John Parisella

Recently retired, John Parisella has won races every year from 1969 through 2016. For the uninitiated, he put New York winter racing on the map by being the first trainer to go to Canada, then California, to purchase ready-made horses and swept nearly all the winter stakes run that season.

Parisella trained horses for Don Adams, Don Rickles, Omar Sharif and James Caan, among others, earning him two appearances on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." He won his share of New York training titles despite his rivals having more stock. He went to Turfway Park one winter with six head and $50,000 for claims and set a meet record for most winners.

His Simply Majestic set track records in Northern California--the only horse ever to make the front page of the San Francisco Examiner, above the fold. Wayne Lukas said at the time that Simply Majestic was the best managed horse he ever saw. The respect peers have for Parisella’s horsemanship is universal.


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Monday, August 08, 2016

A Small But Select Group


Derby Music 8/3 made a powerful run to finished second. Best spot would be to run him back for $32K going a little farther but don't I’d like to see him any higher than that.

Rocking Rudy 8/5 is a two-year-old that won his maiden-claiming debut by 11 and the jock never moved a muscle. Interestingly, the trainer did not run him at the maiden-special level. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him purchased privately in the not too distant future.

Alaskan Son 8/6, making his second U.S. start, got caught in a pocket jam. When he finally got out, he came flying to finish third and almost won it all.

Straight Fire 8/6, 2-year-old flew home in his second lifetime start in a very fast race. Out of an A.P. Indy mare, we’re waiting for the stretchout for top distance connections that keep coming up with top class runners.


I wasn’t impressed by any of the fillies I saw in the Test Stakes.

As for the Whitney, I haven't seen what Frosted did in a very, very long time; two monstrous efforts back to back.

The way he went to the front in tough fractions and kept going; wow. As long as the track is fast, he’s the horse to beat anywhere he runs the rest of the year.

Written by John Pricci

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Monday, August 01, 2016

Slow Week, Fast Horses


Tale of Ruby, July 15: Was bet down to 2-1 from 8-1 morning line against an odds-on rival. When they broke from the gate, the rider had her wrapped up doubled as if he knew the race was over. He was right as she flew down the lane. Should have very little problem going through her conditions.

End Play, July 28: She showed good speed going an extra furlong, laying just off the pace and finished gamely. We’re looking for her on the turnback.


Accelerate July 29:
Laid right off the speed in his first around two turns, made good move on final turn and took off like a jet plane, winning by almost 10. Finished up his final quarter in 24 2/5 in a wow performance. Stakes bound for sure.

Brandothebartender, July 28: After racing thing times in a short period, trainer freshened him almost four months, and ran him back going five-eighths. Cal-bred finished like a wild horse and stretching out to a route won’t stop this runner from finding the winners circle back to back.


BACKSIDE VIEW: Before Beholder was beaten on Saturday, she was being favorably compared to Zenyatta. Let's face it. This game will bring both owners, trainers and players to their knees.

Stella Wind
was awesome, hooking Beholder at a crucial point and wearing her down. If they meet again, it's a coin toss if there is other speed in the race; I like Stellar Wind.

Off this performance, racing Beholder against California Chrome and Dortmund would be a mistake…

The recent decision by New York State is somewhat troublesome to me. Why allow a product like DMSO to be applied on raceday without explaining the effects it would have without considering its use in tandem with corticosteroids? That’s the real issue officials should be concentrating on…

Now let's talk about the racetrack surface at Saratoga starting with the first race of the meet. The track has been very cuppy, favoring horses racing outside but, more importantly, the inside was not the place to be. A little more uniform on Saturday, tracks that cup out badly need to be watered constantly.

Written by John Parisella

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Monday, July 25, 2016

May the Horseman Be With You

PLEASANT HILL, CA., July 25, 2016--


Firing Line, July 9: Returning from a long absence, warmed up sore in behind, which likely relates to the reason for the layup He raced poorly and we’ll be looking to bet against next time unless horse shows much improvement in post parade.


Private Zone, July 9: Like Firing Line, a potential bet-against unless he returns to weaker competition. Apparently the new barn doesn’t have the same magic touch the previous outfit had.

Runaway Lute, July 16:
Ran an incredible race, missing the break, catching up quickly then ate some dirt. Should beat any state-bred lined up against him but I expect him to be tough to handle in open stakes at Saratoga. So far, the sky’s the limit.

She Doesn’t Mind, July 17: Got to the rail from an outside post but it worked to her demise. She got bottled up, jock swung outside turning for home but was behind a wall of horses. When nothing opened, he altered course and finished a good third.

Bella Joy, July 15: Finished third while full of run following a layoff and getting a big trainer change. Waiting on this one at Saratoga.

Cloontia, July 15: Should win next condition easily, even if spotted at NY-bred stakes level. Certainly bred right and rates to develop into a consistent stakes performer.


Sentiero Italia 7/22: Stumbled at the start found position swung out drew away with ease a horse to reckon with in stakes coming up. Barn off to hot start.

Bitumen, 7/23:
First time out ran a extremely fast quarter mile and stayed very well, but in his stakes win at the he finished fast following a slow start and galloped out strongly. Two-year-old must be reckoned for the rest of the year.


Monster Bea, July 15: Won opening day Oceanside from post 12 in very convincing fashion, steamrolling through the stretch. Look for him to be very competitive in future graded stakes.

Grandma’s Hands, July 15: Rallied very wide in a pace-less race and still got up for the win. Realistic fractions will help the cause for a repeat next time.

Alaskan Sun, July 15:
In great hands and won very convincingly. Should have little problem taking anticipated next step up the class ladder.

Karma King, July 15: High-priced claimer on the move up for new barn, was caught up in a suicidal duel and was very game to finish second. Look for his speed to dominate the pace next time out.

Rye, July 15: Can’t wait for him to run back in next condition. Trainer added blinkers looking for more speed or focus. This horse was about a dozen lengths back and exploded through the stretch, winning with ease.

Veiled Heat, July 15: Cal-bred 2-year-old finished well in debut going 5 furlongs, jock just allowing him to run only final quarter-mile. Will be very competitive going farther.

Entrechat, July 17: Should have won a Grade 3 going long last year then raced poorly next time, something going wrong. After returning from a layup, came back this year only to disappoint in four sprints. Laid up again, she returned to win a sprint impressively then won going away next start going long. Distance racing is her best game. Grade 3 next?

Enchanting Lady, July 20: Trainer had two horses in this race. Not taking anything away from the winner but this horse was bothered at the start, breaking behind the field, then came flying to finish second, galloping out strongly far ahead of the competition.

Tattenham, July 21:
Broke poorly twice, which is a knock, but came from last went 5 wide and took the lead and still fin a comfortable 3rd also trainer took him back which is always a positive sign worth following at 32 M level.


Wizardly, July 15: Very lackadaisical handling by the jock until he swung him out. After that he finished strongly. If trainer runs him back for $25,000, he should fit very nicely at that level.

Written by John Parisella

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