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

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.

Salute!

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)
Projected Energy Performance Figures: A Contrarian Approach

How will my horse run today?

Since August, 2013, most of my time has been spent trying to re-evaluate the answer to that question.

In the immediate aftermath of the loss of my good friend and business partner, Cary Fotias, I’ve been searching for a new methodology that I could have confidence in.

Without Cary’s daily, hand-crafted Equiform Performance Figures, the X-TRAs, I was lost.

Going back to Handicapping 101 principles, while ever timeless, simply was not going to be an option. The variables of class, speed, pace and trainer methodology, as they pertain to the modern Thoroughbred, requires something more.

My handicapping had become dependent upon a new approach to this art-science learned while working with Cary. But without his relentless pursuit of daily performance-figure accuracy, I lacked the most reliable implement in my handicapping toolbox.

In my view, there was nothing out there that even came close to his figures because of the relationships he mastered with respect to how, in the final analysis, pace relates not only to final time but, more significantly, to Thoroughbred condition and development.

There was no getting around it: I needed to go back to the future, come up with my own set of figures, based initially on Quirin speed points, but combined with the principles that worked so well when Cary and I worked in tandem on many successful handicapping projects, including several unique product lines.

After much trial and error, mostly error, I found an approach: My own Energy Ratings combined with time-honored principles and statistical analysis of lessons learned in nearly five decades of public handicapping experience. I place more emphasis on what I believe to be the most significant aspects of a horse's past performance lines.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (10)

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)

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)
Big Doings On and Off Track

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., February 19, 2015—It’s a good thing that Saturday’s card was drawn on President’s Day because handicappers—this one anyway, could use about a week to thoroughly analyze Saturday’s Fountain of Youth card.

Given first impressions of the Canadian Turf and Davona Dale Stakes, another 48 hours of study wouldn’t hurt. There are five more graded events, including the return of Horse of the Year finalist Main Sequence in the Mac Diarmida and another the forever meaningful Fountain of Youth.

And this doesn’t include a stakes-laden program at the Fair Grounds that features the always significant Risen Star, a full-lid for handicappers. Fortunately, Oaklawn Park had second thoughts and rescheduled Monday’s weather-scraped Southwest to Sunday instead of Saturday.

The spin was to give any new shooters and shippers an extra day; trying to avoid butting heads with Gulfstream and Fair Grounds. If that was the case, say it, the move makes good sense. Either way, fans and horseplayers will benefit from avoiding conflict overkill.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (2)

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
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)
GRADE II RISEN STAR STAKES

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)
Barn Notes: Friday, February 20

J S BACH TO BE SCRATCHED FROM RISEN STAR

According to trainer Todd Pletcher, J S Bach will be scratched from the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes because of a fever detected on Wednesday. Expected to vie for favoritism after commencing his career with two impressive races – including…


Feb 20 | Categories: Fair Grounds, | Comments (0)