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 provides his insights on everything thoroughbred racing. Big horses, big races, politics, it's all here in his "
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On the Line
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.
Every weekend, and when there is breaking news, Bill Finley or members of the "Harness Racing Update" staff will provide HRI readers with the latest in harness racing information and opinion.
Marc Lawrence - On Sports
Marc Lawrence will be contributing his sports handicapping insights and providing college and NFL Best Bets in his " Playbook" blog.
UK Horse Racing Epsom Derby 2013
, a personal favourite is fast approaching. A really great resource to read ahead of the event is the Racing Post's Derby microsite. It covers all news stories as they unfold as well providing all the racecards, free tips and plenty more.
The Queens horse racing show piece. Latest news, odds and tips provided courtesy of the Racing Post.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, April 14, 2014—Barring last-minute qualifiers from Saturday’s Lexington Stakes and late injury defections, the field for the 140th Kentucky Derby is all but set. And if there weren’t a modicum of clarity at the top, the Derby field--at least from a handicapping perspective--is in disarray.
California Chrome is a clear cut Derby favorite and solid support can be garnered for Santa Anita Derby runnerup Hopportunity, Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong, and undefeated, albeit lightly raced Florida Derby winner, Constitution. After that, it’s Katy bar the door.
With three weeks remaining, the Derby 140 picture is so muddled that fans might have an easier time making a case for California Chrome to become thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner than for any of his rivals to upset the Derby applecart.
How in the name of sanity are handicappers supposed to evaluate Saturday’s winner in Hot Springs in a Derby context in that not only did Danza’s win come in his second run this season, his fourth lifetime overall and his first start around two turns, but the Grade 1 was his “a other than" win?
In short, what does his victory say for the vanquished?
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, April 12, 2014—If you’re a Kentucky Derby fan, let’s put aside the parimutuel events of Saturday’s two final major preps, the Grade 1 Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby.
Based on Saturday's results, the big winners were Dance With Fate, who zoomed from Derby obscurity to third on the qualifying list, and Danza, also coming from nowhere to finish in sixth position.
Ride on Curlin’s Arkansas Derby placing was good enough to raise his seed to #12; Tapiture, safely in at #14 despite his disappointing Arkansas Derby, and Blue Grass runnerup Medal Count also appears safely in at #18.
Those that ran themselves out of serious consideration include Vinceramos, Harry’s Holiday, Big Bazinga, Coastline, Strong Mandate and Commissioner. Of those, Big Bazinga made a good effort to finish fourth in the Blue Grass but the rest disappointed--Strong Mandate and Commissioner in a big way.
LOS ANGELES, April 7, 2014--Not since the “Fix Six” scandal over a decade ago have I been so fascinated with racing-related commentary as I’ve been with some of the opinions expressed in the wake of the taped revelations from the PETA undercover agent working in trainer Steve Asmussen’s barns at Saratoga and Churchill Downs.
The c-word then was “crook.” Today it’s “cheater.” The “Drexel Frat Boys” broke laws and went to jail. The current excessive edge-takers operate within winking distance of inconsistent rules with inconsequential penalties.
Today’s c-worders are enabled by incompetent and/or agenda-driven regulators, laissez-faire racetrack management, greedy and self-serving horsemen and uninformed and unorganized customers.
The only reason for which I can remember someone facing criminal charges for abuse of race horses was starvation and neglect to animals that no longer were in competition.
One thing I gleaned from the content was that very few people are in a position to confirm equine abuse inflicted by others and far fewer who are willing to do something about it.
LOS ANGELES, March 16, 2014—A New York State Gambling Commission press release proved that when horseplayers get “mad as hell,” they can spur reform in thoroughbred racing:
Stated the release: “At its March 12 meeting, Commissioner John A. Crotty noted that there had been considerable controversy surrounding the disqualification of a winning horse at Gulfstream Park on February 22 in the last leg of the Rainbow Six wager…
“The disqualification led to rampant allegations of collusion which brought into question the integrity of the decision.”
“Commissioner Crotty’s notion that we can do even more to demonstrate to the public that New York’s pari-mutuel racing is open, honest and fair is right on target,” said Commission Chairman Mark D. Gearan.
The preceding came on the heels of a similar one by Gulfstream Park in response to the groundswell of frustration and criticism expressed by racing fans in social media and on discussion forums. Gulfstream CEO Tim Ritvo said that any additional changes “will be based on what is best for our bettors” and “if these changes work at Gulfstream, we will roll them out across all Stronach Group tracks.”
The commission also said that it supports the development of “uniform rules to govern disqualifications” and will “reach out to the … Racing Fan Advisory Council and to the wagering public … for further recommendations on how to best increase transparency and public confidence.”
All this is very good news indeed, but the best part is that it demonstrates the power that horseplayers can wield collectively when properly motivated.
Injured in a spill Tuesday night at Yonkers driver Andy Miller underwent successful surgery Wednesday at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital to repair broken vertebrae in his back. He continues to have feeling in all his extremities, but Miller still faces a long recovery.
Speaking yesterday to Harness Racing Update, Miller's wife, Julie, said the estimate is that her husband will be out of action for about six months.
"How long will he be out? That's the $1 million question," Julie Miller said. "The doctors are hesitant to say, but they did say that it usually takes a good three months for the bones to heal and another three months for the ligaments to heal. So we're looking at six months, but time will tell.
With a barn full of superstar horses, including a couple that he considers the best two- and three-year-old male and female trotters he has ever trained, Jimmy Takter is optimistic about the 2014 season.
Given that Takter, voted three times as trainer of the year and an inductee in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, he could be headed for another banner campaign.
Takter is excited about the prospects of three-year-old colt trotter Father Patrick, a winner of 10 of 11 races and currently with nine consecutive wins, who won the Breeders Crown last year and the Dan Patch Award for his particular division.
Takter is also looking forward to the sophomore season of female trotter Shake It Cerry, a winner of eight of 11 races, including the Breeders Crown, and also a Dan Patch winner. As if that weren't enough, Takter acquired Nuncio, who was the only one to beat Father Patrick last year, in January when the colt's trainer, Jim Oscarsson, returned to Sweden.
Add in Uncle Peter, a five-year-old who beat standout mare Maven in a recent qualifier, along with numerous quality two-year-olds, and it is easy to understand why Takter is looking forward to competing in all the big races this year.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, April 17, 2014—I was trying to think of a possible headline to address the recent takeout increase at the upcoming Churchill Downs spring meet and “tone deaf” immediately came to mind.
Almost instantly, however, that description was too moderate to define this absolute unknowing decision in terms of what’s been learned about the economics of parimutuel takeout in recent years.
HorseRaceInsider has written extensively on this subject since 2010. What I have to say now I’ve said over and over and over and over again. Other websites and bloggers have done the same during the same period of time.
Can racetrack institutions and horsemen’s groups really be this obtuse?
SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 8, 2014—It is said that you can’t go home again. Despite the inherent wisdom in that adage, I left the warm, sunny climes of South Florida for Queens, the next meaningful Eastern stop on the road to the Kentucky Derby.
I must confess that when I entered the building I didn’t know what I would find. The news emanating from New York to reach Gulfstream Park this winter, both on and off the record, was disturbing but, unfortunately, not totally unexpected.
When I arrived at the press box level of Aqueduct Race Track over the weekend, I discovered newly installed carpet under foot and a fresh coat of paint on the walls leading to the press office and press box.
It was a welcome sight from the blight that had become the norm, the result of an acrimonious relationship between “new NYRA” and the Genting organization that now occupies the swanky part of the building formerly known as the Aqueduct grandstand.
Perhaps not surprising but somewhat amusing was the fact that the new paint job didn’t extend all the way through to the fifth level where the stewards and Equibase chart callers live and where Tom Durkin would later call his penultimate Wood Memorial.
And you thought David Letterman would be the only prominent retiree come 2015?
"I was wowed in the San Antonio. I was saying the same thing, 'Who is this horse?' He didn't do much running last time [in the Santa Anita Handicap], but I was very confident this is the kind of horse he is. He can do this.
BALTIMORE, 04-19-14---Julian Pimentel rated him off the pace into the far turn, then signaled go and Kid Cruz charged by his rivals and posted an easy victory in $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes to cap off four stakes this afternoon at Pimlico Race Course.
AURORA, ONTARIO - The Stronach Group has always been committed to ensuring that our horse racing businesses operate with integrity and concern for the health and safety of the horses and the people who work with them. Now, more than ever, we as track operators, horsemen and regulators must come together…
Wildcat Red Gets Sixth Different Rider for Triple Crown
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Wildcat Red has been ridden by five different jockeys in his last five races at Gulfstream Park while establishing himself as a prominent Triple Crown contender. Rafael Bejarano is slated to become No. 6.
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Kauai Katie, unraced since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Prioress in July, will return to the races on Saturday when she faces an evenly matched field of filly and mare sprinters in Aqueduct Racetrack's Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Handicap at six furlongs.
YONKERS, N.Y. - Foiled Again ($2.10) withstood a sustained first-over charge from Dancin Yankee and a challenge in the passing lane from P H Supercam to pick up a fourth straight victory and remain unbeaten in his 10-year-old campaign with a narrow triumph in the third division of the fourth leg of the…
Apr 14 | Categories: U.S. Trotting Assn., | Comments (0)
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 12, 2014) – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Danza came in as the lesser heralded stablemate, but is leaving Oaklawn as the 78th winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and with a ticket to the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs after earning 100 points. The…
Jockey Joe Bravo: (Danza, 1st): "That was a pretty great effort. Todd was pretty high on the horse and he told me this morning that he was going to be fresh so don' take anything away from him. Try to save as much as you can and let him run his race. It was textbook,…
Occasional View and Marchman Post Grade 3 Victories in Commonwealth and Shakertown
LEXINGTON, KY (April 12, 2014) – Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing’s Dance With Fate swept past pace-setting Pablo Del Monte at midstretch and had more than enough to hold off Medal Count…
On whether Dance With Fate will run in the Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Yum! Brands “I just don’t know. It’s three weeks and kind of quick back. I know he loves synthetic better, (likes) turf. I just don’t know if he likes…
SHERMAN TRAINEE WINS BY 5 ¼ LENGTHS UNDER ESPINOZA
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Art Sherman knows what it takes to get a horse to the Kentucky Derby and win. He had a close-up view as an 18-year-old workout rider when Swaps won the 1955 Run for the Roses. Nearly 60 years later, Sherman is taking…