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, February 21, 2015

No Longer an Upstart

GP Race 11 G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes

Early Odds Board EAR VHR P E P

1: 20-1 Juan and Bina 75 0 75
2: 8-1 Bluegrass Singer 82 2 84<
3: 30-1 Frammento 79 1 80
4: 6-1 Gorgeous Bird 75 6 81>
5: 4-1 Itsaknockout 90 3 93
6: 5-2 Frosted 84 6 90>
7: 8-5 Upstart 92 4 96
8: 15-1 Danny Boy 73 5 78

First Column of Figures Following Odds Board: E A R: ENERGY ABILITY RATING (Demonstrated Speed + Energy Distribution)

Second Column of Figures Following Odds Board: V H R: VARIABLE HANDICAP RATING (Statistical Strength of Traditional Handicapping Data)

Third Column of Figures Following Odds Board: P E P: PROJECTED ENERGY PERFORMANCE (Today’s Expected Total Performance Figure)


HANDICAPPING/BETTING NOTES Note the 84<, 81> and 90> on the #2, #4 and #6 horses, respectively. These are top-class 3YOs that improve day to day, mentally and physically, making forecasting their performance more art than science. Bluegrass Singer has earned his rating but very likely has peaked, hence the 84 with less-than sign following. Will Gorgeous Bird to move forward or back? Forward is the more likely development. Frosted may move way up with his new blinkers, but PEPs indicate he has to and is an underlay at early line odds.

In our beta-tests, i.e., actual betting, we discovered that a five-point margin in the PEP gives that runner a significant edge over the competition. Horses within two points are viewed as virtually equal contenders; three points is where separation commences. The study was done going forward from the July, 2014 Saratoga race meet to the present. My personal wagering menu invariably consists of turf and maiden races of any class-maiden allowances preferred; most allowance races, and any stakes event, from listed to graded levels. Our point of emphasis--and where we’ve enjoyed the most success--is maiden allowances and stakes. I expect that the strike rate may level off but, to date, the win rate is 57%. Invariably, the winners are favored, a surprising number offering betting value, even as strong favorites, with relatively few at odds-on. Of course, I cannot blame anyone who regards that figure with a healthy amount of skepticism. Bettors will have to judge for themselves on the merits.

The best use of the PEPs comes in highly random events where competitive-figure horses at huge prices makes putting up with the chaos worthwhile—if you have the mental fortitude to survive the long droughts that surely will come. Obviously, betting within your means, whatever that is, will keep bettors liquid enough until that illusive score comes. Scores occur infrequently and the empirical evidence informs us that no one knows when it will be. Invariably, however, one can bet that it will. Thus, a long-term mindset is a horseplayer’s best friend. This may seem obvious but one should never lose sight of the fact that the majority of longshots finish in-the-money rather than win. And so, bet accordingly, matching up the Projected Energy Performance figure with the early-line and final odds. I always hear the counsel of my late, great friend, Cary Fotias: “In the end, it’s about price, not about horse.”


Taking Upstart to win, no price restrictions, making exacta key boxes with Itsaknockout and Frosted, and adding Frammento to the super-exotics mix.

Number of Selections since 2008: 1695

Number of Win and Place Finishes: 510-328

Amount Wagered: $3,390 [to win only]

Total Dollar Return on Investment: $3,505.20

Profit to Date: $115.20

The format as this is a work in progress and coding is not my strong suit. In that regard, actually, the author has no clothes. But we're working on it and I just wanted to get this out there. There are examples of two more races, the Canadian Turf and Gulfstream Park Sprint, which can be found at

Written by John Pricci

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Cibelli Has a Wildcat in Gulf Feature

The domination of bettable favorites in Gulfstream's feature races this week is highly likely to continue in today's state-breds allowances/optional claiming sprint. All the elements are in place for Wildcat Gaze to make the move from winning maiden to preliminary-allowances winner.

She holds a significant edge on our Energy Performance scale, made a lifetime best effort at today's distance, conforming her affinity for the Hallandale surface, she has tactical speed, kick, a desirable outside slip and Castellano on a return call for the very live Cibelli barn. I can't beat her.

Taking Wildcat Gaze to win, no price restrictions, and key-boxing her in exactas with recent game runner-up Like a Charm and first-Lasix user Little Miss Julia, adding price shot Jamie's Dancer to the super-exotics mix.

Number of Selections since 2008: 1694

Number of Win and Place Finishes: 510-328

Amount Wagered: $3,388 [to win only]

Total Dollar Return on Investment: $3,505.20

Profit to Date: $117.20

Written by John Pricci

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winning’s in His DNA

It appears Shug McGaughey's 4YO has this group at his mercy in today's 8th from Gulfstream (yes, a maiden race as the feature as the $48,000 purse is the largest of the day); considering he's a non-maiden vs. non-winners, courtesy of the Laurel stewards.

There is no denying how much better the Medaglia d'Oro colt performed with first-time Lasix and new blinkers. Distance is no problem, his Payson Park work-line is solid, and the outside post going a flat mile beneath Javier Castellano is just more icing on the cake.

No choice but to take Hereditary (8-5) to win, no price restrictions, key-boxing exactas with well meant stretch-out Thatcher Street (5-2) and highly-likely-to-improve second-timer Sudden Urges (20-1), and adding Crowned Heart (9-2), Have A Good Laugh (15-1) and Chivalrous (4-1) below in the super-exotics mix.

Number of Selections since 2008: 1693

Number of Win and Place Finishes: 509-328

Amount Wagered: $3,386 [to win only]

Total Dollar Return on Investment: $3,500.80

Profit to Date: $114.80

Written by John Pricci

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