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

Make a Friend, Keep a Friend, Make Money

LOS ANGELES, December 7, 2014—Tom Jicha stimulated HRI readers recently when he challenged those commenting beneath a column asking contributors to provide ideas how racing can best market itself.

The usual ideas were recycled: emphasis on sport versus gambling game; age group targeting; handicapping tournaments, etc.; resulting in the usual lack of consensus.

The only old saw missing was "Get the women in and the men will follow."

Actually, tracks haven't done all that much to entice women to enter racing’s emporiums, much less bet on races. The chic Del Mar and Saratoga meets get more than their share of women to attend but their effect on handle is minimal at best.

On-track customers are overwhelmingly male and for many of them racing isn't just about gambling; it's about enjoying time with friends, sometimes with those that also have a life-long passion for the game.

But racing needn’t be limited to either making money or sharing familiar time; it should be about creating opportunities for acquiring new friends in uniquely entertaining circumstances.

Written by Indulto | Comments (13)
Big Irony: The Ballad of Texas Red

LOS ANGELES, November 22—Until this year’s Breeders’ Cup Saturday, most horseplayers over fifty associated the name “Texas Red” with the outlaw whose legend was immortalized by Marty Robbins in his ballad, “Big Iron.”

It was either that, the badass cowboy, or the latest designer drug for which a test has not yet been developed.

Now everybody recognizes Texas Red is a Thoroughbred racehorse that was a last-to-first, field-distancing winner of the Juvenile.

Much of the post-race coverage was the novelty of a Breeders’ Cup winner being ridden and trained by brothers; Kent and Keith Desormeaux, respectively.

The media also picked up the refreshing frankness of the trainer: "The first thing I thought when he was drawing away was, 'How good is American Pharaoh?

“You never want to see a defection, but it had to help."

And isn’t it interesting that the trainer will be focusing on the Kentucky Derby, not the juvenile championship.

Written by Indulto | Comments (15)

Churchill puts up its version of Berlin Wall at Calder

The hits keep coming from Churchill Downs Inc. The latest outrage is erection of a fence to separate the section of the Calder backstretch it controls from that leased to The Stronach Group, owners of Gulfstream. Also, horsemen on the wrong side of the fence have been put on notice that they likely will have to vacate within two weeks. With area barns packed, many have no place to go.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (24)
Does Graded Stakes Committee pay attention?

This year's Pennsylvania Derby had the winners of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders' Cup as well as the likely 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year. Last year's renewal had the one-two finishers in the Grade 1 Travers, the winner of the Grade 1 Clark Handicap and the 3-year-old champion. Yet is is still a Grade 2. Saturday's Bayakoa was won by an odds-on filly, who had never won a stakes. Last year's was also won by a filly capturing the only graded stakes of her career. It, too, is a Grade 2. Something is wrong here.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (16)

Marc Lawrence NFL Upsets December 20-22


INDY over Dallas by 3

Much of the focus in Indy is on QB Andrew Luck, and rightfully so, but the Colts defense is playing extremely well, as the MIDWEEK ALERT points out that Indy has allowed season low – or 2nd low – yards in three of their last four games since getting embarrassed by the Pats in Week 11 at home. Meanwhile, Dallas put a big one in the win column Sunday night against Philly to take control of the division, but consider this: NFC East teams are just 2-12 SU and ATS in follow-up games after battling one another this season. The Cowboys also saddle up inside this week’s INCREDIBLE STAT box on page 2 as it notes the Pokes are 3-19-1 ATS as a non-division favorite from Game Thirteen out, including 1-10 SU and 0-11 ATS when playing off a win. That will certainly have us pulling back on the reins at Jerry World this week, even if DeMarco Murray returns quickly from his hand surgery (Murray would wear a special padded glove that was designed in 1995 for a similar injury suffered by Emmitt Smith). But while the Colts clinched the AFC South last week and a probable No. 3 seed, they are still anxious for more, and our NFL Quarterback League Database provides The Clincher: Colts QB Andrew Luck is 13-0 SUATS in his NFL career in games after the Colts fail to score 21 points in their previous game.

Written by Marc Lawrence | Comments (0)
Marc Lawrence College & Pro Upsets Dec. 11-15


ARIZONA over St. Louis by10

The Gateway to the West provides the backdrop for this Week 15 opener, which fi gures to see less scoring than a dyslexic Scrabble tournament. The Rams enter off back-to-back shutout wins (the first time that’s been done in the NFL regular season since the Steelers accomplished the feat in the 2000 season) while the defensive-minded Redbirds have held 11 of 13 foes to under 21 points this season. And to boot, this day of the week hasn’t been exactly an offensive highlight reel for either of these squads as the Cardinals have been outscored 179-85 in their last six Thursday tilts (0-6 SUATS) while the Rams (2-5 SU, 1-6 ATS) are averaging less than 20 PPG (outscored 175-135) in their last seven contests before getting the weekend off. So why are we raising Arizona to Best Bet status and asking you to meet us in St. Louis? For starters, the Cards are 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS off an AFC fray while Louie is 0-4 SUATS the last two seasons following back-to-back SU wins. In addition, Arizona is 11-3 ATS in this series when taking points, including 9-1 ATS in this building. Better yet, Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians is the knock-out artist in this week’s TRIVIA TEASER (page 2) while the Rams’ mentor provides The Clincher: Jeff Fisher is 1-8 SUATS in his NFL career as a home favorite versus a .700 or greater opponent off a SUATS win.

Written by Marc Lawrence | 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

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Friday, Dec. 19, 2014) - Travis Stone, the race-caller at Monmouth Park in 2014 and backup announcer at the New York Racing Association this winter, has been named the new track announcer at Churchill Downs Racetrack and voice of the world-famous Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands…

Dec 20 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Fri 12/1

Other Cheek Turns to Gulfstream for Saturday’s Tropical Park Derby
McGaughey Ready to ‘Party’ in Co-featured Tropical Park Oaks
Tropical Park Derby the Focus for Best Plan Yet

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Other Cheek has produced a pair of graded-stakes placings to recommend…

Dec 20 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Liam’s Map Passes Class Test in $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday

Tops Solid Field in Stakes Debut for Pletcher’s Fourth Win on Card

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – In his first three races, the last two of them runaway wins, Liam’s Map had shown considerable ability. In his fourth start and first in stakes company, the still-improving colt made it clear…

Dec 14 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Queens County Quotes

Mike Repole, winning owner of Micromanage (No. 1a) and third-place finisher Misconnect (No. 1): "It's like being a 13-year-old kid again. I love it here at Aqueduct. We really didn't want to run the two horses together, we kind of wanted to split them up. [But] they were both training really, really…

Dec 14 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
Atreides Rebounds with Sharp Score in Aventura Handicap

Hal’s Hope (G3) Next for Marty Wolfson-Trained Colt

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Atreides maintained his perfect record at Gulfstream Park in Sunday’s $50,000 Aventura Handicap, posting a 4 ½-length victory while rebounding from his only career loss..

Dec 8 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Changes To Sunshine Millions

Gulfstream And FTBOA Announce Changes To Sunshine Millions

Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania State Breds Now Eligible
Some Purses to be Reallocated to Florida Sire Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream Park and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association…

Dec 8 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Today 12.7

Grade 1 Winners Among 107 Nominations for Weekend Stakes
Pletcher Maiden Knocks Out Debut Victory
Jockey Nunez OK Following Paddock Incident

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grade 1 winners Constitution, Danza and Lochte are among the 107 horses nominated to a quartet of December 13…

Dec 7 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Catholic Cowboy Gives Zito Second Claiming Crown Jewel

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Nick Zito is best known to Gulfstream Park fans as a trainer of Kentucky Derby winners, but the Hall of Fame trainer was the King of the Claimers Saturday for the second year in a row.

Dec 7 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
$200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Quotes

Trainer Nick Zito (Catholic Cowboy) – “Gulfstream is always good to us. We were talking today, my son Alex and I, about how Gulfstream’s been good to us the past decade, longer than that. It’s always been a good luck track for us. Our horse seemed to like it.

“What I need to do…

Dec 7 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Atreides Aiming For Successful Return in $50,000 Aventura

Sensational Sophomore Unbeaten at Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stakes-winning sophomore Atreides makes his return to South Florida as co-highweight in the $50,000 Aventura Handicap that highlights Sunday’s 10-race card at Gulfstream Park.

Dec 6 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)


ARCADIA, CA - To those customers unable to wager on Monarch product this weekend at Mid-Atlantic simulcast locations:
Monarch and its member racetracks very much regret that customers are currently…

Dec 6 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Fri 12/5

Breen Looking for Glass Slipper to Fit Rebecca's Sunrise
Servis Ready for Busy Saturday at Gulfstream Park
Consistent Florida-Bred Grande Shores Tackles $110,000 Rapid Transit
New Claim Frontier Warrior Takes Win Streak Into $110,000 Express


Dec 5 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)