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 28, 2009

Cal Cowboys Up

Today’s Saratoga feature is the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, an always entertaining turf route among older grass specialists going nine furlongs.

This renewal features a strong entry of the streaking Justenuffhumor, winner of the Fourstardave over the course, and Colony (9-5), who showed extreme promise in his recent U. S. debut, ridden by two of the top young riders on the grounds, Alan Garcia and Rajiv Maragh, respectively.

The former has demonstrated an excellent turn of foot, delivered anywhere on the course; the latter, if his Belmont effort is the measure, likes to come roaring down the course late. And improvement is likely here, too, as trainer Saeed bin Suroor is 37 percent efficient with second-off-the-layup starters.

But it’s Cowboy Cal (5-2) who seems particularly well placed here, especially at the distance. He has handled any type of footing, has tactical speed and kick, and is the fastest horse on the Equiform scale. A proven G2 performer, he reunites with regular partner Johnny Velazquez.

Taking Cowboy Cal to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with the Darley/Godolphin entry. Trifecta players can add price shots Mambo Meister (8-1) and Kutaisi (15-1).

Running Totals: (490) 146-101-67 Total Dollar Return: $1,004.10 [win selections only

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stars Aligned for Planets Aligned

Today’s feature from Saratoga Race Course is for the up-and-over set, the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers’ Cup Steeplechase Handicap at 2-3/8 miles and it looks like a two-horse affair between favorite Mixed Up (8-5) and Planets Aligned (5-2).

When last seen Mixed Up was winning the G1 Smithwick Memorial over this course August 6. It might not sound like much but the 10-year-old must spot his main rival two pounds, more significant than you might think at this distance.

Planets Aligned was a perfect-trip third when beaten by the favorite in the Smithwick but had the look of a horse that needed the race. He never quickened, remaining one-paced. With that race under his belt, expect a much better effort here.

Taking Planets Aligned to win at 2-1 or greater and keying him in exactas with Mixed Up and his uncoupled stablemate, Slip Away (4-1), who has an excellent chance to get loose on the lead at today’s added distance.

Running Totals: (490) 146-101-67 Total Dollar Return: $1,004.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If I Were a Rich Man…

Today’s feature that begins Travers week is the Albany Handicap for state-bred three year olds going nine furlongs. The key here is the distance at which either the entrants have no experience and/or is not suited to by pedigree.

In that context, the horse with the most upside clearly is Fiddlers Afleet (2-1) which in his short career has found graded open stakes a tad to tough for New York competition just right.

Sent to the barn of Michael Hushion for a state-bred preliminary allowances 7 furlongs at Belmont Park, he dusted the group by nearly 14 lengths as the even money choice.

Ramon Dominguez has been very successful aboard Legal Consent, the fastest horse in her on the Equiform scale, but prefers to ride this colt for the first time off that allowance romp.

With his ability to come from slightly off the pace in a speed laden field, and with Quiet American on the bottom side of his pedigree and the strong, clever Dominguez in the boot, he appears the only way to go. Alas, he will be a short price.

Taking Fiddlers Afleet with no price restrictions to win and boxing him in the exacta with the late developing Pocket Cowboys (9-2).

Running Totals: (489) 145-101-67 Total Dollar Return: $1,000.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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