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 Handicapping Look-In on Saturday’s White Pearl at Gulfstream

A look at Saturday's Late Pick 4 feature race as it appears without the star ratings. If interested in more, as well as an analysis of the other three races comprising the P4 sequence, information is available at JohnPricci.com

RACE 11: WHITE PEARL STAKES F & M 4 & UP 7 Furlongs


1 - MOMENT OF DELIGHT (6-1) PR: 93
Was a good third mid-moving into strong pace in quickly run Sunshine Millions Sprint going 6F Jan 21. Best Pricci Rating earned at this trip and track lover is (13) 4-3-1 here, 1-for-6 everywhere else. Might try shaking loose from pole on the stretchout assuming alert break beneath Saez.

2 – MINES AND MAGIC (4-1) PR: 94
Makes GP debut at a trip she likes (2) 1-1-0 while making first start after winning the Dogwood in her Churchill finale last fall. Well spotted at this grade and has been working well at deepish Payson, but barn not particularly known for prowess with returnees. Very tricky call.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)
Pardon the Interruption

Our apologies for site interruption. We are at Tampa Bay Downs covering Tampa Derby Preview Day. Will report on it Monday. Thanks once again for your patience and understanding.

Today's Feature Race is the Tampa Bay Stakes taking Coco Mon (8-1) to win at 5-1 or greater, exacta box with Kasaqui (3-1).


As the first meaningful prep day of the Kentucky Derby season, the races provided a decidedly mixed bag of results.

In Aqueduct’s Withers Stakes, El Areeb’s star status was confirmed in a completely comprehensive victory. Alas, one can't say the same for Santa Anita’s Robert B. Lewis, but Gulfstream Park's Holy Bull Stakes sent two messages; one positive, one mystifying.

What it all means, especially including the return of the 2016 juvenile champion Classic Empire, will probably require a little more time to provide conclusive Derby perspective.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (9)

To tackle Arrogate or not to tackle Arrogate; that is the question

After his smashing Razorback triumph, it's fair to say Gun Runner might be the best older horse in America not named Arrogate. This creates a dilemma for his connections. Do they go to Dubai and likely have to take on Arrogate or stay home and possibly dominate the handicap division. On the 3-year-old front, Todd Pletcher has another strong Derby contender, One Liner, who ran his record to 3-for-3 in the Southwest Stakes and partially answered questions about his distance limitations.



Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (25)
Winning is the only thing, according to a Derby trend

One loss shouldn't dash the hopes of Kentucky Derby prospects but a trend over the past five years indicates that it's a bad omen. The five most recent Derby winners have gone 12-for-12 in their preps. Throw out a defeat in a grass race by Animal Kingdom and another year is added to the streak. Meanwhile, the likelihood of sports betting winning approval in the courts or by Congress grows. But would this be a bad thing for racing?

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (16)

Martin Finds Criticism Easy, Effectiveness Not So Much

Top trainers of Thoroughbred racehorses have three things in common: patience; patience, and more patience. But the use of medication allows trainers to take shortcuts by saving time for the short-term money.

And, as most reasonable people agree, this is neither good for the horse nor the bettor and the optics are magnified for the average sports fan who see racehorses break down and some even die, by euthanasia or otherwise, right there on their TVs.

Those chosen to safeguard this sport worldwide forbid race-day medication in all countries, except for the leaders in the U.S. One of the most egregious offenders is Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

Martin, once the press secretary for Senator Alfonse D’Amato, brought to racing a background in communications and marketing. Before the ARCI, Martin was executive director of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, prior to the formation of the NYS Gaming Commission.

Martin has always had a desk job. I have no idea if he ever mucked a stall, picked a hoof, watched a live foaling, or had a horse die in his arms. The element that appears certain is his lack of proper perspective; the view from behind a desk is always the same.


Written by Mark Berner | Comments (59)
Of Islanders Wishes and Belmont Carnation Dreams

Chad Brown earned an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer of 2016 and he owes a lot of that success to the late Hall of Fame trainer, Bobby Frankel. Brown was Frankel’s assistant from 2002 to 2007.

"Brooklyn Bobby" Frankel was enshrined in racing’s pantheon in 1995. He trained champions and many who worked for him went on to have their own successful careers.

Brown is just the latest example; one of the first was the late Joe Trovato.

Trovato was also a Brooklyn native. He started his career as a jockey agent and in the 1960s was successful with Avelino Gomez, Bill Boland, Manny Ycaza and Larry Adams. He became Frankel’s assistant in 1969.

Two years later, Trovato took out his trainer’s license and three years after that, in 1974, he trained the 3-year-old filly champion, Hall of Famer Chris Evert.

Owner Carl Rosen named the filly for the tennis champion that acted as a spokesperson for the sportswear line produced by his company, Puritan Fashions.

The 1970’s was a heady time for Trovato. He did well enough to get season’s tickets for the New York Islanders, then a young hockey team that was on the cusp of winning four straight Stanley Cup titles.

Trovato’s first million dollar season was in 1979, the same year the Islanders won the NHL championship for the first time, a period spanning the in the 1979-80 hockey season.

There was a strong connection among those who worked at Belmont Park and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The two facilities are seven and a half miles apart and located on the same road, Hempstead Turnpike.


Written by Mark Berner | Comments (22)

A Costly But Fun Day at Tampa Bay

In the modern era, I’ve always thought of Tampa Bay Downs, the old stomping grounds of a race caller named Tom Durkin, as “The Little Track That Could.”

Back in the day, it completed a circuit with Finger Lakes and other small U.S. tracks and one year, if memory serves, it had a jockey colony a 100+ riders, half of whom you’ve never heard of, then or since.

But ever since it began getting noticed by the Horseplayers Association of North America for its player friendly menu of big competitive fields, replete with a great turf course and a demanding, safe, albeit sometimes quirky, main track.

Tampa’s been growing in all the right places while maintaining the character it’s always had, a quaint, friendly place that presents racing old school style, one appreciated not only by people from my generation but those of present and future compeers.

It’s still very much a place for racing fans, families and, of course, has developed into one of winter racing’s more popular simulcast signals, holding its own with much bigger kids on the block.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (15)
No Longer a Myth, Pegasus Soars

In a game built on history and hope, there never has been anything like this. In nearly five decades on the racetrack, nothing we’ve seen matched the level of anticipation and appreciation for the sport that was on display Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Or, as winning trainer Bob Baffert put it: “They really pulled it off.”

There was no Triple Crown on the line, only two great champions in a reprise of what became an instant rivalry: America’s Horse and his groupies in pitched battle with a newly crowned Horse in the World.

We are blessed to have spent countless exciting days on the job and have seen pretty much everything there is to see in a sport where no one can nor will ever see it all.

The thrill of watching fast and beautiful beasts in competition, straining into their bridles and against each other, beneath men whose hearts are as big as their bodies are diminutive.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (32)



 


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Gulfstream Today 2.23.17

Rainbow 6 Solved for $324,179 Payoff Thursday

Jockey Jose Ortiz Reels Off Four Straight Victories

Gunnevera Paddock Schools Thursday for G2 Fountain of Youth

Grade 1 Winner Mind Your Biscuits Schools for Saturday’s G3 GP Sprint

Saturday to Feature…


Feb 24 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
Track-Record Holder Uncle B Makes Turf Debut in $75,000 Texas Glitter

Turf Fillies Paint the Town in $75,000 Melody of Colors

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – With Uncle B’s solid record on synthetic surfaces, the colt’s trainer, Nicholas Gonzalez, has been looking for the right spot to try him on the grass. The opportunity has now presented itself,…


Feb 24 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
Gulfstream Today 2.22.17

Rainbow 6 Carryover Grows to $192,000 for Thursday’s Program

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the seventh consecutive racing day Wednesday, producing a carryover jackpot of $192,878.26 for Thursday’s 11-race program

Multiple…


Feb 23 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
G1 Winner Practical Joke Tops 40 Nominees for G2 Fountain of Youth

Multiple Stakes Winners Irish War Cry, Gunnevera, Three Rules Also Nominated
$400,000 Stakes Serves as Final Prep for $1 Million Florida Derby (G2) April 1
March 4 Card Features Nine Stakes, Eight Graded, Worth $1.5 Million in Purses

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Multiple…


Feb 23 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
G1 Winner Mind Your Biscuits Headlines G3 Gulfstream Sprint

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Mind Your Biscuits launched his 3-year-old season with a victory over New York-bred competition at Aqueduct and ended the 2016 campaign with a triumph over Grade 1 rivals in the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.

The newly turned 4-year-old son of Posse is scheduled to…


Feb 23 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
Fair Grounds Barn Notes: Sunday, February 19

Girvin, Cool Arrow Give Sharp a One-Two Punch in Risen Star
• Souper Tapit Superb on Debut for Casse
• Daria’s Angel Impressive in Graduation
• Green Mask After Another Stakes Win in Colonel Power
• Farrell and Valadorna Top Work Tab; Risen Star Runners Drill

Feb 23 | Categories: Fair Grounds, |
GULFSTREAM TODAY Thu 2/16/2017

Well-Bred 3-Year-old Filly Debuts with ‘Fabulous’ Victory
Saturday’s Card to Feature Guaranteed Multi-Race Wager Pools
Late Pick 4 - $300,000; Late Pick 5 - $200,000; Rainbow 6 - $200,000
Carryovers for Friday's Card: Super Hi-5 - $47,815; Rainbow 6 - $35,494


Feb 17 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
Toni Tools goes against state breds again in Sunday’s Franklin Square

Rice enters formidable pair for Broadway

OZONE PARK, N.Y.
- Toni Tools will look to continue her success in stakes races in headlining a 10-horse field in the third running of the $100,000 Franklin Square for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs on the inner dirt track…


Feb 17 | Categories: Aqueduct, |
McCRAKEN SETS TRACK RECORD IN SAM F. DAVIS TOUR DE FORCE

OLDSMAR, FL. – McCraken lived up to all the hype. And then some.

The unbeaten 3-year-old colt extended his record to 4-for-4 with a one-and-a-half length victory from Tapwrit in the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in stakes and track-record time of 1:42.45…


Feb 12 | Categories: Tampa Bay Downs, |
INSPECTOR LYNLEY REWARDS HIS HALL OF FAME TRAINER AND JOCKEY

OLDSMAR, FL. – After a troubled start cost Inspector Lynley all chance in the Tropical Park Derby on Dec. 31, jockey John Velazquez asked trainer Claude “Shug” McGaughey to let him ride the colt in his next start.

The two Hall of Fame members got the best out of Inspector Lynley…


Feb 12 | Categories: Tampa Bay Downs, |
TAPA TAPA TAPA UPSETS ELATE IN SUNCOAST STAKES

OLDSMAR, FL. – Before the $100,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, all eyes were on 3-10 favorite Elate from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer William Mott.

That was just the way the connections of Tapa Tapa Tapa liked it.

Racing on dirt for the first time in…


Feb 12 | Categories: Tampa Bay Downs, |
Gulfstream Today 2.11.17

Sunday Rainbow 6 Carryover $90,000

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream Park's 20-cent Rainbow 6 will have a carryover of $90,184.74 when racing resumes Sunday afternoon.

Multiple winning tickets in Saturday's Rainbow 6, which included victories by Almanaar in the…


Feb 12 | Categories: Gulfstream, |