossible as the favorite’s at Del Mar, Doc N Roll was checked and steadied all over the lot, finished fourth, beaten only a length, then subsequently was placed third. With tactical speed and a good draw, he can get the jump on the favorite. Eibar Coa gets the re-ride.

Key Victory is not as quick as his rivals here but his performance-figure line is forward looking, he has a versatile running style, the pole, and gets a favorable switch to Cornelio Velasquez. If the rider elects, Key Victory can prove the speed of the speed. Express To Thewest comes off a delayed pace low and appears poised for a peak effort. Good odds seems assured.

Taking Cannonball to win, no odds restrictions, and trifecta key boxes using him first and second with his rivals here, extra ticket with the choice first.

Running Totals: (246) 77-51-27. Total Dollar Return: $467.30 win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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