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

Pharoah: Past, Present and Future

OCEANPORT, NY, August 4, 2015—Sunday was about historical context. Today, it’s all about the future.

From a racing perspective, American Pharoah, barring the unforeseen, has absolutely no excuse for not showing up in the shadow of the elm trees in upstate New York.

In our view, American Pharoah saved his best race for last, Sunday at 5:52 p.m. at Monmouth Park. He was sparkling, bedazzling, description-defying.

There are three possible negatives, from a connections point of view.

The timing: It’s not like the best horse in the world cannot be trained up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. But in a perfect world, you would like the spacing to be better.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)
American Pharoah, the Shore Thing

OCEANPORT, NJ, August 2, 2015--I am totally prepared to be called a fool--or worse, and there would be plenty of justification for it.

That's because it took until today, Haskell Sunday, to recognize American Pharoah as a truly great race horse. Yes, history, he is one of the ones.

He made some very nice three-year-olds appear outclassed as he left them in his bounding wake: What I'm saying is how a horse possibly could emerge from the Triple Crown series better than the one that went in. I don't have to see him defeat older horses to prove something to these old set of eyes.

Finally, I have seen enough

Mr. Jordan, who won the Grade 3 prep for the William Hill Haskell Invitational, put pressure on the 2015 Triple Crown champion from the start but meekly gave up the chase midway down the backside. No mas.

Upstart, fresh, the way he wants to be, and training up an Adirondack storm in Saratoga, moved to challenge at the perfect time, just as Mr. Jordan was giving way. But his will to go on with it abandoned him when American Pharoah asserted himself.

Competitive Edge probably will be returned to one-turn racing, but he is fast and genuine on his best day. And he couldn't handle the heat when American Pharoah pressed him in earnest at mid-turn.

And mere strides before the home straight, Pharoah's ears started to rise.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (8)

Saratoga Summer on the Jersey Shore

OCEANPORT, NJ, July 31, 2015—Finally, after 2-1/2 hours on the Fort Lauderdale tarmac, where repairs were made on the plane’s hydraulics—time well spent—I arrived on the Jersey Shore, Jennifer’s Place…smack in the middle of a heat wave.

It was hotter in Newark than it was in South Florida.

But the good news is that rain is nowhere in the forecast beginning today through Tuesday of next week. No sense watching the 2015 Triple Crown demolish some other field over a sloppy racetrack.

There are other interesting races this weekend but we have not yet looked seriously at the Jim Dandy or West Virginia Derby as of this post and nowhere close to checking out the Haskell program, a 14-race program.

I have two words for when Sunday arrives: Bring It!

Not long after the Haskell is run, there will be stopovers in Suffolk and Putnam Counties as we wend our way toward the North Country early Whitney morn. Can’t wait for that, either. Even on my own dime, life is still good.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (15)
Saratoga Simulcast Dairy: Meeting Across the River

July 26, 2015—For us, the racing odyssey of 2015 is set to begin; much bag packing and errand running will ensue.

But there’s business to finish; writing, posting and editing to be done, selections to be made, traveling to begin. Saratoga Simulcast Diary will return Saturday, Jim Dandy day, the price for witnessing Sunday’s Haskell Invitation Ball staring Cinderfella, aka American Pharoah.

Good for Garden State fans and horseplayers. The good people of New Jersey love their racing (inded they do, Mr. Christie) and the area deserves and could use this shot in the arm. Note that “The Boss” has attended Haskells past, in his usual low key manner.

If he’s in Oceanport on Sunday, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. Surely it will lend itself to the special atmosphere. Non-Springsteen fans probably didn’t hear but he showed up at a local bar last week, jumped on stage and played a two-hour set. No big deal, of course; he’s been doing things like that his entire career.

And so the Derby has “My Old Kentucky Home,” the Preakness “Maryland, My Maryland,” and the Belmont its “New York, New York” but only Monmouth Park has “Born To Run,” ‘cause tramps like them…

Now, through the Saratoga 147 Racing Trip Diary on the season’s first Saturday:

Race 1: Didn’t take long for the “Graveyard” to claim its first victim--then the crowd had no right to make second-time-out trainer Mark Casse’s Moon King 2-5 on debut, no matter how fast he worked, right?

Written by John Pricci | Comments (4)

Business As Usual: Appellate Court Denies Dutrow Appeal

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., June 25, 2015—On June 24 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed trainer Rick Dutrow’s appeal of a 10-year suspension based on his claim that he was denied due process in a 2011 New York State administrative hearing.

This ruling in no way qualifies as an upset, of course. It’s simply how the process works: State’s conduct administrative hearings to adjudicate cases de jure in the guise of acting in the public interest then deny constitutional guarantees during that process.

These hearings are de facto kangaroo courts in which agenda rules. Strict rules of evidence do not apply, hearsay is permitted, and because of racing’s patchwork quilt of drug testing and regulation the results most often are capricious and arbitrary.

Even though the burden of proof is on the state, the presumption in these cases is that the client is guilty. Resultantly, appeals courts are loathe to reverse the findings of administrative hearings, reversals somehow being a tacit admission that the state process was flawed at best or, in Dutrow’s case, unconstitutional at its core.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (11)
Part 3 HRI Special Report on the Dutrow Case: Patti Cerda Speaks Out

What you are about to read is an unsolicited, personal, unabridged statement of an ex-NYRA employee in response to several readers who believe that some of the individuals who defended Rick Dutrow Jr. in the comments section of Part 1, Part 2 of HRI’s Special Report--an investigation into the Dutrow case in which the trainer was suspended for 10 years--did so because they were friends of Dutrow. In Part 3, Patti Cerda, for 20 years the Manager of the NYRA Identification Office responsible for issuing credentials to all individuals having business at any of the three NYRA tracks, states that she was made to issue false identification badges to undocumented backstretch workers or risk losing her job. That process is counter to federal and state laws, in short, an illegal act. The following is her account, edited for syntax and punctuation only

Written by John Pricci | Comments (80)

Haskell has big horse but Spa has ‘Dandy’ of a race

American Pharoah will be the center of attention in Monmouth's Haskell this weekend but the best race for 3-year-olds will be the Jim Dandy Saturday at Saratoga. Grade 1 winners Frosted, Materiality and Texas Red are expected along with Holy Bull winner and Florida Derby runnerup Upstart and Bill Mott's star on the rise Japan. On Wednesday, Mott will attempt to extend his remarkable record of success on his birthday.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (30)
Clearing the boards for Saratoga

It appears American Pharoah is heading for double duty as a stud next year, with a possible trip to Australia on his agenda. So much for him racing as a 4-year-old. Meanwhile, Lasix-free races and winter racing at Aqueduct got boosts during the past week, proponents of synthetic tracks got a chance to say, "I told you so," and another serial jockey cheater was busted again.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (21)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
Rock Fall tames The Big Beast in G1 Vanderbilt

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Stonestreet Stables' Rock Fall solidified his standing as one of the top sprinters in the country with a thrilling nose victory over The Big Beast in Saturday's Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga Race Course.

Aug 2 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Jim Dandy (G2) Quotes

Julie Clark, assistant to winning trainer Keith Desormeaux, of Texas Red (No. 3): "He's been doing really well [at Saratoga]. We got a lot out of that bullet work last weekend. He has been training really well. Kent basically said the ride he gave him was the trip he was planning, so we went with him.…

Aug 2 | Categories: Saratoga, | Comments (0)
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Guaranteed at $150,000

Late Pick 4 and Pick 5 Pools Guaranteed at $50,000

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $150,000 Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

The popular multi-race wager went unsolved Friday, when multiple bettors holding tickets with…

Jul 11 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream To Raise Purses 10 Percent Beginning July 23

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream Park announced today it will raise purses an average of 10 percent beginning with the next condition book on Thursday, July 23.

Gulfstream's third summer of live racing continues to show increases over the first two. On July 5, Gulfstream played host for…

Jul 11 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
A Lot leads field of six in Manila

ELMONT, N.Y. - Amerman Racing LLC's A Lot will look to repeat his Paradise Creek success when he takes on five rival sophomores going a mile on the Widener turf in the $100,000 Manila Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park. The graded stakes-placed son of Tapit picked up his first black type score in the seven-furlong…

Jul 11 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream Summit of Speed Notes: Fri 7/3

Wildcat Red Set for Return to Sprinting in Smile
Patrick Dupuy Sets Sights on Azalea (G3) with I’m a Looker
Tea Time Shipping in for Princess Rooney (G2)
Gold 2-year-olds Ready for Stakes Test

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Trainer Jose Garoffalo successfully stretched out Wildcat…

Jul 3 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Texas Red returns in G3 Dwyer

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Grade 3, $500,000 Dwyer - to be run on the second annual Stars & Stripes Day at Belmont Park - will feature the return of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red, who has not raced since finishing second in the Grade 2 San Vicente on February 1 at Santa Anita Park.

Jul 3 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Tonalist heavy favorite in Suburban ‘Cap

ELMONT, N.Y. - Under high weight of 123 pounds including Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist has been made the 3-5 favorite over five foes for Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Handicap, one of six graded stakes on the second annual Star & Stripes Day at Belmont…

Jul 3 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Mother Goose Quotes

Drayden Van Dyke, winning trainer of Include Betty (No.2): "It was a perfect trip. I know they were going fast up front and I knew this long stretch should really help her out, she makes that nice little last run and I knew it'd work out just perfect for her. I just had to make sure that I kept pulling…

Jun 28 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Belmont Park Notes 6/27

• Brown readies five runners for G1 Belmont Derby, G1 Belmont Oaks
• Tonalist preps for G2 Suburban
• Pletcher contenders work towards Stars & Stripes Day assignments

ELMONT, N.Y. - The second renewal of Stars & Stripes Day on July 4 at Belmont Park will be highlighted…

Jun 28 | Categories: Belmont Park, | Comments (0)
Rainbow 6 Carryover Totals $383,473.91

Rainbow 6 Carryover Totals $383,473.91 Heading into Sunday’s Mandatory Payout
Pool Expected To Climb Over $1 Million

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After going unsolved for the 24th consecutive racing program Saturday, the Rainbow 6 carryover will total $383,473.91 heading into Sunday’s…

Jun 28 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Saturday’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $500,000

Mandatory Payouts of Rainbow 6, Pick 5 and Super Hi-5 Slated for Sunday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved Friday at Gulfstream Park, where the carryover jackpot pool for the popular multi-race wager will be guaranteed at $500,000 Saturday.


Jun 26 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)