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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


July 12, 2022 – So, how does the much anticipated Saratoga race meet compare to the best Thoroughbred horses and horsemen from around the world?

This should help separate reality from hyperbole. Thoroughbred Racing Commentary uses a sophisticated algorithm to create its Global Rankings, a measure of the best of the best from around the globe.

The Global Rankings measure the achievements of the five best horses, jockeys, trainers, sires, and owners, most of whom are breeders.

Well, according to the TRC rankings, Life Is Good and Jackie’s Warrior are two of the world’s five best horses. Each is scheduled to appear in Saratoga.

Two of the world’s leading horsemen, Chad Brown and Brad Cox. are expected to be major players at the meet.

Any horse in Saratoga could be ridden by three of the world’s top riders: Irad Ortiz Jr., Flavien Prat, and Joel Rosario.

As for pedigrees, and those who either own, or breed horses, or both, all Top Five sires and owners will be represented over the 40 days of racing in upstate New York.

And so, as the adage goes: Saratoga is simply the best, better than all the rest.

HorseRaceInsider plans to cover the meet–live from Whitney through Travers–via daily handicapping and race reports and once again will continue our role as racing analyst for WNYT-TV, NBC-Ch-13, Albany, as we have for more than two decades.

Expect, at minimum, an assessment of the stakes race of the day, in many instances more than one, priority-ranked by grade or conditions.

Dear Diary: Day 1, JULY 14

G3 ADIRONDACK       Race 9

The Skinny: Mark Casse has entered three here while Wayne Lukas will try to win this race for the seventh time. The notable surprise is the lack of a Todd Pletcher juvenile trainee.

All nine that have entered have only one start; eight broke maiden on debut, the other was a good late-rally third.

The co-fastest Thoro-Graph figures belong to the top and bottom entered, Just Cindy and Summer Promise. There were no ratings on two Casse fillies from Woodbine.

As to the visuals, they are in the eye of the beholder. Of all these debut winners, the ones that impressed us most were the two WO fillies and Wayne’s filly.

This will be all about trip, tactics, and price.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: 6-Me and My Shadow (7-2)

MORNING LINE VALUE: 3-Adora (6-1) to win

EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 1-Just Cindy)-3-6  Exacta Box 3-6-9-Summer Promise). Dime Super Key: 6 first and second with 1.3.9. with with

WILTON STAKES        Race 7

The Skinny: Todd Pletcher is attempting to surround this race around one and a half turns with three horses: Goddess of Fire (3-1), Favor (7-2) and A Mo Reay (5-1).

Favoritism goes to Tarabi (5-2) who comes from a series of fast sprints, her last at 7 furlongs, and may get the jump on her strongly tested two-turn rivals Pletcher rivals. She is on an incremental forward line.

‘Goddess’ had no chance racing wide, wider, and widest in KY Oaks and was an excellent second to Kathleen O in the G2 Gulfstream Oaks previously. Favor was out-posted in the Black-Eyed Susan and previously held gamely for third behind champion Echo Zulu in the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks.



STRAIGHT & EXOTICA: Betting Countess of Fire to win at 5-2 or greater. Exacta Box: 1-6-7  Trifecta and Superfecta Wheel 1.6.7 with 1.6.7 with with

Per usual, when more than one horse is listed in a categories, they are listed in preferred order. Exotic bets suggested at minimums available, straight wagers in $2 units.

All Diary entries–just as we have done on our Saturday Tote Busters selections, are live columns, to be updated as needed

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14 Responses

  1. There were 41 races in the first 4 days of the Saratoga 2021 meet. Here is where the 41 winners had their previous start:

    BEL 16, CD 10, first time starter 7, AQU 3, IND 2, GP 1, KEE 1, PIM 1

    The trainers of the 10 CD horses were:

    Asmussen 2, Cox 2, Amoss 1, Arnold 1, Casse 1, Diodoro 1, Sisterson 1, Stall 1

    The trainers of the 7 first time starters were:

    Asmussen 2, Amoss 1, Barker 1, Brown 1, Clement 1, Mott 1

  2. You never let the HRI Faithful down, Dan. Thanks again, good, useful statistical research

  3. So here you are, John Pricci. Followed you for a long time on Newsday. I went to a handicapping seminar given by you and Bill Quirin, where I learned to hone my skills at making Quirin figures. John Parisella, I think, was an entertaining guest. Was sorry that you Newsday.

    I don’t know how much credit he deserves for being the first, but did Quirin first introduce the use of past statistics to predict the future. For me, 1st time starters: (16 0 0), 1st off claim (27, 3,11) and 1st off 180 days (11, 0, 0) became throw-outs.

    But his most memorable chapter was simply entitled “The Importance of Early Speed.”

    1. Thanks for the props and the memories, Bill. Not sure if Dr. Quirin was the first to use statistical data as a predicter, but certainly was among the first to use this kind of methodology.

      …And that was an entertaining night with Mr. Parisella, wasn’t it…

  4. Winning at the Races Computer Discoveries was the very best work I ever read. From ROI on first time turf to two shorts and going long, Dr. Quirin from Adelphi covered it all. I brought his book with me to the track to get a better read on first time turf entries. He was far ahead of most with his computer analysis. Always felt JRP was a deciple of the good Doctor as well.

    1. A brilliant and good man is Dr. Quirin, learned much from him and while at Newsday, Mark Berner and I alternated on compiling his figures from day to day. Now, thanks the BRIS, that grunt work has been eliminated. Still refer to his figures, as well as Thoro-Graph to get a handle on things fast and slow. Still, without video replays, I would not know what I would need to know, McD

  5. Doctor Quirin’s first time on the lawn analysis based on pedigree might be the one exception John. No tapes needed there. I would often send him a check (a mere $10) each year to get his updated sire revisions after the “Winning” text book was published. So many great payouts all based only on bloodlines and not so blind faith in the good Doctor. I was a deciple of his testament. Old Testament, New Testament, and then we had The Gospel according to Bill Quirin, PHD.

    I am also onto another great publication of late John, and if I can get permission from the author to share it with you, I will forward you a download version. I know that you are a busy man John, but a twenty minute read each day I suspect, just might open up a few new views. All of it comes from a woman’s point of view mind you. Not a trainer, not a jockey, just a woman handicapper hanging out in a man’s world.

    “Always open to learn I am.” versed Sam I am. I think you will find her numbers interesting enough to consider. Just like with Dr. Quirin, it has all to do with analytics and probability. Narratives can always be versed into a “he said she said” debate, but numbers, well the numbers never lie. They simply are what the are. Ladies’ numbers as well. I’m smart enough by the way, to recognize that women in general are blessed with a little more common sense than the rest of us. Now that may shake a few of the curmudgeons to their bones. Truth is I wouldn’t even be here today without the beautiful bride I married back in ’79.

    Speaking of Bones, you and a few readers just gotta listen to “Bones” by Imagine Dragon. My three year old grandson Griffie turned me onto the music John. “Play “Bones” Papa, play more “Bones”. The Times they are a changing”. Bob was right. Give it a try. Try it and you just might like it. Might put a skip in your step is all. Works better than Alieve. Toni may wonder…..”What the heck got into him?” Never too old John Boy. We’re never too old. We only get old if we wanna get old. Learned that from reading “The Old Man’s Boy Grew Older” by now long deceased writer Robert Ruark.

    P.S. David Aragona had an interesting comment on how to play the new Wilson chute by the way. Pretty much a wait and see as to how it plays.

  6. David Aragona is a good man, and he’s right. My attitude, too, see how it plays out. When the jockeys decide how to approach those races, the players will know more. Off the top of my head, it’s a 1-1/2 turner. I’m thinking route more than sprint. Middle posts probably are the safest…

  7. At 1:05 PM Eastern Time today, for a few minutes, you are allowed to suspend reality and believe that all is right with the world.

    Wagers for SAR 14JUL2022 (Day 1)

    Race 5 – $20 to SHOW on TOMMY GUN
    Race 7 – $20 to SHOW on FAVOR
    Race 9 – $20 to WIN on ME AND MY SHADOW

    Best of luck and a great Saratoga meet to all.

    1. As my friend, the late great Harvey Pack ,would say “may the horse(s) be with you.”

      And you’re right, Saratoga always has been the best distraction I’ve ever encountered.

  8. In regard to the comment above ‘. . . . .women in general are blessed with a little more common sense than the rest of us’. The comment is a bit awkward as I am left wondering if the word ‘us’ includes something other than men. Anyway, wouldn’t things be quite a bit less chaotic and stressful if the congress were composed of solely women?

    Good ole’ Saratoga where vacationers love the exotic bets offered and are the ones who walk away with the most profits. And, it is going to be the same ole’, same ole’ here at HRI where Mr. Pricci’s selections will always be the stake races or the races with the largest purse.
    Today it’s the Wilton Stake where Pletcher has three entrants, Brown one, and Cox one; and the Schuylerville where Casse has three entrants – these two stake races supposedly represent the best racing for the day. But, are these two stake races the best for the ‘capper to cash a ticket? Methinks far from it!
    – – – – – – – –
    Had a difficult time finding a race to bet at Philly Saturday where the odds of the plodder I liked would be 3-1 or greater. Not until the 8th race when my main jockey Pennington finally held at 3-1, and I had a winner paying $8.40. The odds of the winners of all the other races were less than 3-1: $5.00, 6.20, 4.80, 3.00, 4.60, 6.80, 3.40 6.40, and 7.00.

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