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

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)

D. Wayne Lukas and a Dash for Cash

PLANTATION, FL., December 14, 2014—All his life, Darrell Wayne Lukas of Antigo, Wisconsin has been making this mad dash toward destiny. And, at 79, the end does not appear anywhere in sight.

Dashing as ever, indeed, Lukas as familiar figure, a handsome gent framed in a dark suit, white shirt, tie, and, of course, the latest in shaded eyewear.

On Saturday, he acted in the Los Alamitos winners’ circle like a man who has been there before. And has he ever.

Lukas saddled the greatest horse he ever trained at Los Al, the Quarter Horse Dash For Cash, a great champion that eventually would lead to his 2007 induction into the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame—eight years after his initiation into the Thoroughbred Hall of Fame.

There he stood, posing with owner Willis Horton and friends following Take Charge Brandi’s victory in the Starlet Stakes, the eighth time Lukas and one of his Thoroughbred pupils have done so.

Of course, among his myriad accomplishments, he’s probably most respected as a trainer of trainers, three of whom had a fine Saturday of their own.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (12)
Running for His Life

One of the best things about this game is the people you meet along the way. Bill Mooney is one of those people. We've known each know for nearly four decades and the first trait that becomes apparent when you speak with him is his classy demeanor; the respectful, measured responses, the thoughtfulness, the passion he has for the sport. We cannot be considered close friends, but whenever our paths would cross in press boxes across the country, in Saratoga especially, it always was and remains a pleasure: Call it a pari-mutuel admiration society. This week, Bill sent an e-mail to his turf writing brothers and sisters, one which I'm certain, considering the message within, forced all of us to check our stride and think, the way his copy always does. I asked Bill if he wouldn't mind sharing his thoughts with the HRI audience, that it might make a difference in the life of some racing fan who knows what Bill's days are like now and how they might approach life's random fragility and reckless abandon.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (3)

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)
Marc Lawrence College & Pro Upsets Dec. 6 - Dec. 8

OHIO STATE over Wisconsin by 3

You gotta feel for the Buckeyes. Entering 2014 on a 24-2 SU run under HC Urban Meyer, Ohio State lost starting QB Braxton Miller for the season with a shoulder injury before playing its fi rst game. J.T. Barrett stepped in for Miller and led the the team to 10-1 record – before leaving with a broken ankle in last week’s bitter 42-28 win over archrival Michigan. Now Meyer has to turn to his third starting QB this season in what will be OSU’s biggest game of the season. It’s our contention that the team will rally around new quarterback Cardale Jones, a 6-5 250-lb product of the Cleveland Glenville pipeline and a 3-star recruit out of high school. However, Jones almost ‘Winstoned’ his way off the team earlier when he was guilty of tweeting: “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS.” Open mouth, insert size 20 foot. Those hijinks almost landed Jones a one-way bus ticket home… to which Meyer now says, “He’s matured a lot. I think he’ll do a great job.” Maybe so but we’ll rely on this week’s INCREDIBLE STAT (page 3) and Meyer’s sterling 15-9 SU and 18-6 ATS career mark as a pick or dog – including 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS since 2003. He’ll need all that and more to bring down a Wisconsin team on a 7-game win streak, thanks to RB Melvin Gordon’s exploits (8 yards per carry and 26 TD’s) and an under-appreciated defense that’s limited foes to just 260 yards and 16.8 PPG. The Badgers have not missed a beat since 2nd-year HC Gary Andersen took over for Bret Bielema and Andersen’s 18-8-1 ATS success against opponents with better records is certainly noteworthy. However, the well-oiled machine reminds us that since the inception of the Big 10 championship games, the favorite in these contests is a poor 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS – and that the Buckeyes are the only FBS team to outgain every foe they’ve faced this season. Incredibly, a win here won’t guarantee a playoff appearance for Ohio State as the Selection Committee might react negatively to the loss of QB Barrett and choose another 1-loss team (like TCU) with a healthy starting contingent. Still, we think Meyer has too much talent and depth on hand to let this opportunity slip away. Take as many points as you can, roll up your sleeves and get ready for a 60-minute WAR.

Written by John Pricci | 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
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)
Championship Meet Begins Saturday at Gulfstream Park

$1 Million Claiming Crown Highlights 10-Race Program

Breakfast at Gulfstream Set for Saturday 7-10 a.m.

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Thoroughbred sport’s most celebrated jockeys, trainers and horses have returned to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s Opening Day of the 2014-2015…

Dec 5 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Saturday’s $1 Million Claiming Crown

Ramseys Looking to Have More Fun in Saturday’s $1 Million Claiming Crown

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey compete at the very highest level of the Sport of Kings, but they have hardly forgotten their roots in the claiming ranks. Although their names and horses are closely…

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