John Pricci executive editor John Pricci contributes to his "Feature Race Analysis" section five times a week, focusing on New York.

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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.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Victory Would Be Grand

Today’s feature, a money allowances for older sprinters going six furlongs, is routinely impossible. Out of seven entered two are coming off extended layups and two are making their second starts off an extended layup. And everyone’s either got speed or wants to stalk from close range.

You’ve got to take a stand somewhere, so we’ll go against the returnees and the speed types and reluctantly take a horse returning from a layup with a barn that excels in that scenario, has a favorable draw, with tactical speed and a position conscious rider.

While it seems that Grand Champion has a lot going for him, plus a touch of back class, Jimmy Jerkens is adding blinkers, which seems not only counter intuitive but not a particularly good angle for this outfit. But Jerkens is good in second-off-the-layup scenario, the colt reunites with Eibar Coa, who gets along with the 5-year-old better than anyone else, and worked well recently, presumably in blinkers.

I think any of the others can not only beat him but finish on the board. Taking Grand Champion to win and place at 3-1 or greater.

Running Totals: (305) 92-63-39 Total Dollar Return: $608.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Namaste’s Finally Gets Her Wish

Interesting feature to start the NYRA week, the listed Rare Blend Stakes at 1-1/16 miles for fillies and mares which have not won a stakes race at a mile this year. And if there ever was a time for the disappointing Namaste’s Wish (7-2), coupled with the very sharp Remarkable Remy, to break through, today’s the day.

The three-year-old filly never really showed much development this year but has been caught up in a series of unfavorable pace scenarios or bad rides or both. The seven week freshening and switch to Johnny Velazquez should augur well, as she’s coming off a pace decline line with the promise of honest fractions today. Common interest mate Remarkable Remy is very sharp and also with excellent performance figures. The only knock on her is the tough draw.

This race might have some money making potential as there are others that can fill out exotic pool positions. We’re taking Namaste’s Wish to win at 3-1 or greater, keying her first and second in exactas and trifectas with the sharp, well drawn and improving Joyful (12-1), Polar Circle (6-1), our choice’s uncoupled mate who could shake irretrievably loose beneath turf ace Joe Bravo, the very sharp and logical early line favorite, Sea Chanter (3-1), and, in trifectas, underrated Senior Rita Lady (8-1).

Running Totals: (304) 92-62-39 Total Dollar Return: $608.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Promising Babies Battle in G3 Nashua

Two features for juveniles today, both Grade 3s, and it will pay to pay attention as some likely will be back for Holiday Fest on Thanksgiving weekend. The boys get top billing here and what an interesting event: Hello Broadway, Friesan Fire, Royal Vindication and Forty Thieves are all seem to have a future. Which one will prove best here is not easy to fathom.

Hello Broadway is highly regarded and for good reason. His winning debut at Saratoga at 6-½ furlongs was first rate on several levels, and Barclay Tagg wasted no time trying to see what he had, entering him back in the G1 Champagne in which he suffered through a horrendous trip, racing in close quarters throughout after being virtually eliminated at the break. He has come back to train strongly and is suited much better to today’s group.

Friesan Fire has been handled by Larry Jones as if the A.P. Indy colt has a future. Jones, who’s retiring after the 2009 season, has identified this as a Derby horse, indicating as much when he brought him out for a winning debut around two turns. After that came a willing-finish effort in the G2 Futurity, a good third after gaining some valuable education at the midway point of the race. The added distance, 50-day layup and switch to Johnny Velazquez all augur well.

Royal Vindication has impressed with his class, talent and determination while racing with a bit softer but always acquits himself well and acts as if he wants to do more and run farther. The Hough barn appears to be coming alive with a winner of Friday’s nightcap and this colt should continue to progress. He seeks his third straight for regular partner Javier Castellano.

Forty Thieves is yet another running juvenile from the Steve Klesaris barn, this one a winner of both lifetime starts by daylight margins of 7-¾ and 5-½ lengths, respectively, earning fast performance figures. Sprint meant, his outside position in this one-turn mile should be within his scope. The position conscious Cornelio Velasquez rides.

Taking whatever value is offered on Friesan Fire at 4-1 or greater, and keying him first and second in exactas and trifectas with his rivals here, pressing with Hello Broadway.

Running Totals: (303) 92-62-38 Total Dollar Return: $608.80 [win selections only] {Saturday results not included}

Written by John Pricci


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