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'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

TVG-HRTV merger offers opportunity to get it right

The merger of TVG and HRTV offers the opportunity for the combined operation to meld the best of both networks into the superior, fan-friendly channels horse players deserve. The ideal would be more HRTV and less TVG. No matter what decisions are made, they can't be worse than those made by the stewards at Gulfstream Park this past Saturday.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (15)
‘Super Saturdays’: Too much of a good thing one week, too little the next

Super Saturdays have become the wave of the present. Attendance and handle zoom into the stratosphere, so they are not going away. But the prestige of other major stakes, which used to be solo headliners, is disappearing. Also, other Saturdays are treated as if they don't matter.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (16)

Racing’s Mixed-Message Adjudication Process Lacks Appeal

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., March 1, 2015—There were three official rulings this week that, while punitive, illustrate how much racing at once either shows favoritism to rules violators or punishes others unduly by levying penalties that are inappropriate for the infraction, one way or another.

There is a legal system meant to protect every American’s rights, then there’s racetrack law whereby racing commissions in different states act as judge, jury and executioner. When the sport’s rules adjudicators fail to demonstrate they care about the message they send to bettors and fans, it’s the game that ultimately pays the price.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (7)
State of Confusion

Horses movin’ out, horses movin’ in,
Because their runnin’ out’ their skin,
Run, run, run, but you sure can't hide
A lane for a lane, horses bearin’ out
Bet on me and I'll pay the fee
Ride on, brother, ride on.

But more on the Gulfstream stewards later.

How about those Derby preps?

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., February 22, 2015--Fountain of Youth favorite Upstart did everything right except get the money. But, as stated, more on that later.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (7)

Undefeated Juvenile Filly Is Harness Horse of the Year

By Ken Weingartner

Orlando, FL --- As she traveled from New Jersey to Florida for Sunday night’s Dan Patch Awards tribute, trainer Nancy Johansson passed time on her flight by reading a Hoof Beats magazine story about her Horse of the Year winner JK She’salady.

JK She’salady, bred and owned by 3 Brothers Stables, was undefeated in 12 races last season and became the first 2-year-old female pacer in harness racing history to be named Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. She was honored Sunday at USHWA’s Dan Patch Awards Night of Champions Banquet at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld.

“When I was reading that story it really sunk in more, like, wow, this is what we’re coming all the way to Florida for,” Johansson said. “It’s very exciting. It’s something that I think everybody works for, and it’s nice to be able to accomplish that. It’s really sunk in more now.”

JK She’salady is the fourth 2-year-old to receive Horse of the Year, joining pacer Niatross (1979), trotter Nevele Pride (1967) and pacer Bret Hanover (1964). The three previous 2-year-old winners were colts.

She is the first female pacer to be voted Horse of the Year since Rainbow Blue in 2004 and the fourth female pacer overall to receive the honor. The others were Bunny Lake in 2001 and Fan Hanover in 1981.

“It’s unbelievable,” Johansson said at the time of the Horse of the Year announcement in December. “The hard work paid off. She’s just such a special horse.

“She’s as perfect as they come, and I guess finishing off with Horse of the Year exemplifies how perfect she is.”Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Written by HRI Publisher | Comments (0)
USHWA Writers Name Takter Trainer of the Year, Gingras Top Driver

From Ken Weingartner, USTA

For the fourth time in his Hall of Fame career, Jimmy Takter is the Trainer of the Year as voted upon by the members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA).

Also voted a Dan Patch Award, as Driver of the Year, was Yannick Gingras, who led all drivers in purses this season with more than $17 million.

Takter received 84 of 140 votes for Trainer of the Year, finishing ahead of Ron Burke, who got 56 votes. Gingras was the only driver nominated for Driver of the Year by USHWA’s chapters.

Despite starting horses only 729 times through Dec. 21, Takter’s stable earned a career-best $13.35 million, for an average of more than $18,300 per start.

Takter, 54, won this year’s Hambletonian with Trixton, a horse he also drove to the victory, and the Hambletonian Oaks with Lifetime Pursuit. Takter became only the second trainer to win both races in the same year, joining Jan Johnson from 1988.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)

Rain, Rain Wouldn’t Go Away

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., February 28, 2015—I scoured what turned out to be nearly empty clubhouse and none of the familiar faces I encountered could recall when a Gulfstream card was canceled halfway through the program.

I heard tell of a gate malfunction causing a race to be canceled at the original Gulfstream Park, but this is a first. The Gulfstream press staff could not confirm a previous card cancellation and an entire day, according to colleague Tom Jicha, once was lost to extremely cold weather.

Saratoga Race Course was seen laughing.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (7)
From WHOA to GO

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., February 26, 2015—One hears the cliché all the time: Age is just a number.

But not as far as John Nerud is concerned. As I celebrated a birthday on Tuesday, I really appreciate the fact that spending 102 years on this planet is no trifling achievement. And to be as sound and cogent as Mr. John is at this stage, is nothing short of remarkable.


I was reminded of his age when it was announced that Nerud became the 1000th racing practitioner--of whom there are nearly 700 are owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys--to join WHOA, the Water, Hay and Oats Alliance.

This group is an amalgam of the industry’s best, brightest, and most influential, media types and racing fans, and the time has come for the group to break out into the open with its plans.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (3)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Oaklawn Barn Notes - Sunday, March 1

Take Charge Brandi to Work Monday; Next Race Still Uncertain

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hopes to breeze champion Take Charge Brandi Monday morning at Oaklawn in preparation for her next start, possibly against males in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 14.

Mar 3 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
Consumer Credit a Standout in Herecomesthebride (G3)

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Consumer Credit will put a three-race win streak on the line when she goes to the post in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Feb 27 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
$150,000 Canadian Turf (G3) Quotes

Trainer Bill Mott (Long on Value): “We wanted him to drop the bridle and relax the first part. We were hoping to save some ground. We had a horrible post in the 11 hole. He was able to drop in. He was maybe two or three-wide around the first turn. It didn’t turn out as bad as it could have from that…

Feb 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
$200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) Quotes

Trainer Graham Motion (Main Sequence): “He was awesome. It’s a huge relief. Rajiv said he was still a little antsy in the gate, but I didn’t realize that. He broke well and for one minute I thought he might be a little close. I think every time this horse has run he has improved, his behavior has…

Feb 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
$200,000 Davona Dale (G2) Quotes

Trainer Bill Kaplan (Ekati's Phaeton): "This filly has the most speed of any filly I've ever trained, and I trained Musical Romance to win the Breeders' Cup. In all of her races prior to this one, I've been trying to teach her to stay off it a little bit and keep herself in reserve. We didn't do too…

Feb 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
$100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) Quotes

Trainer Stanley Gold (C. Zee): “He’s that kind of horse. I knew he was capable of it. Look at the races he’s run and the things he’s done. He had a terrible trip last time; he was taken out of the race at the quarter-pole and by the time he recovered he was a half-length short. So I didn’t…

Feb 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
$150,000 The Very One (G3) Quotes

Trainer Christophe Clement (Irish Mission): "I'm delighted to win for Mr. Evans. He's a great owner to win for. Plus, I think she's a wonderful mare and a very exciting broodmare prospect for him. There are two choices: One, she goes to Kentucky next week, where it's very cold and awful weather, or she…

Feb 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
$100,000 Rampart (G3) Quotes

Trainer James Jerkens (House Rules): “It’s great. It [graded-stakes win] always helps her value and she’s well bred on top of it. Every little bit helps.

“All of her races here in Florida have been terrific. The races here with my father [Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens] were…

Feb 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)

Mike Maker (trainer, International Star, 1st) – “He was doing super and he ran as advertised. I wasn’t worried about the post. Realistically I thought we had an outside trip and we wound up having a trip like in the Lecomte turning for home looked.” On coming back for the Louisiana Derby: “Not…

Feb 22 | Categories: Fair Grounds, | Comments (0)
Grade III Rachel Alexandra Quotes

Florent Geroux (jockey, I’m a Chatterbox, winner) – “She just relaxed on her own. Coming from the 10-hole, we had to either go, sit very close or take back. When everyone went, I decided to take her back and she was relaxing very nicely. I kept an eye on Rafael on (Angela Renee) and made him stay…

Feb 22 | Categories: Fair Grounds, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Fri 2/20

Twilight Eclipse Takes Another Shot at Main Sequence
Violette Seeking Second Fountain of Youth Success with Upstart
Bluegrass Singer Gets Lopez for Fountain of Youth

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - No horse faced Main Sequence more times last year, or came closer to beating the two-time…

Feb 20 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Gorgeous Bird Carries Whitney Tradition into G2 Fountain of Youth

Homebred Colt Enters $400,000 Stakes on Two-Win Streak

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – For the past century, the Whitney name and Eton blue and brown silks that have accompanied it to racetracks around the world rank among the most recognizable, and successful, in thoroughbred racing.

Feb 20 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)