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

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)

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 (16)
Racing’s only sure thing: Fans will get screwed

The Breeders' Cup Classic left a bad taste in many fans' mouths. But this is nothing new for racing. Fans get shafted regularly in all sorts of ways. The latest example is a race at Churchill Downs in which an ineligible horse won. The owners of the rightful winner got paid, the jockey and trainer got theirs but fans who bet on the horse who was eventually awarded the win got nothing. This need not be in the age of computer and account wagering. Also, fans who had 5 winners at the Breeders' Cup were shortchanged because there was a carryover to Sunday, which should not be allowed in this specific case.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (19)

Breeders’ Crown Wagering Format

East Rutherford, NJ - The two night Breeders Crown format features 12 Breeders Crown races and all 12 of the Championship races will be a part of a guaranteed pool.

On Friday with Breeders Crown races covering races 7 through 10, the standard Meadowlands wagering format will be in play. It includes:

$30,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Pick 5 (Races 1 through 5)
$25,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Early Pick 4 (Races 3 through 6)
$50,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Late Pick 4 (Races 7 through 10)

The Saturday Breeders Crown Program offers 8 Breeders Crown races that cover races 4 through 11. All Breeders Crown races are included in the Early and Late Pick 4 wagers and the guaranteed pools are enhanced as well. The Saturday guaranteed pool are as follows:

$30,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Pick 5 (Races 1 through 5)
$50,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Early Pick 4 (Races 4 through 7)
$100,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Late Pick 4 (Races 8 through 11)

Both racing programs include a $.20 Cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 with the low 8% takeout in the 13th and final race. The carryover into the Friday Program is $8,879.77.

Written by Darin Zoccali | Comments (0)
Gingras looks at Fall Four Stakes

By Ken Weingartner
Harness Racing Communications/USTA

After guiding Lyons Again to his first career win in his Governor’s Cup elimination at Woodbine last weekend, driver Yannick Gingras believes it is just the start for the 2-year-old male pacer.

Gingras arrived at Woodbine last Friday and Saturday with plenty of firepower for the Fall Four Stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters, and it all fired. He drove horses in all eight Fall Four eliminations, posting five wins, two second-place finishes and one fourth.

In addition to winning with Lyons Again, Gingras picked up victories in both eliminations for the Goldsmith Maid, with female trotters Mission Brief and Gatka Hanover, a win in the Three Diamonds with female pacer JK She’salady, and a triumph in the Valley Victory with male trotter Habitat.

He finished second with Three Diamonds contender Band Of Angels and runner-up with Governor’s Cup hopeful Blood Brother. His fourth-place finish was with Pinkman in the Valley Victory elims.

The Fall Four Stakes finals, worth a total of nearly C$2 million, are Saturday at Woodbine.

Lyons Again was the longest shot driven by Gingras, at 14-1, but his Governor’s Cup elimination win from post nine by three-quarters of a length over Traceur Hanover in 1:52.4 was not a complete surprise.

“He was a longshot for everybody (else) but I’ve really, really liked this colt,” Gingras said. “He’s really been a bridesmaid, always finishing second or third, but he ran into a really sharp horse in Artspeak early in the year. There’s no shame in finishing second to him, as sharp as he was.”

A son of Dragon Again-A Filly To Fear owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyons Again has one win, four seconds and two thirds in eight starts. Three times he hit the board in races won by Artspeak, with two runner-up finishes, and once he finished second to Yankee Bounty. Artspeak and Yankee Bounty are harness racing’s two richest 2-year-old male pacers and have combined to win 15 of 18 races.

Lyons Again, who finished third in the Metro Pace and has earned $161,687 this year, was not eligible to the Grand Circuit races at The Red Mile in Lexington, so the colt enjoyed a six-week layoff following his second-place finish in a division of the Champlain Stakes on Sept. 6 at Mohawk.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)

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)
Gulfstream Finds Temporary Fix to Palm Beach Workouts Flap

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., November 14, 2014--Bruno De Julio is an independent published clocker, horse owner, bloodstock agent and syndication manager, a man certainly not lacking in either portfolio or credibility.

But when he contacted Palm Beach Downs, a training center in Del Ray Beach earlier this week, he was told that he would not be able to enter because the facility was private property, essentially racing’s version of a “gaited community.”

When he questioned what the protocol for entrance was, a PBD spokesperson, who may or may not have been the general manager, pointedly said “you want to come here for some hidden motives.”

As a private, published clocker, De Julio has a partnership arrangement with to sell workout reports through their auspices. His wealth of credentials has given him access to most every major racetrack in America.

In the course of conversation, De Julio was told that no one is allowed in “for the protection of the horses.” Additionally, he was instructed that the workouts were being recorded because “horses can’t run without workouts.”

“I then informed her that over 20 horses of Todd Pletcher’s worked on Nov. 12th but no workouts were recorded,” De Julio said by phone from Del Ray Beach Thursday. I asked him how he knew that since he was denied admission:

“The workouts are up on Pletcher’s website.”

Written by John Pricci | Comments (7)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
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)

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


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)
Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash


LAUREL, MD. 11-15-14---Zayat Stables LLC’s Zee Bros, dismissed at odds of 29-1, proved to be the swiftest of all in the $350,000 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash. The De Francis Dash was the marquee race in Saturday’s Fall Festival…

Nov 16 | Categories: Laurel, | Comments (0)
Red Smith Handicap (G3) Quotes

Kathryn Sullivan, assistant to winning trainer Mark Casse of Dynamic Sky (No. 3): "[The Canadian International] was a really tough race, obviously. He got a great trip today, and everything seemed to come together for him. He didn't have the best start in the [Canadian] International, which put him behind…

Nov 16 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Begins Third-Party Administration Of Race Day Lasix

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream Park announced today it will begin third-party administration of race-day Lasix beginning Wednesday, Nov. 19.

The policy will prohibit any private veterinarian from being in a horse's stall on race day.

Nov 14 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Churchill Downs Stakes Advance


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014) – The growing popularity of Churchill Downs’ $200,000-added Mrs. Revere Stakes…

Nov 13 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)

NEW YORK - The New York Racing Association's Board of Directors today took the first step toward the long-term transformation and re-privatization of the national thoroughbred racing leader. This extensive process, which includes the development of a fully sustainable, three-year business model, kicked…

Nov 13 | Categories: Aqueduct, | Comments (0)
Churchill Downs Stakes Advance


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014) – Heart to Heart, runaway winner of back-to-back turf stakes including a four-length romp in the $110,000 Jefferson Cup (Grade III) during the September Meet, headlines a field…

Nov 12 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)