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

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)
Saturday’s Keeneland Late Pick 4 Horse Profiles

Exclusively for

As the 2016 Keeneland spring meet comes to a close, we’re going out with a detailed look AT the late Pick 4, a sequence that includes the Grade 2 Elkhorn for older males going 1-1/2 miles on the turf.

The following is handicapping thumbnail sketch of every runner entered in today’s sequence, listed in post-position order with early line odds:

RACE 7: ALLOWANCES Non-Winners of $7,500 twice 4 & Up 5-1/2 Furlongs TURF

Dingdingdingding (10-1) Recent turf debut was even effort in moderate time following trouble on turn. Of dam’s three winners to race, none have won on grass; 58 1/5 at TP, fastest of 21 peers that week, is rolling!

Shadow Rock (3-1)
Strong contender despite class rise. Six time winner at the trip—his only lifetime victories, lifetime best Pricci Energy Rating came on this course. Improved last out after trouble in GP finale and Dickey is (5) 2-2-0 here through Wednesday.

Sylvan Park (15-1)
Lifetime wins were on turf but at 5 furlongs, not 5-1/2 and front wraps back on for latest run. Trainer profitable with turf runners; drops out of Grade 2.

Written by John Pricci | Comments (0)

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 (13)
It’s up to players to make Canterbury takeout reduction succeed

Canterbury Park is taking a bold step to reduce its takeout to the lowest blended rate in North America. The experiment, which will be monitored closely by other jurisdictions, needs the support of simulcast players nationwide to succeed.

This could be a challenge considering the unfamiliarity of Canterbury's horses, jockeys and trainers. If nothing else, players should consider support of Canterbury this season to be an investment in the future, no matter where their major plays are.

Written by Tom Jicha | Comments (24)

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)

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)
Wood, Blue Grass, Santa Anita Derby All Prove Useful Barometers

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 10,2016—The glamour division of Thoroughbred racing, Derby-aged colts, geldings—and fillies, too—put on quite of show in Saturday’s major races.

In addition, another potentially major three-year-old emerged in the seven furlong G3 Bay Shore, but Mark Berner will have more on Unified Tuesday.

[Mark earned that distinction by voting him 10th in last week’s HRI poll off a single six- furlong maiden win at Gulfstream. We hate show-offs].

Anyway, Saturday’s Super Prep Saturday, like all races, had their heroes and disappointments but I must say, on balance, there were more things to like than dislike.

Whether any or all of this, in addition to Saturday’s Arkansas Derby, ultimately results in the upending of the undeniable king of the three-year-old colts, Nyquist, is a query to be answered next month.

Another thing for certain is, the preps, whether they result in Triple Crown victories or defeats, keep the sport going at a lively and entertaining pace.

Here, then, including a thumbnail review of Saturday’s top performances, is HRI’s Triple Crown Power 10, Week 7:

Written by John Pricci | Comments (20)


Track News Releases
Track News Releases
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)

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 16, 2016) – WinStar Farm’s Creator powered home from dead last in the field of 12 to pull off an upset in the 80th edition of the $1 million (G1) Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn in front of 65,000 people on-track Saturday, and in the process the colt created a guaranteed…

Apr 17 | Categories: Oaklawn, | Comments (0)
Quotes from the $150,000 Lexington (G3)

Peter Fluor (partner in Speedway Stables, winning owner of Collected)

“I was very impressed with (the effort). (Trainer) Bob (Baffert) did a very good job getting him ready. Lot of good horses in the race.”

On whether the Preakness (G1) might be an option for the…

Apr 17 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
Quotes for the $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1)

Mark Casse (winning trainer of Tepin)

On whether he feels pressure since everyone expects Tepin to perform so well
“A touch. But I have to say something. (Owner) Mr. (Robert) Masterson – if it wasn’t for him – everybody wouldn’t get to see the great Tepin. He wanted…

Apr 17 | Categories: Keeneland, | Comments (0)
Gulfstream’s Rainbow 6 Solved for $618,643 Jackpot Friday with 20-cent Ticket

Winner Buys $10,000 Worth of 20-cent Tickets in Curacao
Saturday’s Late Pick 5 Offers $35,902 Carryover
Saturday’s First Race Features $2,274 Super Hi-5 Carryover
Castro, Gaffalione Each Guide Three into Winner’s Circle

– The…

Apr 16 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)
Mark Casse Making Commitment to Gulfstream’s Year-Round Program

Veteran Trainer Setting Up 50-Horse Division for Spring, Summer Meets

– Trainer Mark Casse’s growing presence within the Thoroughbred racing world will expand to South Florida this spring and summer, when his stable will campaign a 50-horse division at Gulfstream…

Apr 15 | Categories: Gulfstream, | Comments (0)