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

Criticism In Easy, Solutions Are Hard

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., January 29, 2015—I am no fan of winter racing in New York and haven’t been since the beginning after learning that a new specialized winter track would need to be constructed inside Aqueduct’s main dirt oval.

My reasoning was that if one of the best dirt tracks in American racing couldn’t stand up to the elements at this time of year, that the surface might not be safe enough to minimize risk to horses and jockeys, then maybe racing in winter is a great idea after all.

Cold-weather animals or no cold-weather animals.

Just like liberal race-day medication rules, I believed then as now that perception is everything when it comes to gambling reality.

Aesthetically, with no opportunity to race seven furlongs or a one-turn mile for a third of the New York season, the product would bear no resemblance to what America’s horseplayers expected from New York racing; decidedly less-than.

At one time winter racing made economic sense beyond filling state coffers; it helped the New York Racing Association squirrel away enough money when the “good-horse circuit” returned to race at Belmont Park and Saratoga.

And this was long before anyone dared conjure up the two-headed casino dole monster.

Back in the day, when racinos became the fashionable solution, legal pari-mutuels at racetracks was the bridge states used to elbow in various forms of casino gaming, including slots dubbed Video Lottery Terminals as to sidestep casino gaming bans.

Parenthetically, it’s the same tack the present-day NFL takes when it encourages and commercially promotes weekly fantasy football games: Fantasy leagues, the VLTs of illegal “spread” betting on football.

For many horseracing fans and bettors, New York winter racing has become anathema and, for the second time in three years, race fans and horse lovers from all over America are witnessing another spate of fatal breakdowns, one far exceeding the norm.

Obviously, something is very wrong.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (14)
Everything Dies Baby, That’s a Fact

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., January 14, 2015-As if the recent losses of good friends are not enough to remind one of his mortality, now the bricks and mortar of our past are falling by the wayside, too.

Atlantic City Race Course, we hardly knew ya’, but the little we did know and experienced, we loved.

It was 30 years ago, life was a bit simpler and the family always would look forward to the drive south in the summertime.

We loved the Jersey Shore then; we still do. We’d spend a week in Margate at the White Sands, right on the beach. On a clear day you could see the Steel Pier a few miles to the north.

As Lou said to Sally in Louis Malle’s 1980 classic: “You should have seen the ocean in those days.”


Written by John Pricci | Comments (11)

New NYRA rules ignore real problem: winter racing

Reacting to a disheartening number of fatal thoroughbred breakdowns, NYRA has come up with a new series of rules and regulations, one more pointless than the others. They all gloss over the real problem. Winter racing at Aqueduct attracts a disproportionate number of problem horses. The only solution is to curtail racing during the worst weather months of the year.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (18)
Twice caught rider faces third battery allegations; How does racing allow this to happen?

Roman Chapa, who has been suspended twice--for 19 months and five years--for using a battery is being investigated again for the same offense for a ride at Sam Houston Park last Saturday night. This is why arguing for tougher cheating rules is a joke. What's the point when someone who has been convicted of one of the most serious offenses can get a second and third chance?


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (18)

Taking Seahawks to Deflate Patriots

Though the offi cial opening line on today’s fray favored the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks by a fi eld goal, the line most of America first saw was ‘pick.’ At press time, a rush of New England money had moved the line to Patriots -1. But before you get caught up in sparring with the pointspread or shopping for the best lines, you may want to ponder this sobering fact: the outright winner of the Super Bowl stands 40-6-2 ATS all-time. That’s right, only six times in the history of the most gambled-on sporting event in America has the favorite on the game straight-up and failed to cover the number. Translation: if you can just pick the winner on the scoreboard, the odds are extremely favorable that you’ll cash a ticket as well. And if today’s battle royal between New England and Seattle stays near the current price range, picking a winner should be easier to fi gure than past Super Bowls. That’s because the combined pointspreads for the previous 48 Super Bowls fi nd the chalk laying an average of just over 7 points per game. Since that isn’t the case here, let’s focus on fi nding the SU winner in what looks to be an evenly matched contest at University of Phoenix Stadium.


Written by Marc Lawrence | Comments (0)
Grab Points with the Colts

Patriots Over the Colts by 3

After devising a game plan that completely shut down Denver in a 24-13 Colts win last week – and led to the termination of the Broncos’ entire coaching staff – Indianapolis head man Chuck Pagano sets his sights on even bigger game: New England’s implacable, steely-eyed Bill Belichick. And while those who stalk ‘The Hoodie’ on the turf of his own Gillette Stadium hood seldom succeed in bagging the prize, our database doesn’t hesitate to recommend a play on Pagano’s team this evening. For openers, conference title game losers from the previous year (Patriots) have found it extremely diffi cult reversing their losing ways, going 2-11 SU and 3-10 ATS, including 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS when facing .722 or greater opponents. Belichick himself may have amassed a 194-73 SU record since taking over at New England 15 seasons ago, but he owns just a 5-3 SU and 3-5 ATS slate in championship affairs, including five straight pointspread failures in his last five games. He is also 0-5 ATS in title games after scoring 24 or more points in divisional round games, and 0-5 ATS off three spread losses in a row when facing greater-than .666 foes. Meanwhile, conference championship contenders like Indy that arrive off a road win preceded by a victory at home are 8-4 SU and 10-2 ATS since 1998, including 6-0 ATS as an underdog of 4 or more points. Patriot backers are still buzzing over Tom Brady’s 367-yard, 4-TD performance against Baltimore but Colts QB Andrew Luck seems to save his best for big games, going 5-1 SUATS as an underdog in his NFL career versus opponents with a win percentage of more than .750. As for the seldom-mentioned Indianapolis defense, they gave up only 288 yards to the Broncos and have held two of their last three opponents to season-low yards. Hey, we’d actually like the Colts to pull the outright upset here if not for the fact that New England is 10-0 SU in its last 10 games versus AFC South opponents. Still, we can’t back a ‘leaking oil’ favorite like the Patriots that’s been outgained in each of their last three games – and not when over half of the 33 teams in this round who put 34 or more points on the scoreboard in a divisional round victory fell short of the Super Bowl, going 16-17 SU and 10-22-1 ATS. WithIndy HC Pagano a solid 22-7 SU and 21-7-1 ATS in games with a posted O/U total of 45 or more points, we’ll take the dog in this closer-than-expected slugfest.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)

Slouching Towards Tucson

PORTLAND, OR, November 19, 2014--Beginning December 8 for four days, racing's biggest movers and shakers will gather at the 41st Annual Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming in Tucson, Arizona.

The annual pilgrimage has become the place for industry stakeholders to keep in touch with each other, swap a little gossip, and get a sense of how the industry is tracking as a whole.

This will be my 10th trip to the great American Southwest, a journey I look forward to at the end of each year for the colorful characters one meets while congregating at the hotel bar each night, talking about the year that was.

It’s great to see that behind the scenes of racing and gaming stand people who are trying to insure the industry continues to tick.

It’s a place where companies can showcase anything the industry requires, from new betting software platforms, to television cameras, to racetrack surfaces.

Although the exhibitors have got smaller over the years, attendance at the seminars has remained very strong as there's always something new to discuss each year, always something new to take away, hangovers notwithstanding.


Written by Robert Earle | Comments (0)
Adore Me’s World Record Performance Down Under Unforgettable

Christchurch, New Zealand – Nov 11 – That’s no typo; you read that correctly. Indeed, harness horses often race at distances over two miles here and last week I witnessed the fastest two miles—that’s 3,200 meters to us—in harness racing history.

Of course, that makes the time of 3:54—with a last half-mile in an astounding 55 seconds—trotted by Adore Me so extraordinary.

We know the Yanks love their speed and appropriately Adore Me is a daughter the prize American stallion, Bettor’s Delight, a very familiar name to harness racing fans world-wide.

And the five year old mare didn’t just establish a new world record; she smashed the old one by 1.5 seconds in an event that was just as extraordinary as her performance:


Written by Robert Earle | Comments (0)



 


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
GRADE II, $200,000 SAN VICENTE STAKES

BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE WINNER TEXAS RED TO MAKE 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT IN SUNDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 SAN VICENTE STAKES AT SEVEN FURLONGS

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2015)—A runaway winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 1, Texas Red will make his 3-year-old debut in Sunday’s…


Jan 30 | Categories: Santa Anita, | Comments (0)
‘X-COUNTRY’ PICK 4

XPRESSBET, SANTA ANITA, GULFSTREAM INTRODUCE ‘X-COUNTRY’ PICK 4

New and Exciting Wager will include a $500,000 Guarantee

January 28, 2015 (Washington, PA) – Leading online wagering provider, Xpressbet, in conjunction with Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park and the Stronach…


Jan 29 | Categories: Santa Anita, | Comments (0)
PROMISING 3-YEAR-OLDS PREPARE FOR STERN TEST IN SAM F. DAVIS

OLDSMAR, FL. – Promise and potential will take a back seat to performance late Saturday afternoon when 12 3-year-olds line up to face the starter in the 35th edition of the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, the main event on Tampa Bay Downs’ Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South…


Jan 29 | Categories: Tampa Bay Downs, | Comments (0)
GRADE II, $200,000 PALOS VERDES STAKES

GRADE I WINNER BIG MACHER SET FOR SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 PALOS VERDES STAKES;

WILD DUDE, DISTINCTIV PASSION & BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT CHAMP SECRET CIRCLE IN LINEUP AS WELL

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2015) – Grade I winner Big Macher heads a field of strong sprint contenders…


Jan 29 | Categories: Santa Anita, | Comments (0)
GRADE II, $200,000 ARCADIA STAKES

GRADED STAKES WINNING HOME RUN KITTEN HEADS SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 ARCADIA STAKES;

FIELD OF NINE OLDER HORSES SET TO CONTEST ONE MILE ON TURF

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2015)—A close second in Santa Anita’s Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile Dec. 26, trainer David Hofmans’…


Jan 29 | Categories: Santa Anita, | Comments (0)
GRADE I, $300,000 LAS VIRGENES STAKES

BAFFERT’S MAYBELLENE HEADS FIELD OF TEN 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES IN SATURDAY’S GRADE I, $300,000 LAS VIRGENES STAKES AT FLAT MILE

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2015)—Third to eventual Eclipse Award winning juvenile filly Take Charge Brandi last out, Bob Baffert’s Maybellene heads a field of…


Jan 29 | Categories: Santa Anita, | Comments (0)
Oaklawn Barn Notes - Sunday, Jan. 25

Two scheduled starters for Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn, including champion Take Charge Brandi, recorded their final workouts for the mile race Sunday morning.




Jan 26 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
CATALINA RED APPROACHING GRADE III DAVIS IN TOP FORM

OLDSMAR, FL. – The countdown has begun to discovering if Tampa Bay Downs track and multiple stakes-record holder Catalina Red can continue to excel while going around two turns against 3-year-olds from some of the country’s top stables.




Jan 26 | Categories: Tampa Bay Downs, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Fri 1/23

Frosted Aiming to Follow Cairo Prince in 2015 Lambholm South Holy Bull
Keen Ice Makes Sophomore Debut in Lambholm South Holy Bull
Decision Day Ready for Dirt Debut
All’s Okay With Jess’s Dream


BOYNTON BEACH, FL – After winning the 2014 Holy Bull (G2) with…


Jan 24 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
SUGAR SHOCK RETURNS IN AMERICAN BEAUTY

Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015) – The speedy Sugar Shock is scheduled to make her first start against older horses in the $100,000 American Beauty Stakes for female sprinters Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Candy Ride, Sugar Shock was Oaklawn’s top 3-year-old…


Jan 24 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
Regal Minister leads field for Rego Park

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The inaugural running of the $125,000 Rego Park Stakes for 3-year-old New York-breds at six furlongs on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack - features a field of six sprinters each looking to each establish themselves on the scene this year.




Jan 24 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Thu 1/22

Vitali Leaning Toward Lambholm South Holy Bull with Bluegrass Singer
Lambholm South Holy Bull the Goal for First Down
Bocachica Released from Hospital

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Mucho Macho Man Stakes winner Bluegrass Singer is expected to make his next start in Saturday’s $400,000…


Jan 23 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)