HRI Featured Writers
HRI Featured Writers

Pricci’s Free Race Analysis

Five days per week, John Pricci will provide analysis of that day's feature race. His long term approach, combining visual interpretation with informed Energy Figures, has resulted in a positive ROI since the feature's inception, from May, 2007 through the latest results.

Executive Editor John Pricci
Executive editor John Pricci provides his insights on everything thoroughbred racing. Big horses, big races, politics, it's all here in his " Morning Line " blog and " On the Line " column


Tom Jicha
Tom has been a sports writer, columnist, and an editor at various times throughout a journalistic career that spans more than four decades. His passionate writing and reporting on thoroughbred racing can now be read in his "Ante Post" blog.


Indulto
Indulto's "Players Up" blog. Taking his nickname from the King Ranch color-bearer of the 1960s, Indulto now devotes his time to advocate for the recreational player and hobbyist, but prefers lower takeout rates for all rather than subsidized rebates for the few.


Robert Earle
Rob Earle is a lifelong horseman, IT whizzkid & racing fanatic, and will be bringing you some industry thoughts in his "Easy as 123Bet" blog.


Marc Lawrence - On Sports
Marc Lawrence will be contributing his sports handicapping insights and providing college and NFL Best Bets in his " Playbook" blog.
 
 


Latest Columns and Blogs

Charles Town Classic: Prepping For Dollars

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., April 17, 2016—The best horse in America runs Saturday—in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Oh well, so it wasn’t Hot Springs.

Now we have nothing against the good people of the Mountain State, mind you. God knows they’re a tough lot, know how to cope with hard work and on-the-job adversity.

But the racing in minor league, as glorified bullrings usually are. And the minor leagues have its place, although that position has become increasingly difficult to defend in these trying times.

To make it work, West Virginia racing had to be propped up by casino dole. And with that they put all their Thoroughbred eggs in one Classic basket, throwing dollars at their only national event.

The result has been that the equine equivalent of the 1 percent has swooped in with the “big hoss” and snatched up all those golden eggs without drawing an anxious deep breath. Just ask Mike Smith.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (3)
No Slouching Towards Louisviile

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 4, 2015—From New York City to Lexington to Arcadia, many of this country’s elite three year olds put on a superb show that is sure to whet the appetites of America’s Race fans one month from today.

In each of three nine-furlong Grade 1s, the cream rose, other logical favorites, save Daredevil, gave it their best and a couple of upstarts, especially the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass runners-up, are peaking right on top of the Kentucky Derby.

That’s the thing about three year olds in the spring; they’re all just like boxes of chocolate. You never know what you will find or how far down the bottom really goes.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (7)

Derby points should play a creative new role

Dortmund and Materiality have never lost. American Pharoah and Carpe Diem are unbeaten this year. But one of the top Kentucky Derby contenders could have his first defeat sealed before he steps onto the track. Whoever draws the No. 1 post is all but eliminated. This should not be the fate of any serious horse. Let one of the under-achievers swallow the poison pill. An easy way to accomplish this would be to have the connections pick their posts in the order of the points they have earned.


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (52)
Arkansas Derby might be rare case of ‘It’s not about the money” being the truth


The Arkansas Derby figures to be a well endowed public workout for American Pharoah, "a spectacular, spectacular horse," in the words of Justin Zayat, who manages his father's racing operation. For the others, the final major Kentucky Derby prep is an opportunity to grab enough of the minor share points to earn a berth in the Churchill Downs starting gate.


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (4)

All Hail Conquering Pharoah


SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 12, 2015—That’s it, right? All done? No more preps?

Finally, just two weeks of “just what we wanted, well within himself, couldn’t be doing any better” workouts leading up to the big dance and all that’s left is the betting.

Yes, being a little facetious because workouts at Churchill Downs do mean a lot: If it were possible, you could have asked Charlie Whittingham. Now you could speak with Carl Nafzger, or Graham Motion, or… But first things first:

Commented on a thread here that I wanted to see another dimension, and I did: I see the immediate future up ahead. It’s like you’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.

It’s a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Tri-light Zone.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (14)
Start Spreading the News: Get With the Program


SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 7, 2015: California maybe be dominating the top of the HRI Kentucky Derby Power 10, and everyone else’s list, too, but never before this late in the prep season have New York-breds been in such a lofty position among the Derby elite.

Maybe it’s all that love emanating from a recent return to Queens where yellow cabs are now an outer-borough lime green and 5-time NBA All-Star Chris Mullin is poised to bring pride back to his once storied alma mater.

And it didn’t snow over the weekend, so life here is good.

In any case, just a mention that there are two New York-breds among the HRI Power 10 with a third, Saturday’s Wood Memorial runner-up Tencendur, on the AEs waiting to break in.

Holy Funny Cide!


Written by John Pricci | Comments (11)

H Allen Jerkens: Humble Greatness

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla., March 20, 2015—The news that The Chief passed away yesterday was not unexpected. I asked his son how his dad was doing when I saw him in the Gulfstream paddock last Saturday. “He’s in rough shape,” Jimmy Jerkens said.

Infections at the age of 85 are not trifling things, and while he died in a hospital in South Florida, it could not have been more appropriate that the news was broken to me via a New York Racing Association press release.

He loved New York and he loved New York racing. Oh, he spent his winters in South Florida but most years, the glory years, he came for the season and not a reason. He knew the horses needed some down time. So do legendary horsemen.

Then, when he returned to New York in the spring, his horses would run right off the television screen.

You likely will read this everywhere so you might as well read it here, too. The sport will never see his kind again.

The Charleys, the Woodys, and now the Chief; they’re all gone. They’re part of racing’s past, a legacy that will not be shared someday by the successful corporate trainers that dominate today’s national stage.

Losing the Chief is more than the end of an era. A sport struggling to maintain its relevancy lost more than that yesterday. This wasn’t death by a thousand tiny cuts, something the game has struggled with; this is one giant loss.

Better still, the loss of a giant.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (6)
Saturday in the Parks

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., March 15, 2015—Despite the awful weather in Hot Springs and the glorious atmospherics in South Florida Saturday, it was an excellent day of racing in both spots. Let’s begin locally.

On its face, it didn’t seem to be much of a Saturday-type card at Gulfstream Park, until the racing started that is.

There were no graded stakes, in fact, there were only two 75-granders, the kind of stakes program that only Mr. Corrow could love.

But as long as there are maiden allowance types all over the program and gates full of turf runners, Gulfstream Park will always have an attractive Saturday card for fans and bettors alike.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (3)



 


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Tenfold increase in 123racing wager handle online

15th April 2015, Alpharetta, Georgia (Press Release) – 123gaming Inc. the gaming technology developer reported that 123bet.com its online wagering destination, which began marketing to the general public in mid-September as the first home of the 123racing Pick6 wager online in the US, delivered more…


Apr 16 | Categories: 123Bet, | Comments (0)
Keeneland Barn Notes for April 15

• PLETCHER SCHEDULES SUNDAY WORK FOR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WINNER CARPE DIEM
• UNITARIAN GOES FOR REPEAT IN SATURDAY’S DIXIANA ELKHORN
• DECEPTIVE VISION RETURNS TO THE DIRT FOR 2015 DEBUT IN FRIDAY’S HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE
• UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES
• SPRING…


Apr 16 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
Stellar Path heads field set for Plenty of Grace

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Originally scheduled for April 12, the $100,000 Plenty of Grace for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at One mile is now set to be run Friday at Aqueduct Racetrack. The first turf stakes race of the Spring meet at the Big A, the Plenty of Grace drew a field of eight runners.

Apr 16 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
Keeneland Barn Notes for April 14

• HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE ATTRACTS FIELD OF NINE
• SAHAM TAKES STEP UP IN WEDNESDAY’S RESCHEDULED TRANSYLVANIA PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT
• UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES
• SPRING MEET LEADERS




Apr 15 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
Quotes from the $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1)

Chad Brown (winning trainer of Ball Dancing)

On rival Filimbi making move around the far turn to challenge Ball Dancing
“I could tell (jockey) Javier (Castellano) really didn’t want to move at that point but luckily (with) his great instincts he felt them coming and put (Filimbi)…


Apr 12 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
$1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) Quotes

Bob Baffert, 1st, American Pharoah: "He's amazing horse. With the way he works, he's always been a professional horse from the start. We were hoping he could do something like that and he showed it today. We're so excited about him."

In rating off the pace today instead of setting it: "He's…


Apr 12 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
$1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) Quotes

Bob Baffert, 1st, American Pharoah: "He's amazing horse. With the way he works, he's always been a professional horse from the start. We were hoping he could do something like that and he showed it today. We're so excited about him."

In rating off the pace today instead of setting it: "He's…


Apr 12 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
Keeneland Barn Notes for April 10

• EDEN PRAIRIE LINES UP FOR GRADE 1 SHOT IN SATURDAY’S JENNY WILEY
• CLOSING-DAY BEWITCH ATTRACTS 46 NOMINATIONS
• GALLOPING OUT
• SPRING MEET LEADERS




Apr 11 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
$600,000 Apple Blossom (G1) Quotes

Steve Asmussen, trainer Untapable, 1st – “I was awfully concerned with how sharp she's been, the works that she's put in," Asmussen said. "I thought Johnny did a great job with her into the first turn. Once they lined out down the backside, I thought she was really in a commanding position and ran…


Apr 11 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
Quotes from the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile

Tristan Barry (assistant to Todd Pletcher, winning trainer of Jack Milton)

“We had two plans. If he broke well, we were going to sit close to the pace and pounce. If he didn’t, we were going to sit back and make one run. Plan B worked well.”

On the next race for Jack Milton

Apr 10 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
Oaklawn Barn Notes - Friday, April 10

Race Favorites Enjoying Much Improved Weather

Thursday’s heavy rain storms and humidity blew out of Hot Springs overnight and the resulting much cooler and crisper morning air perked up the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) contenders and had them on their…


Apr 10 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
Keeneland Barn Notes for April 9

• LADY ELI AND SUNSET GLOW IN BREEDERS’ CUP REMATCH IN SUNDAY’S APPALACHIAN PRESENTED BY JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION
• WEST COAST INVADER FANTASTIC STYLE HEADLINES SUNDAY’S ADENA SPRINGS BEAUMONT
• GRADE 3 WINNER LEGENDARY BEGINS SEASON IN FRIDAY’S MAKER’S 46 MILE
• DONWORTH…


Apr 10 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)