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, June 09, 2007


Formful New York-bred Feature On The Belmont Turf


On the day after… the feature is the Mount Vernon for older state-bred fillies and mares going nine furlongs on the inner turf course. A good competitive field, as are most New York-bred grass routes, and we’ve narrowed it down to three strong contenders, from the inside, out: Half Heaven (8-1), Factual Contender (5-2) and Homerette (6-1).

Factual Contender is the most probable winner. She’s been a different filly over the last half-year since switching to turf for trainer Barclay Tagg. Her performance figures are consistently fast, she has tactical speed but can kick home, too, and she’s been most effective at today’s distance. She defeated open company last out and has worked four times since. She won’t make you rich.

The only problem with Half Heaven is that she’s unproven at the distance. Otherwise, she’s as fast as the favorite on figures, is drawn well with tactical speed, has been successful in open company, and hails from a barn that’s 22 percent efficient and profitable with their shippers.

Homerette is by definition the fastest on figures but this represents a tough test having drawn outside vs. some salty rivals. She was finishing well after the fact in her recent four-year-old debut sprinting against open company and has been more effective in routes. But she, too, is an unknown quantity at five furlongs.

Taking Factual Contender to win with no price restrictions, and an exacta key box with Half Heaven and Homerette.

Running Totals: (36) 16-9-7 [does not reflect Belmont Stakes results] Dollar Return: $86.40 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, June 08, 2007


Mott, Prado and Marcavelly Winning Team in Belmont Feature


The Friday Belmont Week card is topped by the Grade 3 Hill Prince for three-year-old grass runners going a mile on the Widener turf course. What it lacks in quantity it offers in quality, a two-horse battle between Storm In May and Marcavelly.

When last seen, Storm In May was looking at the hindquarters of Street Sense, among others, in the Kentucky Derby. The start before that it was Curlin, while finishing second in the Arkansas Derby. Back to reality, and turf, today.

Storm In May never has finished off the board on grass in six lifetime starts, including two victories. He worked a bullet for this at his Calder base, trainer Kaplan is profitable with this kind of freshening, and regular rider Juan Leyva is up from Florida for the ride.

Hopefully, he will attract a lot of play on company lines because Marcavelly is the most probable winner. He’s faster on performance figures, is a Grade 3 winner on grass, and broke his maiden on Belmont turf at 2. Edgar Prado, his regular rider, gets a leg up from Bill Mott. He won’t make you rich.

We’re taking Marcavelly to win, no price restrictions, and a cold exacta with Storm in May.

Running Totals: (35) 15-9-7 Dollar Return $82.30 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, June 07, 2007


Potential Over Proven Class At Fair Odds


Thursday’s Belmont Week feature is a "non-winners of 3 other-than…optional claiming $75,000" for older turf runners going nine furlongs over what figures again to be "good" Belmont turf.

There is no disputing that Dave (3-1) and Golden Commander (7-2) deserve their first and second choice status. Dave, arguably the class, is consistently fastest, and makes his second start off a layup following a tough-trip return. Johnny Velazquez rides him back hoping to atone for helping that tough trip along. Golden Commander is a nine furlong grass specialist and has proven back class and speed.

Cosmic Kris is a longshot (12-1) with a chance. His last was good, losing ground on the turn while in the midst of a strong move. His figures are fairly competitive, he’s drawn inside, and worked a strong 5/8ths while under restraint recently. Whether his peak try is good enough to beat these is another matter. It might pay to guess if he’s anything near early line odds.

But Mystic Ruler (8-1) looks like a comer. He continues his incremental improvement, has four-year-old upside potential, is 50 days fresh, and attracts Prado off the second choice. He, too, is working well for Rick Violette. Further improvement today puts him in the photograph at playable odds.

Taking Mystic Ruler to win at 5-1 or greater, and keying him first and second in trifectas with the three contenders named.

One of Two Suggested Win Bets Won Yesterday But Did Not Meet Price Requirements

Written by John Pricci

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