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, July 14, 2012

Let’s Get the Money

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, July 13, 2012--In an attempt to secure some Saratoga shipping money for you non-Spa residents, here's a look at the final Saturday Late Pick 4 from Belmont Park.

Remember, prior results do not guarantee future outcomes:

SEVENTH RACE: Claiming $20,000, 1 1/16th Miles, Inner Turf Course

All races are on turf with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms; making a treacherous sequence even more dubious. We cannot find a single we completely trust.

We left five horses in the mix; two are preferred. 1-Classic R & B (4-1 ML) returns to his winning $20,000 level for Gary Gullo, having a breakout season and is 26% profitable with one-class droppers. Young gelding with speed benefits from switch to speed-favoring inner surface, gets pole position, and Ortiz and Gullo hooked up successfully last weekend.

8-Monastir (5-2) might lack winning profile but form and energy figures have improved since the Servis claim; trainer is profitable in two categories, batting 25% on turf and 33% with claimers. Cornelio gets along nicely with 5YO gelding.

Sub tickets will include 3-Plainview (3-1), a winner at this level with Lezcano on the re-ride; 9-Quick Recovery (15-1), adding blinkers for 3rd start since claim for 20% trainer this scenario, and 10-Launch N Relaunch (12-1) is longer, uncoupled Gullo circling back to top.

EIGHTH: Grade 1 Man o’ War, 1 3/8th Miles, Widener Turf

Five open possibilities, keying on three: 5-Treasure Beach (9-5) is multiple Group 1 winner for O’Brien, including 2011 Secretariat, is co-fastest on energy figures and stalking style suits race shape. Likely overbet but looms most probable winner with recent regular partner, Jamie Spencer.

3-Point Of Entry (5-2), co-fastest, benefits from good spacing, owns sharp blowout around dogs; Shug is profitable 21% efficient in graded stakes and still developing 4-year-old hails from key G2 Elkhorn (3/5).
7-Hudson Steele (5-1) 5YO gelding keeps improving for Pletcher, held very well pacesetting in G1 Manhattan and switches to Bravo; may get preferable target this matchup.

Subs: 2-Center Divider (10-1) is training on schedule and very well for Chad Brown; tactical speed and inside draw helps as does switch to Rosie. 4-Newsdad (4-1) returns for hot Mott/Alvarado team, also out of Keeneland’s Elkhorn but must prove he’s same runner away from Gulfstream Park.

NINTH: Claiming, 6 Furlongs, Inner Turf

Wide open scramble; considering six possibilities, earmarking three: 4-Fear Nothing (7-2) is realistically placed vs. limited winners following tough-trip maiden score; style suits race shape, drawn inside with Castro, energy figure among field’s fastest sprinting on turf.

6-Leroidessanimeaux (5-1) has improved sprinting since (underrated-turf) Chatterpaul claim, also spotted properly off elevated maiden win; exits fast dirt sprint and never has taken backward step on turf.

8-Brown Indian (3-1) drops significantly for worthy second-off-layup connections sporting strong July 9 blowout--2/21 vs. peer group that week termed breezing; Espinoza more than capable on grass.

9-Trouble In Dodge (5-1) tries limited winners in turf debut with suitable pedigree for live Orseno outfit effective with third-off-layup runners. 12-Top Yank (12-1) makes 5YO debut for barn effective with first-time
acquisitions on preferred Belmont green; seems well meant. 2-Luigi P. (15-1), off series of wide trips, drops to proper level with inside draw; lacks winning profile but price shot can finish with patient handling.

TENTH: New York-Bred Maiden Allowances, 7 Furlongs, Widener Turf

Five possibilities, three likely suspects: 1-Riverdance Rock (3-1) finished well too late in open class Monmouth claiming debut; first time state-breds here for 18% second-out connections with apprentice Coa, who’s doing good work at the Shore track.

7-Shy Humor (7-2) went very well in three open claimers recently, including similar scenario game, tough-trip placing last out, now tries state-breds switching to Lezcano; Belmont’s hottest rider this side of Dominguez.

5-Prime Devil (10-1) debuts for Romans with suitable pedigree and picks up turf ace Bravo in what appears a likely spot.

6-Lord Of Love (30-1) went well in lone turf-sprint start at 2 now returns with series of strong works for Hertler, more than capable with returnees, and picks up live apprentice Jose Ortiz. 4-All Stirred Up (9-2) has improved noticeably off barn change to Lakeman; in close with run deep stretch last out and attracts Rosie.

*MAIN TRACK ONLY: 16-Readthebyline (5-2)

Written by John Pricci

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