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

Less Becomes Much More in Rainbow 6

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., April 26, 2015—Good luck is never a bad thing. Gulfstream was fortunate that the rains didn’t come until well after Saturday's program had begun and because of the way the simulcast schedule fell out.

With Keeneland closed and Churchill not set to open the meet until 6 p.m., Aqueduct and Gulfstream had the major-track Saturday landscape virtually to themselves.

Otherwise, the mandatory Rainbow 6 jackpot likely never would have reached a record pool of $7.1 million as bettors put up $5.6 million chasing $1.4 million in “free money.”

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)
Charles Town Classic: Prepping For Dollars

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., April 17, 2016—The best horse in America runs Saturday—in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Oh well, so it wasn’t Hot Springs.

Now we have nothing against the good people of the Mountain State, mind you. God knows they’re a tough lot, know how to cope with hard work and on-the-job adversity.

But the racing in minor league, as glorified bullrings usually are. And the minor leagues have its place, although that position has become increasingly difficult to defend in these trying times.

To make it work, West Virginia racing had to be propped up by casino dole. And with that they put all their Thoroughbred eggs in one Classic basket, throwing dollars at their only national event.

The result has been that the equine equivalent of the 1 percent has swooped in with the “big hoss” and snatched up all those golden eggs without drawing an anxious deep breath. Just ask Mike Smith.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (7)

2015 Hall of Fame Voters Rate an A+

PLANTATION, FL, April 24, 2015—Looking at the roster of 2015 Hall of Fame inductees, which includes the late Chris Antley, trainer King Leatherbury and the exception runners Xtra Heat and Lava Man, makes me all warm and fuzzy within.

Where to start? Since neither a top jockey nor trainer can get the job done without the assistance of a winning Thoroughbred, let’s begin there:

On a personal level, I’ve been placing a check mark next to Xtra Heat’s name since she first appeared on my Hall of Fame ballot.

Now I fully realize that at a time when buying two-year-olds at auction was not de rigueur, $5,000 was a pittance for such brilliance and uncommon consistency, even back 2000. And what a bargain she proved to be.

Competing at the game’s highest levels, Xtra Heat won 26 of 35 lifetime starts and completed five exactas, off the board only twice in her Hall of Fame career.

Of those 26 victories, 25 came in stakes—and they didn’t write nearly as many of those ersatz overnight stakes as is done today.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)
Triumph and Near Tragedy at Charles Town

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., April 19, 2015—Wish I could celebrate Moreno’s record-setting victory in Saturday’s Charles Town Classic but I really can’t, for obvious reasons.

We’re happy, of course, early indications are that Shared Belief’s stifle injury, likely the product of his troubled start, is not career threatening.

We wrote in advance of the Classic about how it was a prep for a far more prestigious event against tougher competition than those he faced at Charles Town.

Clearly, we underrated Moreno, ideally suited by the bull ring’s tight turns and speedy nature of Saturday’s surface.

But we were correct about something else--our being the possible bacio della morte notwithstanding--stating: “You never want to get too far ahead of yourself in this game.”

Maybe that’s what Shared Belief had in mind in Charles Town, West Virginia; let’s get out of this gate as fast as possible and get this thing over with.

“He just seemed to slip in behind,” was Hall of Famer Mike Smith’s observation. We’ll take him at his word.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer indicated Sunday that the gelding will undergo a nuclear scan to determine the extent of the hind-end injury, reporting that Shared Belief was walking sound Sunday morning.

In any case it was a stutter-step start, hopping instead of striding out in those first early jumps and, just like that, he was about three lengths behind the group and seriously compromised.

Then, almost immediately, came the first of three turns, which was more problematic for Shared Belief than usual, considering the circumstances.

The champ, his connections and the public that made him their 3-to-10 choice, certainly deserved a better fate.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (6)

Top of racing loaded again but there’s trouble below

The 3-year-old crop of 2014 was exceptional. This year's group has shown the potential to be as good or better. Below the surface things are not as rosy as they will seem next Saturday.New Jersey racing is in jeopardy because its breeding program has all but evaporated. With casino subsidies being threatened in other states, this could be a preview of things to come. Like America, racing is in danger of losing its middle class.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (13)
Derby points should play a creative new role

Dortmund and Materiality have never lost. American Pharoah and Carpe Diem are unbeaten this year. But one of the top Kentucky Derby contenders could have his first defeat sealed before he steps onto the track. Whoever draws the No. 1 post is all but eliminated. This should not be the fate of any serious horse. Let one of the under-achievers swallow the poison pill. An easy way to accomplish this would be to have the connections pick their posts in the order of the points they have earned.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (56)

All Hail Conquering Pharoah

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 12, 2015—That’s it, right? All done? No more preps?

Finally, just two weeks of “just what we wanted, well within himself, couldn’t be doing any better” workouts leading up to the big dance and all that’s left is the betting.

Yes, being a little facetious because workouts at Churchill Downs do mean a lot: If it were possible, you could have asked Charlie Whittingham. Now you could speak with Carl Nafzger, or Graham Motion, or… But first things first:

Commented on a thread here that I wanted to see another dimension, and I did: I see the immediate future up ahead. It’s like you’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.

It’s a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Tri-light Zone.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (14)
Start Spreading the News: Get With the Program

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 7, 2015: California maybe be dominating the top of the HRI Kentucky Derby Power 10, and everyone else’s list, too, but never before this late in the prep season have New York-breds been in such a lofty position among the Derby elite.

Maybe it’s all that love emanating from a recent return to Queens where yellow cabs are now an outer-borough lime green and 5-time NBA All-Star Chris Mullin is poised to bring pride back to his once storied alma mater.

And it didn’t snow over the weekend, so life here is good.

In any case, just a mention that there are two New York-breds among the HRI Power 10 with a third, Saturday’s Wood Memorial runner-up Tencendur, on the AEs waiting to break in.

Holy Funny Cide!

Written by John Pricci | Comments (11)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Record Single-Day Rainbow 6 Handle Generates Multiple $14,592 Payoffs

$5.6 Million Bet into $1.4 Million Carryover
Sunday Super Hi 5 Carryover $20,365.16

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream Park's mandatory payout of its 20-cent Rainbow 6 resulted in a total pool of $7.125 million Saturday, producing multiple-winning tickets each returning $14,504.92.

Apr 26 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Upstart, Frosted Conduct Final Pre-Derby Breezes at Palm Meadows

Triple Crown Contenders Each Breeze 5-furlongs in South Florida

Upstart Records Bullet in 59.95 seconds; Frosted Clocks in at 1:01.10

BOYNTON BEACH, FL – Triple Crown contenders Upstart and Frosted took the track just after 8:00 a.m. Saturday at Gulfstream’s satellite…

Apr 25 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Millions at Stake Saturday for Gulfstream’s Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout

Pool Expected to be More Than $5 Million

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The countdown to Saturday’s mandatory payout of the lucrative 20-cent Rainbow 6 pool ended Friday at Gulfstream Park on a positive note for bettors hoping for a chance to cash in on a life-changing jackpot.

Apr 24 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Mandatory Rainbow 6 Carryover Payout

Anticipation Builds for Saturday’s Mandatory Rainbow 6 Carryover Payout

Carryover Jackpot Pool Stood at $1,357,478 for Friday’s Program
Pool Expected to Reach $5 Million-Plus if Wager goes Unsolved Friday
Grade 3 Miami Mile, Powder Break Stakes Included in Six-Race Sequence

Apr 24 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks 141 Update


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, April 23, 2015) – Other than trying to forecast the winner of Kentucky Derby 141, probably the most tricky thing in Louisville this time of year is trying to forecast the weather.

Apr 24 | Categories: Kentucky Derby, | Comments (0)
Paulassilverlining headlines trio of stakes on Closing Day at the Big A

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Graded stakes winner Paulassilverlining headlines the final open company stakes race of Aqueduct Racetrack's Spring meet, Sunday's $100,000 Belle Harbor for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.

Closing Day at Aqueduct will also include two New York Stallion Series…

Apr 24 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
Belmont Park opens Wednesday, April 29

$10 million Belmont Stakes Racing Festival set for June 4-6

ELMONT, N.Y. - Highlighted by the inaugural Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, encompassing three days of world-class stakes racing including the 147th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park opens on Wednesday,…

Apr 24 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Miami Mile (G3) Highlights 3-Stake Saturday Card at Gulfstream

Clement to Saddle Middleburg in Miami Mile, Discreet Marq in Powder Break
Mandatory Rainbow 6 Payout Could Climb as High as $5 Million

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream’s spring stakes schedule kicks off Saturday with a three-stake slate headlined by the $100,000 Miami Mile (G3),…

Apr 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, April 21, 2015) – Two hopefuls for the 141st Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), War Story and Mr. Z, are scheduled to work Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs.

Loooch Racing Stables, Glenn Ellis and Christopher Dunn’s War Story is scheduled to work…

Apr 21 | Categories: Kentucky Derby, | Comments (0)
Quotes from the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2)

Sandy Adkins (assistant to Gerry Aschinger, winning trainer of Dramedy)

On the decision to run Dramedy at 1½ miles for the first time
“Every time he’s run, he’s closed at the end and been hard to pull up after going a mile, a mile and a sixteenth. So a mile and a half was perfect.…

Apr 19 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
Woodhaven Quotes

David Donk, winning trainer of Vision Perfect (No. 4): "It was a very gutsy, game performance off the layoff. He didn't have to win, but we're pretty pleased that he did. He's matured and filled out a bit [since his 2-year-old season], which is nice to see. It's been a little bit of a tough spring because…

Apr 19 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream News & Notes - Sat 4/18

Florida Derby Hero Materiality Tunes Up With ‘Super’ 5F Breeze
Stablemates Stanford, Itsaknockout, Competitive Edge Also Work
Oasis At Midnight Seeks Relief in Sunday’s Sand Dollar Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Alto Racing’s Materiality, who captured the $1 million…

Apr 18 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)