HRI Featured Writers
HRI Featured Writers

Pricci’s Free Race Analysis

Whenever his daily work schedule permits, HorseRaceInsider executive editor John Pricci will analyze that day's feature race from a major thoroughbred-racing jurisdiction.

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
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.


John Parisella
John Parisella has enjoyed a legendary career as a "horseman's horseman." At last count, he won 27 races with 27 different horses at 27 different tracks. His observations will appear bi-weekly, Mondays and Fridays in his "Parisella At the Races" 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

Vegas resort fees illustrate why Keeneland boycott is crucial


When racetracks want to squeeze more money out of customers they raise the takeout, as Keeneland has done this fall. Las Vegas has its own version of this, "resort fees." These add-on charges started in the $10-$15 range. Visitors accepted the increases without meaningful pushback, so the hotels consistently increased these fees to as much as $40-plus per night and they seem to go up every year. This is why the Keeneland boycott must succeed. If it doesn't, racetracks everywhere will feel confident they can kick up their takeouts with impunity.


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (16)
Three races to look forward to at the Breeders Cup


The beauty of the Breeders' Cup is every race is a beauty. But some are more beautiful than others. Three weeks out, a trio of Breeders' Cup events stand out for their competitiveness and championship implications: the Classic, the Distaff and the Juvenile. The Classic will almost certainly produce the Horse of the Year, best older dirt horse and perhaps the 3-year-old championship. The Distaff should settle the older Filly & Mare division and likely the 3-year-old filly title. The Juvenile will be an East-West showdown with an Eclipse on the line between a pair of colts, whose breeding and running styles should put them at the top of next year's Kentucky Derby contenders.


Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (28)

Where Players Bet Matters

Despite excellent racing and full-court-press promoting by TVG’s wall-to-wall coverage, the message being sent by boycotting horseplayers is being heard loud and clear.

Having said that, I predict that today’s handle will be up over last year’s, thanks to a six-figure Pick Six carryover, a pool that features $1 wagering and not the standard $2 in non-jackpot scenarios.

But that, too, is beside the point.

While unofficial handle at racing’s other top tier venues, Belmont Park and Santa Anita is up significantly, Keeneland’s is down considerably by comparison for the period of OCT 6 through OCT 15.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (38)
Final Q & A on Horse Racing Integrity Act 2017

HOW LONG HAS WHOA BEEN IN EXISTANCE AND MANY MEMBERS DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE?
WHOA was founded in 2012 on a phone call with lobbyist Frankie Trull. She suggested that lobbying as an alliance of individuals would be more powerful than each of us lobbying on our own. As an alliance, WHOA has given us common ground. From those early days with 10 original members, WHOA’s membership has grown to over 1,500 members who have endorsed our pledge and signed on to the WHOA membership roster. http://www.waterhayoatsalliance.com/join.shtml.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ITS MEMBERSHIP, PRIMARILY, BREEDERS AND OWNERS?

WHOA is a grassroots group of like-minded Owners, Breeders, Trainers, Jockeys, Equine Practitioners, Industry Professionals, Handicappers and Racing Fans who stand against the permissive use of performance enhancing drugs in American horse racing.
WHOA’s membership is open to anyone with a stake in the racing game. It includes all racing disciplines: Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Quarter Horse.
The membership breaks down as follows:
Owner/Breeders 45%
Industry Professionals 15%
Equine Practitioners 1%
Trainers 4%
Jockeys <1%
Handicappers 2%
Racing Fans 16%
Horse Lovers 17%

HOW MANY TRAINERS ARE MEMBERS OF THE ORGANIZATION?
There are currently 54 trainers in WHOA; 10 of them, Hall of Famers.

WHEN WAS THE BARR-TONKO BILL ORIGINALLY INTRODUCED AND WHAT IS ITS CURRENT STATUS?


Written by John Pricci | Comments (13)

Best College and Pro Upsets, OCT 21-22

Wake Forest over GEORGIA TECH by 6

We all know the Wreck can’t pass the ball (No. 128 in passing offense with just 77.6 PYPG), but they lead the nation in fewest penalties (18) on the season and are also tied for the best Time of Possession (36 MPG). On the down side, they are a concerning 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 home games following a loss and are probably looking dead ahead to a trip to Clemson. Also, we came up with this interesting stat from our Coaches database: teams are 10-21 ATS as conference home favorites in games after facing a Mark Richt team. Meanwhile, Wake is tied with Miami for fewest turnovers lost (3) along with N.C. State and Alabama. Also, the Demon Deacons have been absolute road warriors recently, going 8-2 ATS in their last ten away games. But here’s THE CLINCHER: Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson is 13-6 ATS away in conference games following an ATS win, including 8-1 SUATS when not a double-digit dog.


Written by Marc Lawrence | Comments (0)
Marc Lawrence Underdog Best Bets Oct 14-15

College

North Texas over UTSA by 10

Roadrunners looked more like roadkill last week when they fell to Southern Miss as 10-point home chalk. So now they dress up as road favorites? We don’t think so! We warned you last week about UTSA’s phony 3-0 record (all three wins came against winless FBS foes and FCS weakling Southern) and North Texas is a far cut above that ilk, coming off back-to-back wins while scoring 46 and 43 points, respectively. The Mean Green will be eager to make amends for last year’s 31-17 loss at San Antonio, and the intuitive MIDWEEK ALERT informs us that UNT is currently out-stating foes by 110 YPG (they were -98 net YPG in 2016). More good news for the Green: the series host has won and covered three straight, and the ‘Runners arrive with a money-burning 2-6 ATS mark as chalk against avenging foes since joining the FBS, including 0-2 ATS away. And not only is North Texas 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven home dog roles against foes off a spread loss.


Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)

For Racing, What Cost Security?

Dr. Rick Sams, laboratory director at LGC Sports Science, the official testing laboratory for Kentucky, Virginia and Maine racing commissions based in Lexington, says that designer drugs administered to horses simply cannot be detected by laboratories.

Sams, it should be noted, also is a member of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's Scientific Practices Committee and consultant to the Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

On the other hand, Martin Panza, senior vice president of racing operations at the New York Racing Association, said nobody is using drugs that we don’t know about. Both cannot be correct.

“Both right, both wrong,” said Dr. Steven Barker, the veterinarian whose laboratory at Louisiana State University was the first to discover dermorphin, aka ‘frog juice’. “The answer is somewhere in the middle.”


Written by Mark Berner | Comments (29)
The More Things Change…

Thoroughbred racing in the US cannot withstand a hurricane of change. Yet if it does not occur, it will drown in a sea of drugs, deaths and litigation. Its destiny is our hands.

Exposure of extensive drug use was the nadir of the trial and conviction of trainer Murray Rojas in Pennsylvania, equine deaths have tragically been too frequent at Saratoga, and litigation opened Pandora’s Box when Kentucky judge, Thomas Wingate, struck down the absolute-insurer (trainer responsibility) rule in the case of trainer Graham Motion.

Stewart S Janney III, Chairman of the Jockey Club closed its Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs on August 13, with the following remarks.

“What has happened in Pennsylvania recently is disgraceful and sad, especially when you consider that the state is the sixth leading producer of foals and that it hosted approximately 4,000 races and distributed more than 100 million in purses in 2016.

Let's start by focusing on the federal trial involving trainer Murray Rojas on charges of fraud, conspiracy, and misbranding of drugs. I think it illustrates what we have to fix and how our problems interconnect.

Uncontradicted testimony described widespread, in fact, nearly universal, cheating; regulators asleep on the job; a corrupted and ineffectual testing system.


Written by Mark Berner | Comments (27)



 


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
XPRESSBET TO OFFER THE BREEDERS’ CUP BETTING CHALLENGE

October 16, 2017 (Washington, PA) – Xpressbet is excited to announce that handicappers will have the ability to play in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) online at Xpressbet.com.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge is one of horse racing’s richest handicapping tournaments,…


Oct 20 | Categories: Breeders' Cup, |
Puerto Rico’s Leading Jockey Diaz to Ride at Gulfstream

First Mount Friday at Gulfstream Park West
Friday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover $71,000

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Puerto Rico’s legendary jockey Juan Carlos Diaz, the country’s leading jockey the past 16 years and the all-time leader in stakes victories, will begin riding…


Oct 20 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
Maryland Million News & Notes

Classic Wildcat Brings Leatherbury Back to Maryland Million
Pikachu Princess Will Race with Blinkers in $100,000 Lassie
Stakes Winner Winplaceorshowono Targets $100,000 Sprint
Live Racing Returns Friday with Carryovers, New Post Time

LAUREL, MD – Few horses…


Oct 20 | Categories: Laurel, |
Empire Showcase Day

Empire Showcase Day features return of the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 and Belmont Park Live

ELMONT, N.Y. - In addition to eight stakes races worth $1.75 million, anchored by the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap, Empire Showcase Day marks the return of both the NYRA Bets Late Pick…


Oct 20 | Categories: Belmont Park, |
New York, New York Pick 4 offered Saturday

ELMONT, N.Y. - Racing fans will have the opportunity to wager on a special thoroughbred/standardbred pick 4 on Saturday, October 14, when the New York Racing Association and Yonkers Raceway join to offer the New York, New York Pick 4.

The Pick 4 wager, hosted by NYRA, is comprised of the…


Oct 13 | Categories: Belmont Park, |
Laurel Park News & Notes: Thu 10/5

G3 Winner Just Call Kenny Pointed to $100,000 Richard Small Nov. 11
Unbeaten Margie’s Money Headed for Maryland Million Lassie
Carryovers, First Monday Card Ahead on Revamped Fall Schedule

LAUREL, MD – Multiple stakes winner Just Call Kenny, who became a graded…


Oct 5 | Categories: Laurel, |
Three Grade 1 Races Featured on Fall Stars Saturday at Keeneland

Miss Temple City Bids for Shadwell Turf Mile Repeat
Dickinson Heads Field of Seven for First Lady
Albaugh Family Stables Seek Second Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Score

LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 4, 2017) – The Club Racing, Needle in a Haystack and Sagamore Farm’s…


Oct 5 | Categories: Keeneland, |
BOLT D’ORO

BOLT D’ORO STAMPS HIMSELF A-LIST JUVENILE WITH ROUSING 7 ¾ LENGTHS WIN IN GRADE I, $300,000 FRONTRUNNER STAKES; OWNED & TRAINED BY RUIS AND RIDDEN BY NAKATANI, HE GETS 1 1/16 MILES IN 1:43.54

RACE IS ONE OF FIVE GRADE I BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE STAKES

Oct 1 | Categories: Santa Anita, |
Summer Meet Entering Action-Packed Closing Weekend

$400,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Finales Top Six-Stakes Saturday
‘Beer, Bourbon & Burgers’ Featured at Final Summer Soiree
Food, Drink Specials, Mandatory Payouts, Six Stakes on Closing Day Sunday
Jockey, Trainer Title Races Going Down to the Wire

HALLANDALE…


Sep 30 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
Belmont Park Notes 9/29

Maiden runner Presumptuous 'taking a shot' in G1 Beldame
• Oscar Performance paddock schools ahead of G1 Joe Hirsch
• Verve's Tale hoping for two-turn success in Beldame
• Desert Stone set for stakes debut in G3 Pilgrim
• Money'soncharlotte looks to stay perfect…


Sep 30 | Categories: Belmont Park, |
SANTA ANITA STABLE NOTES - Fri 9/29/2017

PETER EURTON TRAINEE HAS ‘GIANT’ EXPECTATIONS
• MAJESTIC HEAT SET FOR WIN AND YOU’RE IN RODEO DRIVE
• FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE TO SANTA ANITA STARTS TODAY
• LOS ANGELES TIMES NEWSLETTER DEBUTS STARTING TODAY
• JOHN MORRIS GOLF TOURNAMENT WILL BENEFIT THE PDJF

Sep 29 | Categories: Santa Anita, |
Campo to Focus on VP Duties

Badgett Named GM at Gulfstream
Camac Promoted to Racing Secretary


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Due to his growing responsibilities as Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group, P.J. Campo has relinquished his role as General Manager of Gulfstream Park.




Sep 29 | Categories: Gulfstream, |