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
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.


John Parisella
John Parisella has enjoyed a legendary career as a "horseman's horseman." At last count, he won 27 races with 27 different horses at 27 different tracks. His observations will appear bi-weekly, Mondays and Fridays in his "Parisella At the Races" 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

A Legacy That’s Worth Leaving

LOS ANGELES, July 28, 2016—Steven Crist's retirement from the Daily Racing Form qualified him as the most newsworthy development of last week. Though better known as a Daily Racing Form executive and columnist, acclaimed author of betting books and influential horseplayer advocate, he had also worked as a New York Racing Assn. executive under then CEO, Kenny Noe Jr.

In a subsequent Q&A interview by the Thoroughbred Daily News, Crist candidly described the experience: "… It was frustrating. I discovered there was this whole political side to the job. Kenny and I took a lot of early morning plane rides up to Albany to talk to dopey legislators. You had to do them favors or give them things. It was just horrible."

Asked about his impact when writing about New York racing and politics, he replied, "… It’s hard to feel any sense of accomplishment. It just gets worse and worse and it doesn’t matter what they say… they’re never held accountable for anything. What Andrew Cuomo has done, making a deal with NYRA and then taking it back, it’s just disgraceful."

Crist's announcement came on the heels of another news-making development made by friend and former DRF colleague, Charles Hayward. The former NYRA CEO garnered media attention with "the formation of Hayward Advisory Services LLC to assist racing companies grow their business through a strategic planning process and by introducing revenue and cost-saving initiatives."

This is Hayward's next step in an effort to restore his relevance in the wake of attempts to further assassinate his character by minions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and assorted industry commentators.

In what some observers attribute to the Governor's ‘agenda’ to optimize state revenues from gambling through casinos at the expense of horse racing in the state, Hayward was fired upon the official discovery of NYRA's incontrovertible failure to lower takeout beyond the legislated sunset date for a temporary state-imposed increase.

Ironically, the wayward Hayward was condemned by e-mails from and to Crist, who had inquired about the issue at the behest of a DRF reader.


Written by Indulto | Comments (0)
A Dubious Challenge to the Dubai World Cup

LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2016—A post-Derby announcement of a revised plan to unseat Dubai as the world's richest Thoroughbred horse race has piqued interest across the Internet.

Two factors are responsible: The first has to do with the novel strategy on how to fund the event, the second because it’s the brainchild of Frank Stronach, arguably the most powerful individual in North American racing.

The original "Pegasus World Championship," proposal called for a 10-furlong race with a $12 million purse to be held at either Santa Anita or Gulfstream Park, perhaps in rotation. Obviously both are Stronach properties.

In essence, 12 shares would be sold at $1 million each to investors who then can not only enter the race but also share in ancillary revenues generated by the event.

It's most recent reincarnation embraces Gulfstream--with far lower seating capacity--and the distance will be nine furlongs which unlike the longer race comes with a much shorter run to the first turn.

How would you like to put up a million bucks and draw the 11 or 12 hole?


Written by Indulto | Comments (11)

Forget the Alabama, Songbird belongs in the Travers

Songbird's romp in the Coaching Club American Oaks, dominating the best fillies in the East, established beyond any argument that she is the best female of her generation. The only thing left for her to prove is she is the best of her generation of either gender by running in the Travers on Aug. 27 instead of the Alabama on Aug. 20.


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (20)
Delaware ‘Cap is Bayern redux

Another big race has ended in controversy over an objection/claim of foul. I'm a Chatterbox did essentially the same thing in last Saturday's Delaware Handicap that Bayern did in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic. She took out three horses by breaking inward. The stewards left the result "as is." This was as wrong Saturday as it was in 2014. DQ's and non-DQ's continue to be a source of controversy, which harm trust in the integrity of the sport. Something has to be done.

MIAMI, July 21, 2016--Instant replay has destroyed the enjoyment of sports. Introduced by the NFL to “get it right” on potentially game-changing erroneous calls, it has devolved into a parody of itself. Interminable delays while deciding whether a receiver’s loose shoelace touched the white boundary on a three-yard pass in the middle of the field in the first quarter have become commonplace. Whatever became of the 90-second time limit?

Instant replay has now infected the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball. Its use in the latter has become as abused as it is in football. Even announcers concede that managers sometimes take a shot because they have nothing to lose. Meanwhile a game, whose hierarchy acknowledges it runs too long, grinds to a halt.

The one sport in which replays have been not only useful but essential in making decisions is horse racing. But I’m beginning to have my doubts about that.


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (19)

If Only Saratoga Could Cast Its Spell All Year Long…

ELMONT, NT, July 26, 2016--Thoroughbred racing is no longer The Sport of Kings and its obituary is long overdue: The Sport of Kings is dead. Long live Thoroughbred racing.

Save for the Queen of England, a few of her Lords and the desert Sheikhs, there are no Kings in the Sport of Kings.

Not many of the robber barons that ruled America and set up Thoroughbred racing as their private club are even in the game anymore.

Most of the families that bred the horses whose pedigrees we revered are no longer a major influence in Thoroughbred racing. In fact, they've abandoned it.

Now it lies with us to save it.

I love this game and it's time to call out the deep pocketed no shows and wake up all those who think the game is not on life support.

Thoroughbred racing is a business as is any other sport. If you believe otherwise, I have a bridge in my native county, Brooklyn, that's for sale.

But without support from casinos many of the tracks in this country would not exist. We, as bettors, can no longer support racing by ourselves and it's time we come to grips with that.


Written by Mark Berner | Comments (37)
Some Minor Growing Pains for New NYRABets Website

ELMONT, NY, July 21,2016--Confusion about whether the New York Racing Association's new national wagering platform, NYRA Bets, would or would not launch tomorrow for opening day at Saratoga Race Course sprung up on twitter this morning.

As it turns out, concerns were overstated--sort of.

Pat McKenna, NYRA Director of Communications for NYRA, clarified the situation with the following statement after being contacted by email.

"NYRA Rewards will officially transition to NYRA Bets on Friday, July 22.

New York State residents and existing customers will immediately be able to watch and wager on nyrabets.com.

A select group of out-of-state customers are a part of our national beta group, helping us work through the final stages prior to full-blown launch.

NYRA Bets will soon be available for customers across the country, and we will have additional guidance on the full, national launch in the coming days."


Written by Mark Berner | Comments (5)

May the Horseman Be With You

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

SANTA ANITA

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.

BELMONT PARK

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.

SARATOGA


Written by John Parisella | Comments (2)



 


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Churchill Downs Announces September, Fall Meet Stakes Schedules

CHURCHILL DOWNS RACETRACK SETS SEPTEMBER, FALL MEET STAKES SCHEDULES FEATURING 22 EVENTS, TOTAL PURSES OF MORE THAN $3.2 MILLION

142nd Running Grade I Clark Handicap, Pair of ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ Programs Top Fall Meet; Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks Points and Breeders’ Cup ‘Win…


Jul 27 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)
Moonlight Song, Weekend Hideaway clash in John Morrissey

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Moonlight Song and Weekend Hideaway have won the last two renewals of the John Morrissey Stakes, and the two accomplished veterans will clash in Thursday's 12th edition of the $100,000 race at Saratoga Race Course.

The 6 1/2-furlong Morrissey attracted a field of…


Jul 26 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Saratoga Race Course Notes 7/25

Songbird 'wonderful' following G1 Coaching Club American Oaks victory
• Belmont winner Creator turns in final work for G2 Jim Dandy
• Race Me Home breezes for Jim Dandy
• Wilkes hopes to build off strong opening week
• Low Roller Challenge gives chance to score…


Jul 25 | Categories: | Comments (0)
Saratoga Race Course Notes 7/24

G1 winner Rachel's Valentina retired; Destin 'excellent' ahead of G2 Jim Dandy
• Well-traveled Undrafted set to make Saratoga turf debut in Lucky Coin
• Dacita in fine fettle following G1 Diana win
• Strong work from Governor Malibu keeps Jim Dandy in consideration



Jul 25 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) Quotes

Jerry Hollendorfer, winning trainer of Songbird (No. 1): "We thought we were going to get tested and we thought [jockey] Julien [Leparoux] would send [Carina Mia] at us early, which he did. We got a chance to test our filly and she dug in. Great race from [trainer] Billy [Mott]'s filly, too."


Jul 25 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Saratoga Race Course Notes 7/23

• Exaggerator may train up to G1 Travers
• Comebacking Moonlight Song targets John Morrissey Stakes
• Hot City Girl looks for glowing performance in Shine Again
• Geroux looking forward to successful Saratoga meet
• Fields coming together for next weekend's stakes

Jul 23 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Schuylerville (G3) Quotes

Todd Pletcher, winning trainer of Sweet Loretta (No. 4): "She came to us early at Palm Beach Downs and she showed some quality. When she was getting ready to run, we felt like she was doing well at Palm Beach Downs so we sent her to the team in Monmouth. They did a great job with her.

"We…


Jul 23 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Songbird stars in G1 Coaching Club American Oaks

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Fox Hill Farm's undefeated champion Songbird will ride her eight-race win streak to historic Saratoga Race Course as the expected favorite in the Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks on Sunday.

Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Songbird broke…


Jul 22 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Rainbow 6 Carryover Stands at $130,147 for Thursday’s Program

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 11th consecutive racing day Sunday at Gulfstream Park, producing a carryover jackpot of $130,147.41 for Thursday’s program.

There were no tickets with all six winners sold. Thus, multiple tickets with five winners were…


Jul 18 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Statement from The Stronach Group on Rosecroft Raceway

“We are looking forward to working at Rosecroft Raceway and growing the business. Not only do we see this as an opportunity to expand the Maryland Jockey Club brand to a new market and make it easier for people to watch and wager on our Thoroughbred races, but we’re particularly interested in growing…


Jul 14 | Categories: Laurel, | Comments (0)
Belmont Park Notes 7/8

Belmont Park Notes
• Songbird confirmed for G1 Coaching Club American Oaks
• Strike Charmer set to work Sunday in preparation for G1 Diana
• 'Outside chance' Tepin could make Spa appearance
• G2 Jim Dandy-bound Mohaymen breezes over Saratoga main track

ELMONT,…


Jul 9 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Stands at $39,478

Post Time for Saturday’s12-Race Program Set for 12:45 p.m.

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot for Saturday’s program at Gulfstream Park stands at $39,478.

Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $3,214.18 Friday.

The…


Jul 9 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)