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'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

Arcadia to Ascot, Worlds Apart

This was supposed to be a whimsical piece; the lead already written: “I have a confession to make. I’m an Ascot weenie and I have no intention of apologizing for how much I loved not only the racing but the pomp and circumstance, too…” Like the old Keeneland tagline, this is racing as it was meant to be. From Tuesday through Saturday morning, I felt the same way I did as a teenager at the races, filled with excited anticipation. And I didn’t bet a dime; the spectacle was enough. Then came more bad news from Santa Anita…the kind of news that could take an industry down. The juxtaposition exhausts me.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (10)
Twitter Tweaks Takeout: Kentucky Derby Winner* Returns


While the Thoroughbred industry awaits its fate, one known only by the Deity given the powerful voice animal rights activists, racing can do something proactive: It can try harder not to lose the remaining fans it has and possibly attract future horseplayers by lowering the high cost of playing the game

Written by John Pricci | Comments (45)

Senator Addabbo’s Bills - A Good Bet for Horses


Sometimes politicians can be sharp and New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. is one of the sharpest. Last week Addabbo held a public hearing before two committees of the State Senate that was more reminiscent of a dog and pony show. But this week two bills he sponsored that would benefit New York’s horseracing industry passed in the NYS Senate. One bill will increase protections for horses; the other authorizes the New York State Gaming Commission to participate in the Mid-Atlantic Interstate Equine Testing Drug Compact. Both bills moved to the Assembly, which has until midnight tomorrow to approve, June 19 marking the end of the current legislative session.

Written by Mark Berner | Comments (7)
New York State Senate Gets an Earful

Jeffrey Cannizzo, executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., warned State Senate Committee members that some of the things they may have been told in Albany on June 5 might not have been the whole story. Senator Joseph Addabbo directed the action, which at times seemed more fitting for dogs and ponies. There were a few self-serving statements and a sprinkling of alternate facts. Others who testified actually do good things for horses. The most sincere testimony came from Susan Kayne, who blew the lid off the industry’s favored retirement foundation, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

Written by Mark Berner | Comments (15)

Thankfully, California’s over-reaction isn’t spreading


The continuation of racing in California is in genuine peril thanks to hysterical activists, grandstanding politicians and a cheerleading media. Fortunately, the movement is not spreading eastward at this time. This doesn't mean the drive to end racing couldn't metastasize elsewhere. So it's incumbent that efforts to reduce deaths on the race track be increased and never ending. In the meantime, unless and until the California situation stabilizes, the Breeders' Cup should take this year's event away from Santa Anita and not schedule any future Breeders' Cups there.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (15)
3YO’s had their time; it’s time for galaxy of other stars to shine

This year's Triple Crown season was largely a letdown. But with the 3YO's taking their leave from center stage, there is a galaxy of stars in other divisions poised to shine. Bricks and Mortar against the world on grass; Catholic Boy on dirt and turf; Chad Brown's herd of female turfers; Midnight Bisou and Monomoy Girl getting together again; super sprinters Mitole and World of Trouble; the latest filly sensation; Acorn runoff Guarana, Pimlico record-setter Covfefe and undefeated Break Even.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (5)



HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" last week aired a segment called “Raced to Death,” which caused a big stir. This week, Mark Berner and John Pricci examine the report in a point/counterpoint fashion to explain both sides of the argument. Gumbel and Goldberg are in the business of news and entertainment, aka infotainment. The footage was horrific, succeeding in a manner that was far beyond inelegant.

| Comments (33)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Stormy Embrace Tops Nominations for $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2)

‘Win and You’re In’ Race to Co-Headline June 29 Summit of Speed
Proforma Prominent among $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3) Nominees
Carry Back, Azalea, Umphrey Turf Sprint Supporting Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Defending champion Stormy Embrace tops a list of 15 nominations…

Jun 19 | Categories: Gulfstream, |
Greenshoe tops Hambletonian hopefuls in Beal elims

Five of the 10 horses in the Road to the Hambletonian rankings produced by Meadowlands Racetrack announcer/analyst Ken Warkentin will be in action Saturday (June 22) in eliminations for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with No. 1 Greenshoe headlining the event.

Jun 19 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., |
Laurel Park News & Notes

Doctor Mounty Returns to Favorite Track for $100,000 Prince George’s County
Rubley Seeking ‘Right Spot’ for Multiple Stakes Winner Alwaysmining
Parisian Diva Takes Five-Race Win Streak into $100,000 Alma North
Stakes Winner Scrap Copper Works Friday, Awaits Sophomore Debut

Jun 14 | Categories: Laurel, |
Stars to shine on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park

The 3-year-old pacers in Saturday’s C$1 million North America Cup will enjoy center stage at Woodbine Mohawk Park but the card’s supporting cast includes its share of star power too, such as No. 1-ranked Shartin N, returning Horse of the Year McWicked, and additional award winners Atlanta,…

Jun 14 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., |
Friday’s Stronach 5 Begins with 4 on the Turf

Free Past Performances, $100,000 Guaranteed Pool

LAUREL, MD – The Stronach 5 will take to the turf Friday with its first four races scheduled on the turf at Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
The Stronach 5, with a guaranteed $100,000 pool and industry-low…

Jun 14 | Categories: Laurel, |
Big day for DiDomenico in Gaitway qualifiers

Manalapan, NJ — The last time trainer Scott DiDomenico qualified 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm, it seemed dark clouds followed him at every turn. Of the eight horses he sent into action that morning last June, one posted a win and only one other finished better than fifth.

“It was kind…

Jun 10 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., |
Graded Winners Abound Among 118 Nominees to June 16 Stakes

Four Stakes Worth $400,000 Open Summer Schedule Worth $1.1 Million
G1 Winners Divisidero, Force the Pass Top $100,000 Prince George’s County

LAUREL, MD – More than a dozen graded-stakes winners, including Grade or Group 1 winners Divisidero, Force the Pass, El Picaro…

Jun 9 | Categories: Laurel, |
Engblom enjoys big day at Big M qualifiers

East Rutherford, NJ --- Per Engblom’s stable got off to a strong start at Saturday’s second edition of Breakfast with the Babies at The Meadowlands, and kept the good times rolling through the morning. Engblom won six times, dominating the eight-race trotting portion of the card for 2-year-olds.

Jun 9 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., |
G3 Winner Ghost Hunter Record-Setting Winner of Saturday Feature

Sophomore Top Line Growth Breaks One-Mile Dirt Mark in Victory

McCarthy Wins Three; Rainbow 6, Super Hi-5 Carryovers Sunday

LAUREL, MD – Triple K Stables and Jagger Inc.’s Grade 3 winner Ghost Hunter earned the second win of his 9-year-old season in record-setting…

Jun 9 | Categories: Laurel, |
Belmont Park Notes 6/7

• Pletcher's first Belmont victory remains special
• Rushing Fall stands out in a crowd of Grade 1 winners
• Juddmonte's world-class legacy on display for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival
• Mitole puts streak on the line in G1 Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap
• If the shoe…

Jun 7 | Categories: Belmont Park, |
Trillions Hanover hopes to put best foot forward in Fan Hanover

Tom Fanning might not have a shoo-in to reach the Fan Hanover Stakes final, but he likes Trillions Hanover’s chances with shoes on.

Fanning watched his 3-year-old female pacer qualify last weekend at The Meadowlands in 1:50.2 with a shoe missing, after which he was quick to quip with a…

Jun 7 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., |
Gulfstream, Pegasus Runners Part of Belmont Stakes Day

Belmont Watch Party at Gulfstream Park Saturday
Twilight Racing, Live Music Friday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Several stars from Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet, including Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) winner Bricks and Mortar and Fountain of Youth (G2)…

Jun 6 | Categories: Gulfstream, |