John Pricci executive editor John Pricci has over three decades of experience as a thoroughbred racing public handicapper and was an award-winning journalist while at New York Newsday for 18 years.

John has covered 14 Kentucky Derbies and Preaknesses, all but three Breeders' Cups since its inception in 1984, and has seen all but two Belmont Stakes live since 1969.

Currently John is a contributing racing writer to, an analyst on the Capital Off-Track Betting television network, and co-hosts numerous handicapping seminars. He resides in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

In Search of Shipping Money

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, June 15, 2012--With New Yorkers now marking time between today and opening day at the Spa, let’s pass some of the time trying to build a Saratoga bankroll. Late Pick 4 at Belmont Park, anyone?

It’s a difficult sequence, of course, without a no-brainer single and with 49 horses entered overnight in four races.

But one has to take a stand somewhere, and on occasion must avail themselves to sub-tickets which at once allows for spreading the risk and optimizing the play. To wit”

Race 7, State-bred Allowances N1X: Initially, we left six horses open but pared down the list to three. Stonecoldsteamer (5-1) could take advantage of any pace meltdown turning back for Rick Dutrow, owning huge stats first-time Lasix and a profitable 35% [BRIS] with his turnbacks.

The two favorites will be tough outs: Notmyfirsttime (5-2) won its state-bred Belmont debut by 7¼ lengths earning a huge layover figure on the Equiform scale, albeit at 5-1/2 furlongs; Asmussen’s gave him five weeks recovery. Shanny B (2-1) has always been a well-regarded New Yorker from top connections; broke maiden in open many earning competitive figure at 2; with normal development…

Race 8, Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes: Would not be shocked if any of seven 3-year-olds won this which we’ve “whittled” down to four, including the classy favorite Howe Great (3-1) that owns consistently top figures and has been keeping excellent graded company. His main rival will be Summer Front (7-2), 3-for-3 on turf, graded placed in the Lexington (Polytrack), and then was ambitiously placed in the main track Peter Pan.

Interesting inclusions are Shkspeare Shaliyah (12-1) who had the wrong setup in his season’s debut in the Murphy Memorial at Pimlico Preakness day and Our Entourage (6-1) spotted ambitiously on dirt but 2-for-3 on turf; purposeful recent workline for Pletcher.

Race 9, State-bred Allowances, N1X: Wide open route in which six of 10 can do it and we’ll settle on three for the main ticket. Satin Sheeks (7-5) won a good figure two-turn debut on turf following sprint try at 2 at today’s trip then was hindered by soft pace in first start at Belmont; improvement very likely.

Elusive Rumor (4-1) is also coming off a Pace Low after earning top figure score at this trip in first turf start; pole sitter with Junior Alvarado is value vis a vis early line favorite. Rodinia, yet another off the Pace Low coming from same race as the above, will benefit from promise of firm ground in second off layup switching to turf ace Bravo.

Race 10, State-bred Maiden Allowances: Another six-pack of contenders which we’ll pare down to two. Sherry Bay G. is straight forward, earning top coming after working well for second start and late finisher can benefit from switch to wide Widener course; Clement 31% effective in third-off-layoff scenarios. Desert Bliss had too much to do when closing for second in season’s debut; Jeremiah Englehart, having breakout season, taps Irad Ortiz, the team that won bred stakes last weekend.

50-Cent Main Ticket:
2. 5. 9 with 1. 7. 8. 9 with 1. 5. 10 with 5. 8 = $36
Sub-1: 2. 5. 9 with 9 with 6. 8 with 5. 8 = $6
Sub-2: 2. 5. 9 with 9 with 1. 5. 10 with 4. 7. 9. 11 = $18

Total: $60

Written by John Pricci

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