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, June 29, 2008

Pride Goeth Before Bold Union

Two days in a row without a turf feature, I’m going through withdrawals. (Sorry, bad joke these days).

The feature is the Astoria Stakes at 5-½ furlongs for juvenile fillies. Very difficult, in fact, impossible for us to go beyond the favorites here.

Pride (7-5) broke her maiden from the 12 post at Keeneland going 4-½ furlongs. I don’t care how much talent you have, that’s very difficult to do. She took the measure of Cameron Crazies, who outsprinted the competition in the G3 Debutante at Churchill yesterday before falling apart late. But that was a tougher group on paper, and she’s had lots of recovery time for Team Pletcher/Velazquez. She’ll be a tough out here.

But Bold Union (9-5) can take her. Her winning debut was extraordinary as well. Further, her win came at 5 furlongs, a small advantage when young horses are asked to stretch out, even at sprint distances. Trainer Kelly Breen has made a handsome living with fast juveniles that ship around, win early season stakes, then get sold privately at a premium thereafter. Her outside position may give her a tactical advantage since there appears to be a lot of early speed signed on here.

Taking Bold Union to win at 8-5 or greater, exacta box with Pride.

Running Totals: (228) 72-48-25. Total Dollar Return: $445.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Striking the Right Chord

Normally, when there are two stakes on a program, we would choose the higher graded race. But today’s NYRA features are both Grade 1s. We assumed we would analyze the larger-field Suburban in search of better value. Instead, however, we will try to defeat odds-on Kentucky Oaks winner Proud Spell with a filly eligible for secondary allowances.

If you didn’t see the allowance victory of Music Note on May 22 at Belmont Park, get thee to a replay center. I’m sure I’ve not seen a more dominating victory all meet long, as she cruised up outside of rivals, took command, and simply galloped off to a 7-length victory. She earned an excellent performance figure, competitive with the favorite’s best efforts in all but the sloppy track Oaks at Churchill Downs.

The Oaks was at 9 furlongs, giving her an edge in that category, But Music Note is by A.P. Indy, so the additional furlong should only help. Further, the upstart has a pace edge and draws the outside in the four-horse field, enabling Javier Castellano to control the pace from perfect position.

Taking Music Note to win at 2-1 or greater and an exacta box with the favorite.

Running Totals: (227) 71-48-25. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only] {Friday’s results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Fourth and Long

Isn’t it amazing how seemingly every New York feature without a name on it is a grass race? I love turf racing, but this is boring, people taking the easy way out when carding the races.

Today’s is a toughie because you have fillies and mares of different ages and various classifications meeting in a preliminary starter allowances. We’ll concentrate on Bella Attrice (4-1), Fourth Chapter (12-1) and Debbie’s Fast Girl (6-1).

Bella Attrice has earned the best performance figures on a fairly consistent basis. She’s be making her second start off the Bruce Brown claim, batting 21 percent for the meet and even better on grass. She’s owned by a crafty outfit and both lifetime wins came at today’s 1-1/16 mile route. She does have a propensity to finish second, however.

Fourth Chapter is seeking her proper class following dominating maiden win vs. claimers last time out, her lone lifetime score coming at this route and over this course. She’s had five weeks recovery, important especially for fillies, and seems poised for a forward move. She’ll have to if she wants to handle better but the price should be square.

As a three-year-old, Debbie’s Fast Girl probably has the most upside, compiling a good record and showing improvement for Gary Contessa. She’s saddled with a difficult outside post but she leaves the barrier slowly, so she just might be able to drop over without significant loss of ground. Who better to make that happen than Edgar Prado?

As open as this is, were taking Fourth Chapter to win at 10-1 or better and keying her first and second in exactas with her contenders here. Trifecta players can add Anxiety (3-1) and House Quest (7-2) to their mix, using Fourth Chapter in all money positions. Per usual, grass selections are for turf only.

Running Totals: (226) 71-48-24. Total Dollar Return: $440.10 [win selections only] {Thursday results not included}

Written by John Pricci

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