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

The sooner NY winter racing ends, the better


NYRA loses about a million dollars a week during the winter racing season. Yet there are those who would argue it must be continued. Why? To serve as a social welfare program for inferior horses? A spring-through-fall season also would facilitate closing Aqueduct, which is going to happen. Belmont wouldn't need such extensive winterizing if it didn't have to deal with the worst months of the year.


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (1)
State is never going to relinquish NYRA

The state of New York continues to persist in its charade of making it appear as if it is planning to return NYRA to private control by the end of 2015. But an influential legislator says re-privatization is unacceptable. In fact, he came out for more government control of the NYRA board.



Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (21)

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 (8)
NYRA Should Take Lead on Hong Kong Inspired Reforms

LOS ANGELES, November 6, 2014--The recent on-line petition calling for increased barn surveillance and harsher penalties for medication violations has already succeeded in applying pressure on racing regulators.

This was demonstrated at the October 23rd California Horse Racing Board meeting when the Executive Director complained about 'bloggers and such' who “villify” the CHRB “without having the facts.”

As I listened to the archived audio, the CHRB commissioners and directors didn't come off as villains, but rather as collectively incapable of meaningful reform – perhaps more so than their counterparts in most other state racing regulatory bodies in this country.

The problem is that too few individuals, nationwide, have any experience doing it a better way.


Written by Indulto | Comments (0)

Emulating Yonkers Raceway Would Be Good for Thoroughbred Business

PLANTATION, FL, November, 20, 2014--Remember watching the start of this year's Breeders' Cup Classic over and over, trying to pick up exactly when and where the horse beneath #7 orange saddle-cloth crashed into the one wearing the black #6?

In the simulcast era, colored saddle cloths have become indispensable when trying to decipher which of the two horses battling head to head two the wire 10 lengths behind the runaway leader are going to win the photo.

Was it the horse racing on the inside or the outside? Did I win the trifecta? Are those the horses I used to complete the super?

Colored saddle cloths certainly have made it easier for fans and bettors to enjoy horse racing and, for that, Thoroughbred racing owes a debt of gratitude to those who work on the Harness side of the street.

The Standardbred folks introduced the innovation, Thoroughbred racing followed, altering the original color scheme so that the saddle cloths wouldn't match exactly--as if product differentiation were completely necessary.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (5)
Taking a Pick 10 Shot Finally Makes Sense

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, November 15, 2014-- The HRI faithful know how I feel about the Pick 10 when it was first offered over a series of four Mondays.

The surmise is that Gulfstream wanted to kick off South Florida’s Gulfstream Park West era with a bang, and to see if the concept had legs beyond Miami Lakes, long enough to reach Dec.6, the start of the parent track‘s “championship meet.”.

To be kind, the Pick 10 was and is a way-over-the-top mimicking of the Rainbow 6, a wager that proved highly successful virtually since conception.

So popular was it, in fact, that management flirted with success by tweaking it in the hopes of doing even better. In the main, they succeeded

With a higher percentage of the winnings paid daily and a lower percentage of handle carried into the next day’s jackpot pool should a lone winner devour the entire enchilada, the wager continued to prosper.

The catch was that the dime minimum was doubled, the added cost spun as a way of allowing Woodbine bettors into the pool. In Canada, the legal minimum is 20-cents.**

Of course that was not the only motive as management sought more of a good thing. On a daily basis, the tack worked, but then it didn’t work, too.

The only time any real buzz was created is when the jackpot reached the magic million-dollar mark.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (13)

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
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool

OPENING KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE POOL STARTS FRIDAY WITH ‘ALL OTHERS’ A HEAVY FAVORITE

Unbeaten American Pharoah is Favored Individual, One of Four Baffert Trainees; Pletcher Trains Five Wagering Interests

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014) – It’s a true reminder…


Nov 26 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)
Competitive bunch set to square off in G3 Go For Wand

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - An intriguing blend of up-and-coming fillies and hard-knocking mares is set to enter the starting gate on Friday at Aqueduct Racetrack for the Grade 3, $300,000 Go For Wand Handicap.





Nov 26 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
$100,000 My Charmer Handicap (G3) Quotes

Trainer David Fawkes (Daring Kathy): “He (jockey Abdiel Jaen) rode her perfect. Even the fractions were almost exactly the same. When I saw them go in almost 25 [seconds] and then the 51 and change, I was like ‘Oh my God. It’s over.’ He hadn’t even asked her to do anything. She did everything…


Nov 23 | Categories: Gulfstream West, | Comments (0)
$100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) Quotes

Trainer Christophe Clement (Lubash): “His last race was so good, I decided to come here for the stake before he is turned out. He’s a fun horse because he really, really wants to win. He always runs a good race and makes me look good. I like that.”




Nov 23 | Categories: Gulfstream West, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Park News & Notes - Fri 11/21

Karibu Gardens Taking Steps toward Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap
Merilore Hopes to Carry on Family Tradition

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Melnyk Racing Stables’ Karibu Gardens had impressed trainer Josie Carroll right from the start, so the Canadian trainer wasn’t surprised when the…


Nov 22 | Categories: Gulfstream West, | Comments (0)
Churchill Downs Race Day Notes: Friday, Nov. 21

NELLIE CASHMAN HITTING TOP FORM FOR RETURN IN SATURDAY’S CARDINAL ’CAP

Maryland-based filly Nellie Cashman completed a promising 3-year-old season with a disappointing run in last fall’s Mrs. Revere (Grade II), but she climbed aboard a van Friday morning for a return trip to Churchill…


Nov 22 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)
Angelica Zapata, Daring Kathy Seeking First Graded Win in My Charmer

Multiple Stakes Winners Square Off in Saturday’s $100,000 Turf Sweepstakes

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Among her 11 lifetime victories in a 30-race career that has spanned five seasons, Angelica Zapata owns 10 stakes wins. As yet none have come in graded company, though she came within a length…


Nov 20 | Categories: Gulfstream West, | Comments (0)
Lochte Seeks to Make the Grade Again in $100K Tropical Turf Handicap

Vitali Trainee and Unbridled Command Bring Grade 1 Stakes Credentials

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Lochte figures to be well backed in the betting for Saturday’s $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park West, if for no other reason than the 4-year-old gelding is one of two Grade…


Nov 20 | Categories: Gulfstream West, | Comments (0)
RACING AT CHURCHILL DOWNS TO RESUME FRIDAY, NOV. 21

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014) – Following back-to-back cancellations due to a frozen racetrack, racing at Churchill Downs Racetrack will resume Friday at 12:40 p.m. EST with its regularly-scheduled 10-race program.




Nov 20 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Park News & Notes - 11/19

Daring Kathy Seeks First Graded Win
Mucho Mas Macho Nears Return


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Multiple stakes-winning filly Daring Kathy is expected to make her next start in the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park West.




Nov 19 | Categories: Gulfstream West, | Comments (0)
Record 314 Horses Nominated To $1 million Claiming Crown

Gulfstream Park Hosting Eight-Race Showcase on December 6

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A record 314 horses were nominated to the 16th annual Claiming Crown, the $1 million showcase for the country’s top claiming horses being hosted by Gulfstream Park for the third consecutive year on December…


Nov 17 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Stakes Recap:  Grade II, $237,800 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs

SPARKLING REVIEW SHINES IN GRADE II, $237,800 MRS. REVERE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014) - Beverly Anderson and Edward Seltzer's Sparkling Review displayed a brilliant late kick inside the final three-sixteenths of the mile to win Saturday's 24th running of the $237,800 Mrs. Revere…


Nov 16 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)