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'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

KENTUCKY DERBY 142: Post Positions Matter

LAS VEGAS, May 5, 2016—America’s Race is a little more than 48 hours away and the draw for post positions didn’t make picking the winner any easier.

But maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, a real Louisville lollapalooza. Let them all run and let the horseplayers and public in, too, especially the public.

On Saturday, anything that will work goes: names, colors, hat pins, lucky numbers. Or, to the event, jockeys, trainers, handicappers and “squares,” the casual bettors that built this town.

In the end, it’s the horses that will decide it, they always do. Brown horses, black ones, grays, and some the color of Trump’s hair; the orange kind, not the softer blond hue.

As a horse race, the Derby has it all. This year, it mostly has horses that want to do their best running at the end. But the usual factors need consideration; race dynamics, form cycles, recent local workouts, etc., etc.

The Derby is for dreamers of every stripe; the connections, horse fans, sport’s fans and gamblers, making it the world’s greatest racing spectacle, an aw-shucks equal of the Melbourne Cup, the Arc de Triomphe.

It is the stuff of legend, and one of 20 horses will emerge the answer to a trivia question by Sunday morning. Which of those own the attributes to become one of the ones? A handicapping sketch, listed in post order with early line odds:

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)
Handicapping Sketches of All Belmont Late P4 Starters

By John Pricci
Exclusively for http://www.123BET.COM

Judging from the returns, last Saturday’s Pick 4 analysis at Keeneland proved popular with bettors and readers. And so that will be the theme until you say differently.

Today’s handicapping thumbnail sketches of every entrant in the late Pick 4 from Belmont will be listed in post-position order with early line odds.

Meant as an objective guide to your own handicapping, we effort to include key pluses and minuses that should prove the difference between success and failure.

As always, we seek true value relative to the handicapping merits—not just odds-based alone—and will express the occasional betting “lean” or advisory when warranted.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)

HRI Final Staff Poll for Derby 142: Back to the Future

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., May 1, 2016—Today’s installment of HRI’s Kentucky Derby Power Rankings, the final of 2016, comes with staff comments and a disclaimer.

Last week we asked our staffers and contributors to give us their Top Five Derby horses and, unlike in previous pools when we insisted on an amalgam of accomplishment and opinion, today's HRI Triple Rankings for Week 9 is based on individual staff opinions one week before the show.

The caveat is that the rankings are being posted three days in advance of the critically important post-position draw, before all riding assignments have been confirmed and early line odds posted. Clearly, preferences are very likely to change.

Final HRI selections—a final Top Five, with traditionally truncated comments, will be posted here in the wee hours, Friday a.m.. We will also post our top three selections for the day’s Kentucky Oaks. as of now, this is what we project might happen on Derby Day.

A final consensus of opinion follows. [Ed. Note] My personal Top Five will be rated in order of Pricci Energy Ratings, a compilation of energy distributor based on optimum performance when similar dynamics apply; in short, their best races.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (11)
Prep Season Over: Will Any Rival Beat Nyquist?

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., April 17, 2016—The Kentucky Derby prep season is over, 24 glorious or humiliating results depending on which end of the wickets you landed.

And what have we learned from the Jerome to the Arkansas Derby and back again? That juvenile champion Nyquist remains atop his generation.

The presumption now is that, horrible post draw notwithstanding, Nyquist looks like a 2-1 favorite when the gates fly open for the feature race on May’s first Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Many colts have had their 15 minutes at center stage, the brightest light cast upon the formerly undefeated Mohaymen.

A popular racetrack axiom is it’s not how fast your run but how you run fast. But his first lifetime defeat was a mystery tour, and there was nothing magical about it.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (7)

Here’s who won’t win the Derby

The first step to finding the winner of any race is eliminating those who can't win. IMHO, there are at least 10 of those, half the field, in the Kentucky Derby. Included are the winners of some key Kentucky Derby preps. This doesn't include the poor horse who draws the No. 1 post, if he is not among my 10 tosses.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (19)
Songbird’s absence makes Oaks a super betting race

Super filly Songbird will be missed in the Kentucky Oaks but her defection has created the best betting race of Derby weekend with a half-dozen or more possible favorites and a herd of live price horses. Even better, the Oaks is tied, as always, to the Derby in a double bet and with the Derby and Turf Classic in a pick three. The payoffs could be, as The Donald says, Y-U-U-U-G-E.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (20)

The Pick Six Dinosaur and The Future of Exchange Wagering

ELMONT, NY, April 26, 2016 – The New York Racing Association's Pick Six is not yet dead but it's now struggling on life support. Once regarded as a major betting attraction of NYRA's racing day, the Pick Six has become a minor, almost irrelevant, wager.

The reason for this is obvious. The minimum betting unit is $2 while newer wagers, such as the popular Pick Four and Pick Five, have 50-cent minimums. The New York State Gaming Commission had a chance to correct this problem yesterday but failed to do so.

At their monthly meeting, members of the NYSGC attempted to standardized the rules governing the Pick Four, Pick Five and Pick Six. They were all introduced at different times and thus regulated differently.

The Pick Six would benefit from uniform rules concerning multiple race wagers in one way that the commission didn't consider. The New York Pick Six could have been heralded as unique if suddenly there were a 50-cent minimum like the Pick Four and Pick Five. Let everybody in the pool!

Written by Mark Berner | Comments (32)
NYRA Reprivatization? On Hold…Again

NEW YORK, NY, April, 12, 2016 - The New York Racing Association's Board of Directors today approved the presentation they were given by the state to reorganize the Board of Directors.

They shuffled the deck chairs and pretended not to know they were set up.

Then they knocked them down like dominoes.

Last year the state told the Board they would not go forward with privatization because they presented no plan to do so. This year they doubled down and voted to approve a proposal that again includes no plan for privatization.

There was no business plan, no projections, no statement of attainable goals, nothing. Just tacit approval by good soldiers of a proposal to keep them exactly where they are, under state control.

Written by Mark Berner | Comments (20)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Stakes Advance: Tue 5/3/2016 12:32 PM


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, May 2, 2016)
– The 1-2 finishers from last month’s Ashland Stakes (GI) at Keeneland, Ashbrook Farm’s Weep No More and Stonestreet Stables’ Rachel’s Valentina,…

May 3 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream’s 20-Cent Rainbow 6 Hit for $218,000

Saturday's First Race Super Hi 5 Carryover $2,571.14
$100,000 Miami Mile (G3) and Powder Break Saturday's Features

- Gulfstream Park's 20-cent Rainbow 6 was hit Friday afternoon when Ansiedad, a 35-1 longshot trained by Manny Azpurua and ridden by Jose…

Apr 29 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Weekend Hideaway returns from “little vacation” to win Affirmed Success

ELMONT, N.Y. - A well-rested Weekend Hideaway came back from a three-month freshening and rolled to a 2 ¼-length victory over favored Loki's Vengeance in Friday's $100,000 Affirmed Success for New York-breds as Belmont Park opened for its 54-day spring/summer meet.

With Luis Saez aboard,…

Apr 29 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Kentucky Derby Update: Friday, April 29, 2016


BRODY’S CAUSE/CHERRY WINE – Albaugh Family Stable’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Brody’s Cause galloped 1 ½ miles following the renovation break under exercise rider Miguel Garcia for trainer Dale Romans.
Also galloping the same distance…

Apr 29 | Categories: Kentucky Derby, | Comments (0)
KENTUCKY OAKS NOTES - Update: Friday, April 29, 2016

CARINA MIA – Three Chimneys Farm’s Carina Mia, 17th on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard, galloped after the break under exercise rider Penny Gardiner.

DOTHRAKI QUEEN – Magdalena Racing’s Dothraki Queen, 16th on the Oaks leaderboard, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 after the break under…

Apr 29 | Categories: Kentucky Derby, | Comments (0)
Aktabantay Seeks Fast Track to Graded Success in G3 Miami Mile

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Aktabantay made the journey from England to Santa Anita in 2014 to run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), only to be scratched due to an injury sustained in a stall mishap.

The British-bred colt didn’t get to compete in the $1 million race for 2-year-olds,…

Apr 28 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Update: Wednesday, April 27, 2016


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, April 27, 2016)
– Koji Maeda’s Lani, winner of the UAE Derby (Group II) in his most recent start, worked three furlongs in :37.40 with blinkers on over a…

Apr 28 | Categories: Churchill Downs, | Comments (0)
Loki’s Vengeance seeks re-affirmation in Affirmed Success

ELMONT, N.Y. - Multiple stakes winner Loki's Vengeance returns to action Friday to defend his title against eight other New York-breds in the $100,000 Affirmed Success, the opening-day feature as Belmont Park begins its 54-day spring/summer meet.

First race post time is 1:30 p.m., with gates…

Apr 28 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Live racing returns to Belmont Park on April 29

Second annual Belmont Stakes Racing Festival set for June 9-11

ELMONT, N.Y. - Featuring the second annual Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, itself anchored by the 148th renewal of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11, live thoroughbred racing will return to Belmont…

Apr 28 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream News & Notes - Thu 4/21

Majesto Turns in Final Local Workout for May 7 Kentucky Derby
Florida Derby Runner-Up Breezes Mile at Gulfstream Park West
Cold Snack Thirty Kicks Off Juvenile Racing Season with a Victory

– Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Majesto was sent to the Gulfstream…

Apr 22 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream News & Notes - Wed 4/20

Multiple Graded-Stakes Winner Grand Tito Tops G3 Miami Mile Noms
Daring Kathy, Notte d’Oro among 18 Nominated to Powder Break
Smile Sprint, Princess Rooney Designated ‘Win & You’re In’ Races

– Grupo 7C Racing Stables’ Grand Tito is among…

Apr 20 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)


LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, April 20, 2016)
– Shadwell Stable’s Mohaymen, who had his five-race unbeaten streak snapped in the Florida Derby (Grade I) in his most recent start, put in his first work at Churchill Downs Wednesday in preparation…

Apr 20 | Categories: Kentucky Derby, | Comments (0)