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, December 19, 2008

Better a Short Price….

Today’s feature from Tampa Bay Downs, the eighth race, is a money allowances sprint that has attracted some of the fastest sprinters on the East coast not stabled at major tracks.

They can run but there are questions to answer. Will Bernie Blue (2-1), the horse with the consistently fastest figures--and by a significant margin, translate those figures from Mountaineer to Tampa?

Will Man In Gray (3-1) benefit from a recent return from a freshening? Is Tampa loving On the Vineyard (4-1) ready off only one race following a year’s layup? Can Riversrunrylee (6-1) with competitive internal figures turn back effectively?

If On the Vineyard remembers who he is, he can be more than competitive in this spot. He was, after all, competitive enough to win a stakes at Suffolk last year at 3. Man In Gray has competitive figures from the Delaware circuit and Tim Ritchie is profitable for a career with his shippers. He worked a bullet half mile over the track for his Tampa debut.

But there’s too much guesswork involved, and that’s never a good idea. Taking Bernie Blue to win, no price restrictions, and keying him first and second in trifectas with his three rivals here.

Running Totals: (329) 99-68-44. Total Dollar Return: $691.50 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Favorite You Can’t Refuse

Hard to delineate which was a true feature at Tampa today, so we opted for the ninth race, a turf event, which generally is always a crowd pleaser. The bad news, however, is that the early line favorite is going to be a real tough out.

Celine (5-2) heads this limit field for 3 & up going a mile which, even at this two-turn distance, features a fairly lengthy run to the first turn. Two others of interest are Chic Cat (8-1) and Superfine Time (15-1).

Celine simply is the fastest horse on the Equiform scale, and earns those superior figures with laudable consistency. She loves the game, having won half of her eight starts, is 3-for-3 going a mile, has proper spacing, and comes from a barn with a worthy ship in percentage. Trainer Leigh Offutt is profitable in those last two categories. The rail, pace scenario and Daniel Centeno only add to this fillies favorable scenario.

Chic Cat is working brilliantly for her return to this circuit for the Allen boys who’ve been doing excellent work together, batting 23 percent these last two months. Dropping a notch and returning in this two-month time-frame is a profitable scenario for the barn. But aside from the inviting price, Chic Cat earned her best figure going a mile on this course, today’s precise conditions.

Superfine Time is coming into this off a turf-low pattern and returns to her optimal distance, given her best figure was earned going eight furlongs on grass. In addition to the best late kick in this group, ’Superfine’ gets a switch to turf ace Carlos Montalvo. As is the case with Chic Cat, she’d be worth a token wager at anything approaching early line odds.

Taking Celine to win at 7-5 or greater, boxing her in exactas with both fillies mentioned here, an extra ticket with the favorite in the top slot.

Running Totals: (328) 98-68-44. Total Dollar Return: $686.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Man Does Not Live by Aqueduct Alone

With Aqueduct closed until Dec. 26, we will concentrate on one of the more popular simulcast signals in the country, that from Tampa Bay Downs. On days when Tampa is unavailable, we’ll look at either Calder or Fair Grounds as an alternative until New York is back on line.

Today’s feature race at Tampa Bay Downs, the ninth, is intriguing. Four of the nine entered have a good chance to score--and that estimate might be conservative. We’ll take a brief look at McLovin (8-1), Chief Talkeetna (4-1), Mr. Flatter (7-2) and Greeley’s Voice (2-1).

Classifying this group is a challenge. How good, for instance, is McLovin, having won a pair restricted claimers at Finger Lakes--his last a non-winners of three in life. He earned excellent figures in those wins and trainer James Wright is dealing a hot hand, 25 percent efficient in the last few months.

Hard knowing what to do with Chief Talkeetna on a different level. He won three fast races after being claimed by Wesley Ward--the last two dropping significantly in class--where he was again claimed. Will $5,000 be a bargain price, or the cost of damaged goods? This 4-year-old gelding is extremely fast and versatile.

Mr. Flatter return from a layup for a top return outfit. Trainer Freddie Hyatt is highly profitable returning from layoffs of greater than 90 days, he has upside potential as a 3-year-old and his early season figures indicate he can compete on figures here given the added maturity. He loves the surface and retains his regular partner.

Greeley’s Voice is likely to get the best trip, stalking outside at this hybrid distance which should augur well. Like Chief Talkeetna, he’s worked brilliantly for this.

Taking whatever value is offered on Mr. Flatter to win at 3-1 or greater, boxing him in the exacta with Greeley's Voice, and keying him first and second in trifectas with all main rivals listed here.

Running Totals: (327) 98-67-44. Total Dollar Return: $686.90 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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