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.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Take the Inside Passage to Victory

The NYRA racing week begins with an overnight stakes for fillies and mares 3 & Up at nine furlongs, the Proud Delta. Of the seven entered, three have a serious chance at the top slot, from the inside-out, All Night Labor, Inside Passage and Runway Rosie.

All Night Labor ships in for the clever husband and wife team of Randy and Tracy Nunley. Having a four-race win streak snapped in an overnighter at Delaware Park, she won both priors under similar conditions, albeit weaker stock, but she clearly has developed strongly in her four year old year. Stewart Elliott is 3 for 3 on the filly but she lacks form at today’s trip.

Inside Passage is another miss who has improved with 4 year old maturity, that and the switch to the Barclay Tagg shed, under which she’s 2 for 2. Her performance figures have improved this year, underscoring her further development, she has won over the surface and was third in her only start at the distance after racing wide on both turns at Saratoga last season. Eibar Coa will try to improve to 3 for 3 on the Tiznow filly.

Runway Rosie is the most accomplished of the three, having placed in a Grade 3 and boasting a 1-2-0 slate in three starts at today’s distance. Like her competition here, she, too, has improved at 4, coupled with her move into the Gray Contessa barn. Contessa owns 14 wins at the current meet but his strike rate has dropped to single digits at 8 percent. In addition, she totes co-highweight at 123 pounds.

Taking Inside Passage to win at 2-1 or greater, exacta and trifecta key boxes first and second with her key rivals.

Running Totals: (229) 73-48-25. Total Dollar Return: $451.10 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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


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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