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.

Mark Berner
Mark has been a groom, clocker, handicapper, sportswriter, columnist and editor at various times throughout a career that has spanned more than three decades. His reporting and opinions on Thoroughbred racing can now be read on HRI in his "Inside New York" blog

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

Figs Don’t Lie: Canterbury and Pimlico Post Significant Gains

HALLANDALE BEACH, May 29, 2016—Long term, the jury on the takeout experiment at Canterbury Park will be sequestered for quite a long time.

But after reviewing the initial evidence, skeptics who questioned whether horseplayers would support a track in the hinterlands with their betting dollars against prime time rivals have been found guilty as charged.

There is one important takeaway for the industry, that no matter which branch of the sport practitioners engage in they need to learn this: Horseplayers Matter.

Whether the opening weekend momentum can be sustained over time is going to keep the jury out for quite some time, which is something that the Shakopee, Minnesota track has pledged to give it.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (1)
Record-Breaking Preakness Weekend: Saga of Triumph and Tragedy

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., May 23, 2016—Just got to love Thoroughbred racing’s Classics: All of it; the pomp, circumstances and performances; animals giving their all, expert horsemanship and, of course, controversy. What’s racing without it?

First the bad news: Leave it to the Drudge Report and other major media outlets, even in my local television market, to lead their Preakness coverage with the two equine fatalities that occurred early Preakness day.

The tagline, by the way, was “Exaggerator won the Preakness denying Nyquist his bid for the Triple Crown.”

What did I expect? What should the industry expect when it gives its horsemen’s groups power to lord over everything, especially leading the opposition to national standardized medication rules and independent, federal oversight of testing procedures?

Before hearing from the Excuse 101 department, this is not about a government takeover.

It’s about the Feds appointing an independent agency, such as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, to mandate standardized medications thresholds and uniform, meaningful sanctions without scape-goating tactics.

It’s about rules and sanctions being administered by appointed board regulators; USADA board members acting in concert with industry appointed regulators.

Why should change come? Because optics matter and so that when equine deaths occur, it would be a portion of big-event racing coverage, not its lead media item.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (10)

Thumbnails on All Entrants in Belmont’s All-Turf Pick 4 Saturday


Exclusively for 123GAMING at

Listed in post-position order by program number


1-Easy Comparison (30-1) has early speed but is winless in four turf starts and only one of 4 siblings have won on turf. Trainer 0-for last 60 starts on grass.

2-Performance Bonus (6-1) won recent two-turn debut for Chad in Parx off-the-turfer. Of dam’s 7 winners to race, only one grass winner. Trainer 30% profitable FT turf; mixed signals.

3-Harpoon (12-1) is 1-for-11 on grass, owns a few competitive Pricci Energy Rating and Bruce Brown can get them ready off lengthy layoffs but barn having tough luck at meet (26) 0-3-7 through Wednesday.

4-Captain Moss (10-1) is 2-for-2 on Belmont turf 1-for-12 doing anything else and earned competitive PER last out for Englehart, 25% with repeaters. Tough dynamics for likely stalker. (continued)

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)
All Stakes Late Pick 4 Preakness Fans

Exclusively for

The following is a thumbnail sketch of every horse in today’s Late Pick 4 at Pimlico, concluding with the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes. All horses listed by program number with early line odds


1-MONSTER SLEEPING (15-1) has worthy turf slate (10) 4-3-2 but winless in two starts at the trip, makes course debut and owns slow figures. Of six sibs to win, she’s the lone grass winner.

2-PEACE PRIZE (30-1) raced greenly in U.S. debut but rallied gamely for place and was claimed into barn that doe OK with new acquisitions given a limited sample. Rider Kali 2-for-9 for this barn but this is entirely different animal for this 4YO.

3-TIGER RIDE (7-2) has won half of her six turf starts, including two at this trip, has competitive Pricci Energy Ratings with this group and makes third start off the layup for Motion, profitable with graded stakes runners, and barn regular Prado in the boot.

4-CAMILLIE CLAUDEL (20-1) of dams two offspring to win, none have come on turf. Best guess for recent secondary allowances winner is that she’s looking for race to shift to wet main track.

5-OL’ FASHION GAL (6-1) looks like bargain purchase for $60K is a nicely developing 4YO winner of Grade 3s in both Canada and U.S. Stable rider Leparoux aloft but this class jump looks formidable here. Interesting prospect.

6-NISHARONA (12-1) is 5YO daughter of mare that has produced four turf victors from as many winners to race including her. Returns with bounce-rebound pattern, she handles any type of ground but this is ambitious win spot for turf barn yet to win a graded stakes.

7-FLYING TIPAT (15-1) boasts ordinary 2-for-15 turf slate at lower levels and has run to run a competitive figure. Romans’ charges know for surprises and is reaching for home boy Lanerie here.

8-JOSDESAIMEAUX (4-1) is a lightly raced 4YO with gaps in her running lines but has repeatedly brought her ‘A’ game recently. Owns competitive recent PERs and is second off a layoff for Casse/Lezcano team that’s enjoying profitable 2016.

9-MISS MONEY (9-2) is a nicely developing 4YO that was highly competitive in overnight stakes at Fair Grounds this winter. Returns fresh with steady works for Flint barn, whose horses often outrun their odds. Note switch to Castellano.

10-GINGER N RYE (12-1)placed gamely in a Laurel overnighter when making slowly run 4YO debut. Figures to benefit for crafty turf connections (limited sample) and owns promising turf slate (4) 2-2-0 with a win at this trip.

11-VIELSALM (30-1) the closest she’s come to this level of competition is a narrow defeat vs. Maryland-breds last year as 5YO. Beaten 3-1/2 lengths in tough-trip sprint return from layup Apr. 24 but draw does her no favors.

12-HEATH (6-1) makes second start off the layup for Mott (21%) in which she handled 11 rivals off the bench and has been very competitive in overnight turf stakes. Owns versatile style beneath versatile Geroux with worthy 3-for-8 turf slate, including two wins at the trip.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (9)

NYRA needed Nyquist but the vanquished champ didn’t need the Belmont

Whether Nyquist's elevated white cell count was genuine or phantom, not running the champ in the grueling Belmont Stakes is the right call. NYRA will be hurt but Nyquist's reputation won't be. There's plenty of season left to get even with Exaggerator. Meanwhile, some Las Vegas casinos are acting like racing jurisdictions that try to squeeze every cent out of players with increased takeout. Free parking will end on June 6. The response should be the same as it is to high takeout states. Boycott the money grabbers.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (8)
Saturday’s Preakness a great show but a poor bet

Nyquist figures to dominate the Preakness just as he has his previous eight races and head to Belmont vying to become the second Triple Crown winner in 38 years. It will be difficult to find betting value even in the exotics. But it's still one of racing's biggest spectacles, so watch and enjoy. Also don't forget to support Canterbury, which opens its 2016 seasonon Friday, with its new low takeout, which will be monitored nationwide.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (15)

Amid Growing Pains, “Belmont Park Live” Is Off and Running: No Belmont for Nyquist

ELMONT, NY, May 24, 2016 – Just as they did with "Thoroughbred Action with Harvey Park," the New York Racing Association is again doing what no racetrack has done before.

Welcome to "Belmont Park Live," a two-hour live show from Big Sandy that uses the late Pick 4 wager as its focal point.

NYRA debuted it's new television show on the MSG+ network May 18.

As with many new live programming ventures, initial broadcasts were plagued with technical difficulties but most were ironed out by the end of its first week. The show is unique and has great potential as a template for the industry.

Written by Mark Berner | Comments (24)
NYRA’s New Twist on the Old Bait and Switch

ELMONT, NY, May 10, 2016 - The internet and social media has been abuzz with news about the New York Racing Association's plans to install a synthetic racing surface at Aqueduct Racetrack.

All went as planned for NYRA: It was was dealt lemons and decided to make lemonade instead.

NYRA appeared to be shutout when officials from New York State announced a deal that put 1,000 video lottery terminals allotted to Nassau County OTB in Genting's Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack.

That deal was cut without any revenue from the added VLT's scheduled to be paid to NYRA or horsemen.

However, the deal requires the New York State Gaming Commission to oversee Nassau OTB's repayment of debt to NYRA, which totaled over $5-million for 2015 through the first quarter of 2016.

NYRA also used the occasion of a May 2nd meeting of the Franchise Oversight Board meeting to fire a shot across the bow of Genting's flagship casino in New York City.

Written by Mark Berner | Comments (10)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Mighty Mo headlines Paradise Creek

ELMONT, N.Y. - Woodhaven runner-up Mighty Mo is set to take on a field of up-and-coming grass sprinters in Saturday's featured race at Belmont Park, the $100,000 Paradise Creek for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on the Widener turf course.

Mighty Mo, owned by Jake Ballis and Rashard Lewis,…

May 26 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Exaggerator Enjoys Another Morning at Pimlico; Nyquist Improving

BALTIMORE – Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Exaggerator jogged two miles over the main track at historic Pimlico Race Course Wednesday morning, his second straight day on the track since his 3 ½-length victory in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown May 21.

Trainer Keith Desormeaux continues…

May 25 | Categories: Pimlico, | Comments (0)
Exaggerator Returns to Track, Nyquist’s Temperature Normal

BALTIMORE – Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Exaggerator was playful and happy Tuesday morning as he returned to the track at Pimlico Race Course.

“We’re really pleased with him,” said assistant trainer Julie Clark. “I was just talking to the groom and even after two races back-to-back…

May 24 | Categories: Preakness Stakes, | Comments (0)
Exaggerator Takes a Walk, Back to Track Tuesday

BALTIMORE, MD – Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Exaggerator took a walk around the shedrow Monday morning at Pimlico Race Course two days after winning the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown by 3 ½ lengths.

Trainer Keith Desormeaux said Exaggerator, runner-up to Preakness favorite Nyquist…

May 23 | Categories: Preakness Stakes, | Comments (0)
Where’s the Widget puts on a Steady Growth show

TORONTO, May 23 – Where’s the Widget, owned by Mary Biamonte and trained by Ralph Biamonte, romped to an emphatic eight-length score in the $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes, the Victoria Day Holiday Monday feature at Woodbine.

The Giant Gizmo gelding, bred in Ontario by Pamela Edel, arrived…

May 23 | Categories: Woodbine, | Comments (0)
Exaggerator Gives Thrilling Homecoming to Desormeauxs in Preakness

Winner of Middle Jewel of Triple Crown Turns Tables on Nyquist
Handle and Attendance Records Set

– Exaggerator turned the tables on previously undefeated Nyquist Saturday at Pimlico, providing a thrilling homecoming for brothers Kent and Keith Desormeaux with a…

May 22 | Categories: Preakness Stakes, | Comments (0)
Post-Race Preakness interview

An Interview with:


Q. Keith, you talked all week about the young three year olds, who can mature from week to week, race to race and you said that might be the difference between…

May 22 | Categories: Preakness Stakes, | Comments (0)
Black-Eyed Susan News & Notes

Black-Eyed Susan (G2) Could Mark Turning Point for Dothraki Queen
Hall of Fame Baffert Looking to Win Skipat in ‘Style’
Matured Ahh Chocolate Back in Allaire Dupont (G3)
Graham-Trained Pair Adds Local Flavor to Friday Stakes
Fond Memories for Team Romans at Pimlico

May 20 | Categories: Pimlico, | Comments (1)
Nyquist 3-5 Morning-Line Favorite for Saturday’s Preakness

Undefeated Kentucky Derby Hero Draws No. 3 Post
Derby Runner-Up Exaggerator Rated Second at 3-1
Preakness Card Features 6 Guaranteed Pools Totaling $4.15 Million

– Reddam Racing LLC’s Nyquist was installed as the 3-5 morning-line favorite following Wednesday’s…

May 19 | Categories: Preakness Stakes, | Comments (0)
Unified stays unbeaten with G2 Peter Pan victory

ELMONT, N.Y. - Centennial Farms' Unified surged to the lead heading into the stretch and then held off a late challenge from Governor Malibu to win Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.

The victory was the third in as many starts and second in a graded stake…

May 15 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Wake Forest valiant in G1 Man o’ War

ELMONT, N.Y. - European import Wake Forest unleashed a tenacious rally from the back of the pack in his Belmont Park debut to grab his first North American win and top a Chad Brown-trained exacta with a one-length victory over stablemate Money Multiplier in the Grade 1, $400,000 Man o' War on Saturday.

May 15 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
O’Neill Feels ‘Positive Energy’ from Nyquist

Derby Winner Jogs 2 Miles with ‘Great Energy’

Lani on Course to Make Preakness History

– Trainer Doug O’Neill rejoined Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist at Pimlico Thursday morning after spending the previous few days overseeing his Southern California-based…

May 13 | Categories: Preakness Stakes, | Comments (0)