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, March 06, 2008

Rite Moment Looks Like Wrong Favorite

An interesting mid-week overnight stakes, the Limit, for older fillies and mares going a mile and 70 yards. An eclectic group, including an Argentinean import, but this is winter so the early line choice will be saddled by Gary Contessa (2-1). This favorite will try to beat.

There’s no question that Rite Moment is the fastest horses on performance figures, but she has no form at the distance. I realize that a mile and 70 is not that far to stretch, but why find out at a short price? The interesting fillies in here are Street Bird (3-1), Bartola (7-2) and Devil House (9-2).

Street Bird brings a two-race win streak into this and is a four-time winner at the distance with a very worthy 3-for-4 slate on this surface. Speed, the pole, Tony Dutrow are other variables in her favor. But she can rate from close range and that could make all he difference this afternoon.

Bartola is the dark horse here. If class means anything, and it does, she should be the early line choice given that she was a Group 1 winner in her native Argentina. She’s won half her eight lifetime starts but hasn’t run since getting an awful trip against colts in the Group 2 United Emirates Derby last year in Dubai. She makes her U.S. debut for Steve Asmussen off a Gulfstream Park workline and gets Lasix for the first time. As the racetrackers say, she could be any kind.

Devil House might fall between the parimutuel cracks, even if she does hail from the white hot barn of Bruce Levine. She prepped for this by winning an overnight sprint stakes in her winter track debut and has won going two turns. She’s been working bullets for the stretch-out here and C.C. Lopez rides her back off her recent score.

Taking Street Bird to win at early line odds or greater, and keying her first and second in trifectas with her three principal rivals here.

Running Totals: (186) 64-41-21. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not a Ghost of a Chance to Beat This Favorite

An otherwise boring way to begin the NYRA week, a secondary allowances/optional $50,000 claiming sprint that has drawn but five older fillies and mares going 6 furlongs. It seems impossible to think we can beat the favorite, so we’re not going try. But considering there’s a quarter-million dollar plus carryover in the Pick 6 pool, Ghost Dancing (3-5) is as good a single as any on the card.

She’s fastest on performance figures, draws the pole with Ramon Dominguez, and trainer Tony Dutrow is a profitable 30% effective with third-time starters off a layoff. Seems just too much to overcome here.

Two of the four remaining fillies have a puncher’s change. The ubiquitous Gary Contessa is everywhere and re-claim What’s Your Point (4-1) has been going well since she was re-acquired by winning move stable. She owns a closing style in a race that figures to feature a quick pace and is perfectly drawn outside in this small gathering.

The other interesting filly is Bedside Story (5-1) a recent claim by Enrique Arroyo, batting 26% at the meet, for the crafty claiming outfit, Gumpster Stable. She likes to stalk from close range and is sharp given her recent blowout. In fact, all three fillies have worked very well for this.

The best of luck if you plan on diving into the pool.

Taking Ghost Dancing to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta key box with two remaining fillies--if you’re so inclined--plus an extra ticket with Ghost Dancing on top.

Running Totals: (185) 64-40-21. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Will Wishng Make It So?

Today’s feature is the Broadway Handicap for older New York-bred fillies going six furlongs. It has drawn a field of six, a worthy favorite, Karakorum Starlet (9-5) and a very sharp rival, Wishing Wishes (3-1), an uncoupled member of a Tony Dutrow-trained duo.

Karakorum Starlet is a deserving highweight under 120 pounds, most of that Stewart Elliot. She is by definition the fastest filly and can be forgiven her latest when pitched vs. much tougher going seven furlongs in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel. Here she turns back to her optimal distance and back to the surface over which she won the state-bred Ruby Rubles in a previous start. She figures to get a nice trip from the rail with her tactical speed.

But Wishing Wishes is a perfect 3-for-3 since coming under Dutrow’s care. Her figures have improved consistently and she was wisely given a five-week freshening since earning a career best figure on Jan. 25. What’s most impressive is the her early lick has improved significantly, which will put her in position to upset this group with a mid-race mover that’s been effective in recent starts. She gets five pounds from the favorite here.

Taking whatever value is available on Wishing Wishes, betting her to win at 5-2 or greater and keying her in exacta boxes with Karakorum Starlet and Scatkey (6-1), returning fresh for trainer Pat Kelly and owning the best late kick on her best effort.

Running Totals: (184) 64-39-21. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]

Written by John Pricci


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