I didn’t intend to go public with these results but since I’m always looking to earn by creating useful new products, I thought it was time to try something different and frankly, can use your input.

I have a Horses to Watch betting methodology that has worked well for over four decades and, in a vast majority of this years, has yielded profitable results. I thought, why not share?

Needless to say this takes time and dedication to produce and I’m not giving “expertise” away for free. So I’m begging your indulgence and will explain further.

If you are personally interested, great. If not, your opinions would still be invaluable to me. My teeth aren’t getting any shorter. I don’t have time to waste.

I was one of the original trip handicappers in the early 1970s. It helped land me a job as Newsday’s first Thoroughbred racing handicapper, that and a Sunday column of which Horses to Watch were a popular segment.

I prided myself on knowing how to watch races, insights gleaned from countless harness racing nights at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceways. It was my life back then and trips were everything.

In the day, I remembered all that I saw. Now, observations must go into a computer file, on convenient work sheets or handy scraps of paper, old school style. Either way, the process is all too familiar:

Write down the name, the trip note, in short-hand symbols provided me by a professional gambler from Manhattan, Paul Mellos, who also taught me about the nuances of pace.

Any horses that made the list I bet back three times regardless of how they looked on past performances. You read that correctly; blind betting on past observations, no handicapping required.

Horses were given three strikes before being stricken from the list. Once a horse won within those three starts, it also came off the list: Mission Accomplished. (But the memory lingers, feeling you know something about a particular horse no one else does).

This, of course, was at a time when replays were not available unless you went to the racetrack the next day and watched all nine races from the previous day, pan shots only; no slow-motion stretch runs.

Now, replays are ubiquitous. Consequently, very impressive visual performances and obvious trouble horses most often return as underlays. Today, good trip handicapping requires more nuance but, to be honest, nothing get passed true wise-guys.

So, thinking about a new product to go with the Tote Busters© Late Pick 4—available at JohnPricci.com on event and special race-days only—I began writing my stable-mail horses in a calendar book this summer and began keeping score.

Many of the winners came in its very next start; others coming within the three-start deadline, exactly which start went unnoted.

(Some of those will be apparent where names appear more than once. We did not start noting off-odds for non-winners until later in the process).

The Horses to Watch that follow were culled from sources listed above including table mail [the editor takes no responsibility for misspellings from the scrunched printing in my tiny calendar book—have since procured a larger one].

Again, the following horses were either coming off impressive, development-likely wins; very troubled trips; horses given a run; extraordinary workout videos and back-of-the-pack finishers that galloped out strongly:

JUNE 2017


ANTONOL, LRL: won on 6/10, $8.10
GONE AWAY, LRL: won on 6/10, $3.20
AMERICAN SPARROW, CD: 3rd on 6/10
UNCLE MOJO, BEL: placed on 6/11 @ 8-1
EL ZEAL, BEL(?): won on 6/11, $3.40
BALLAGH ROCKS, BEL: won on 6/18, $8.20
DEARIE, BEL: out on 6/22 @ 80-1
RINCE TAPAIGH, WO(?): won via DQ on 6/24, $14.00

JULY

UNMOORED, ELLIS: 2nd on 7/3 @ 2-1
AMERICAN SPARROW, ELLIS: out on 7/7 @ 12-1
GONE AWAY, DEL: 3rd on 7/8 @ 10-1
BLACKTYPE, BEL: 3RD on 7/14, (odds?)
GRAND JETE, BEL: won on 7/14, $2.70
WEST COAST, LOS AL, won on 7/15, $2.70
DEARIE, BEL: out on 7/16 at 80-1
UNCLE MOJO, SAR: won on 7/16, $7.20
GIFTED LADY, SAR: out on 7/24 @ 3-1
GREELEY AND BEN, ELLIS: won on 7/29, $26.80
PAINTER’S RAGS, SAR: out on 7/29 at 6-1
EL DEAL, SAR: won on 7/29, $7.80
COMPLETELY BONKERS, ELLIS: 2nd at 1-1 on 7/29

AUGUST

HARKNESS, SAR: won on 8/2, $14.80
TIZZELE, SAR: 2ND on 8/4 at 6-5
FLY E DUBAI, LRL: out on 8/5 @ 24-1
YOUR LOVE, SAR: out on 8/5 @ 5-1
TRICKSTER, DEL: 3rd on 8/9 @ 6-1
UNMOORED, ELLIS: won on 8/11, $6.00
SPANISH RIVER, WO, out at 24-1 on 8/12
CONQUEST CLASSIC, ARL, out at 26-1 on 8/13
AMERICAN SPARROW, BELTERRA: out on 8/17 @ 1-2
TAPERGE, SAR: won on 8/17, $5.20 (made note to bet back again next time)
PAINTER’S RAGS, SAR: 2nd on 8/18 at 5-2

SEPTEMBER


GRAND PRIX, PARX: won on 9/2, $5.20
FLY E DUBAI, LRL: 3rd at 34-1 on 9/30

OCTOBER

MAISIE, TRACK (?): out on (date?) @ 40-1(?)
HELOOKSTHEPART, BEL: won on 10/7, $11.60
TIZ MISCHIEF, KEE: won on 10/7, $8.00
LONE SAILOR, KEE: 3rd on 10/7 @ 14-1 [Breeders’ Futurity]
LIONITE, KEE: 4th on 10/7 @ 20-1 [Breeders’ Futurity] [note: Horse to Watch again]
FREE DROP BILLY, KEE: won on 10/7 at $5 [Breeders’ Futurity] (Dime Super $976.95)
TAP DADDY, KEE: 2nd on 10/8 @ 3-1
FLY E DUBAI, LRL: 3RD on 10/13 @ 10-1
AWESTRUCK, KEE: 2nd on 10/13 @ 5-2
GIFTED LADY, BEL: out on 10/14 at 5-1
ENGLISH DANCER, KEE: out on 10/14 @ 12-1 [note: improved, soft ground, bet back]
SPANISH RIVER, WO: out on 10/18 (odds?)
SANAVI, HAW: won on 10/21, paid $4.50
TIZZELLE, BEL: out on 10/21 @ 3-1--note: 3-4 wide all, too soon lead, wants 2 turns?

I made required bets on all the horses listed—without benefit of past performances analysis, a standard $20 wager, odds dependent:
At early line odds of 4-1 or less, straight to win.
At early line odds from 4-1 to 8-1, straight and place.
At early line odds of 10-1 or greater, straight and show.
I then open the past performances, handicap the race, and press accordingly, or not. (This list was compiled on 10/21/17).

***

From JUN 10 through yesterday I placed 54 $20 wagers, or $1,080. The return was $1,444 for a positive ROI of $364 based on visual research with no handicapping.

The price shots listed above that did not win filled out several handsome vertical payouts. (The Dime Super in the Breeders’ Futurity was a nice surprise but certainly not shocking).

It doesn’t sound like much money unless one considers what the average player loses over the course of five months.

What will all this “video genius” cost? I’m thinking $2 per horse--and if it doesn’t win within three starts, the $2 will be refunded.

The way it would be handled--since there’s no telling when these horses will race—is that fans/bettors would express their interest at JohnPricci.com, a “free subscription” if you will.

I then will send players the Horses to Watch to watch via personal email in advance. Each client would be billed on the last day of the month. Payments can be made by check or through PayPal at JohnPricci.com.

The e-mailing would begin starting JAN 1, 2018. It will include the horse's name and complete trip note.

So there it is. Whether you’re interested in a product like this or not, I would value your input and any positive criticism accompanied by some helpful suggestion.